Support the LB businesses you see here:

Choose LB DJ
Bill Lovelace for your event & ask for discount. Click on dancers

The Enterlines
Bill & Karen Enterline are ELB realty experts. Click here for info on area property values.

Nino's Ristorante:
Click here if you're hungry or for catering!
3853 Atlantic Ave.

Return To Front Page

We Get E-Mail
Neighborhood Groups/Meetings
Crime Data
City Council Agendas
Port of LB Agendas
E-Mail Your Councilmember
LB Parks, Rec & Marine
LB Schools
References & Archives
Lost, Found & Adoptable Pets

Breaking News

Photo Red Cams OK'd To Start Round the Clock Enforcement At Bellflower/Willow, 7th/Redondo and Cherry/Artesia

Nighttime spotlights bring moved to side of overhang for aesthetic reasons, LBPD says

ELB Foto Red Cam 3(February 26, 2002) -- has learned that LBPD has approved round the clock operations at all of LB's current Photo Red Cam enforced intersections -- Bellflower/Willow (pictured), 7th/Redondo and Cherry/Artesia.

LBPD withheld nighttime enforcement until it received final field test data demonstrating to LBPD's satisfaction that the system's nighttime spotlights do not run afoul of a CA Vehicle Code statute (details below) protecting drivers from interfering light above certain levels.

LBPD Det. Doug Robbins told the field test data show the system's spotlights are clearly within the standards provided by the state law. The spotlights are 750 watts each but operated at 30% brightness.

The spotlights are normally off (except for low level standby current) and only switch on when a red light runner triggers the system, Det. Robbins said.

Daytime enforcement has been ongoing for several months at Bellflower/Willow and 7th/Redondo. A new Photo Red Cam at Cherry/Aretesia is cleared to begin round the clock enforcement immediately.

The system captures digital video of drivers running red lights, who are then mailed a ticket carrying a hefty $271 fine. Violations could also add a nasty DMV point to one's driving record, potentially impacting insurance costs. The DMV point may be removed for eligible drivers with traffic school, but the fine cannot be removed.

Foto Red Cam 4Meanwhile, the Bellflower/Willow spotlights have been moved to the side of the overhanging apparatus. (In photo, two spotlights are visible at right side of overhang: video camera is at left end). Det. Robbins said the change was for aesthetic reasons and would also be done at 7th/Redondo and Cherry/Artesia. It will not impair the system's ability to illuminate nighttime red light runners, Det. Robbins said.

Det. Robbins offered a tip for drivers fearful of travelling through the photo enforced intersections.

"Just slow down and make sure you're going below the speed limit. You really should be able to stop if you're not over the speed limit. Seriously, just slow down."

Det. Robbins noted that the Bellflower/Willow intersection had LB's highest number of accidents in 1998. Data show side impact intersection collisions (which can result from running a red light) can be among the most deadly.

Det. Robbins invited anyone receiving a "photo red cam" citation to call him and make an appointment if they wished to view the actual video -- yes, real in motion video -- of the event involving them as it occurred. (Det. Robbins can be reached at 570-6554.)

CA Vehicle Code section 21466.5 provides in pertinent part:

No person shall place or maintain or display, upon or in view of any highway, any light of any color of such brilliance as to impair the vision of drivers upon the highway. A light source shall be considered vision impairing when its brilliance exceeds the values listed below.

The brightness reading of an objectionable light source shall be measured with a 11/2-degree photoelectric brightness meter placed at the driver's point of view. The maximum measured brightness of the light source within 10 degrees from the driver's normal line of sight shall not be more than 1,000 times the minimum measured brightness in the driver's field of view, except that when the minimum measured brightness in the field of view is 10 foot-lamberts or less, the measured brightness of the light source in foot-lambert shall not exceed 500 plus 100 times the angle, in degrees, between the driver's line of sight and the light source.

The photo red cams capture digital video which is downloaded, then reviewed by an LBPD officer (Det. Robbins) who actually authorizes the citation. The tickets are mailed to the vehicle's registered owner.

By voted action, LB's City Council (Baker dissenting) authorized photo red cams in LB. Prior to the Council vote, city staff indicated City Hall could receive over $1 million per year in revenue from the fines.

The CA legislature (Sacramento) authorized cities to install photo red cams and impose the hefty fine. Revenue from the fine will be allocated between state, county and local government. LB's share of each fine amounts to roughly $41, about 15%, of the $271 citation. LB City Hall will give a percentage of the fine to the private firm that maintains the cameras. However, issuance of the citations is done by the City (through the LBPD), not by the private firm.

City Hall says the automated enforcement system is meant to "reduce the number of red light violations and collisions, to modify driver behavior, and to promote safer driving." LBPD points out that national data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows on average more than 200,000 injuries and 800 deaths result annually from running red lights.

LB's photo red system uses digital video evidence and differs in some respects from one in San Diego that has prompted legal challenges. Among other things, LB's system does not use "ground loops" for detection.

All prospective LB citations will be reviewed by a police officer before being issued and LB's system records actual video (not just still pictures), permitting assessment of what took place surrounding a prospective citation.

LBPD has previously noted that "[u]nlike other camera systems, this [LB's] system uses several full view angles of recorded video footage allowing objective review of what occurred at the intersection." Prospective violations captured on video will first be reviewed by a police officer and "if it is determined that the violation is questionable or the result of extenuating circumstances, the citation will not be issued."

LBPD also notes that at each photo red cam location, the "intersection will be clearly posted that automated enforcement is in use."

Return To Front Page

Copyright © 2002, LLC. All rights reserved.
For news advisories or advertising, contact Bill Pearl, publisher (
Third parties may cite portions as fair use if attributed to "" (print media) or "Long Beach Report dot com" (electronic media).