Leslie Belfor, publisher of the Culver City News.

Leslie Belfor, publisher of the Culver City News.

I was recently blessed with the knowledge that a chunk of my hard-earned money would be going to support Culver City. Now, I don’t mind supporting Culver City per se … I love Culver City … but I would have much preferred to buy some good stuff at local shops or some fabulous food at local restaurants and spread that expenditure out over a few months rather than get a $500+ camera ticket at the intersection of Beethoven Street and Washington Boulevard!

That isn’t even a busy intersection. I think the only reason a camera is there is to make money … not to control traffic. Who wants a ticket of any amount, right? Well … right … but … $500+ for running the tail end of a yellow light at a tiny intersection which rarely has cross traffic anyway?

I’m not saying I’m innocent or that I didn’t deserve to get a ticket. I obviously did. I saw the photo … and the video. I was guilty! But, come on … was I more than $500 guilty? If I had been caught by an actual officer, my ticket would have been a fraction of that amount. I don’t make a lot of money and that month I incurred a $700-auto repair bill. Throw in the $500 ticket and another $135 for traffic school … I was in a bad position when it came to paying my rent.

Robert Zirgulis pretty much based his City Council campaign on getting rid of the unreasonable, expensive and unfair Culver City camera tickets. Although he didn’t win, I’m with him on this point.

Am I more aware of that intersection at Beethoven and Washington? Heck yes! It scares me to death every time I drive through it. Is the idea to have people scared to death while driving? Or is it to deter them from making the same mistake again? I could be deterred for $50 … big deterrence would be $150. But $500 = scared to death.

I say, charge me more for parking in Culver City and give me a break with the camera tickets. Does anyone agree with me? … I bet you’ll agree when you get your Culver City camera ticket!

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16 comments until now

  1. George Laase

    Welcome to Culver City, Ms Belfor. Now pay up!!!

  2. Cameras are the new hype!

  3. That’s too much money but that’s how they get ya

  4. Next time, say cheese!!

  5. That kind of money for a ticket seems EXTREMELY excessive! I think that all the city is going to do with tickets that high is create a group of people with outstanding traffic violations because they can’t pay them!

  6. Leslie,
    I always err on the side of caution at that particular intersection, because I know the camera is there! So I guess the purpose of the camera works. Although $500 is literally highway robbery!

  7. Angelina B.

    That highway robbery. Literally…

  8. My fiance and I were arguing about this! Now I know that I was right. lol! Thanks for making me sure!

  9. Peter Jennings

    The best defense is information. Learn the location of all red light cameras in the city. Use:

    http://trapster.com

    If want to contest a citation refer to:

    http://www.highwayrobbery.net

  10. Peter,

    WOW! That’s a lot of good information. Thank you very much for those links.

  11. IMissLiberty

    I usually speed up going through those intersections, and all intersections when the light turns amber, just in case there’s a camera.

    Personally, it would make more sense to send the photos to my insurance company and let the insurance companies decide how many they will tolerate before they raise my rates. That way consumers would have a choice of policies and prices, and be rewarded by lower rates if they’re more careful.

    Every single intersection is full of decisions made on the fly. It is unreasonable to be punished for what is statistically unavoidable. Tickets should be for negligence, only.

  12. I’m all for ticketing for running red lights; in fact, I have no problem with cameras because this practice has become rampant! Over the years, I have many friends who have been hit by people who ran red lights!

    However… the fine is most certainly excessive (obscene, in fact) and I don’t know how to change that.

    By the way, I’m not sure why traffic school is costing you $135! Just go for the cheapest one, pay the extra $$ to the court for doing it, and it shouldn’t be nearly that much.

    Sigh. Amazing how these things happen when you can least afford them. It really is CRIMINAL how they get away with such excessive fines. Very unfair.

    Not sure what the answer is.

    Good luck!

  13. I will never shop in Culver City again. I used to go to a gym there four times per week in Culver Center. I bought at least $300 clothes at least every week, and tons of books at the Crown, not to mention automotive parts galore to run my two taxis! But these red light traps are for the birds. I never go there anymore! Their loss. Not mine!

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  16. Frank Shorts

    Hello, I just checked out your blog and I loved it.

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