MENLO PARK (KPIX 5) — The City of Menlo Park is putting the brakes on its red light cameras, which take your picture if you run a red light. They were supposed to make the streets safer, but that wasn’t always the case.
“For me, there wasn’t enough data to continue supporting the program as it is,” said Mayor Pro Tem Cecelia Tayor, who wasn’t convinced the camera program was worth saving.
“More than 80 percent of the tickets were given to people outside of Menlo Park, so it didn’t actually provide any additional safety from my perspective.”
Menlo Park installed red light cameras at five intersections in the city beginning in 2013. Safety was a key reason.
Although T-bone collisions showed a slight decrease, the data shows rear end collisions increased, possibly because drivers tried to stop quickly to avoid a ticket.
“You see the yellow and you just try to make it through the intersection,” said Milo Anderson. Anderson said he was recently ticketed by a red light camera and had to pay a $480 fine.
“It hit me pretty hard, but I got it done,” he said. The council decided to let the program sunset when the contract with the camera vendor expires at the end of the month.
”I say good riddance,” said Nancy, who lives in Menlo Park. Her main concern is the high cost of the tickets and the small portion that actually came back to the city.
”I think it’s a heavy cost and it’s actually like a speed trap. If you’re not from here, you don’t know the traffic patterns,” she said.
Menlo Park joins a growing list of cities ditching red light cameras including Redwood City, Hayward and San Rafael.