By Brian Park
The red-light cameras at two San Juan Capistrano intersections are no more.
The city released a statement Thursday announcing the removal of the cameras at the Del Obispo/Ortega Highway and Del Obispo/Camino Capistrano intersections.
In May, the City Council voted unanimously to do away with the cameras because of a projected loss in revenue from red-light camera citations. The city opted not to renew its $232,800 contract with American Traffic Solutions to operate four red-light cameras at the two intersections.
The Red Light Photo Enforcement program began in 2000 to enhance safety. Traffic collisions declined at the Ortega Highway and Camino Capistrano intersections by 44.4 percent and 80.7 percent, respectively, the city’s Chief of Police Services Lt. John Meyer told the council in May.
However, since the program has proven to be successful, the number of citations, along with the revenue generated from such citations, has also dropped. Then-City Attorney Omar Sandoval told the council that red-light camera violations have also been challenged more successfully in court.
Citations have not been issued since September 29, but the city extended its agreement until December to process citations already in the system.
“The city hopes that with safer intersections and the removal of the cameras, residents and visitors alike will find the city more inviting,” Mayor Larry Kramer said in a statement.