No green light yet on SLO red light cameras



During a presentation at a recent local Rotary meeting, San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deb Linden floated the idea of installing red-light cameras at city intersections.

But for now, Linden said in a phone call, it's only an idea.

"It's something that we may be looking into over the next year," she said. "Nothing at all has been done on it."

Santa Maria began officially using red light cameras for traffic enforcement on June 21, after testing their systems for a month. San Francisco, San Mateo, Stockton, Santa Cruz, and Berkeley are other cities that have adopted the cameras.

Red light systems take photos and video when a vehicle enters an intersection on a red light. Typically, the images are then reviewed by a police officer, who can choose to send a citation in the mail to the driver.

State law requires that the cameras record a clear picture of the driver and their license plate. The photo is supposed to be compared to the picture on the license of the car's owner. But for those who get nabbed, the fee can be stiff: It's currently $396 per incident, plus a point on a driver's record.


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