City of Encinitas to Unplug Red Light Camera System

The city of Encinitas plans to take down cameras used to collect evidence of vehicles running red lights at two major intersections.

The Encinitas City Council voted 3-2 on May 6 not to renew a contract with camera provider Redflex, ending a program that has operated for about 15 years.

The contract is scheduled to expire Wednesday.

Encinitas has cameras at two intersections on El Camino Real, which were installed in 2004 and 2005.

Councilman Joe Mosca, who voted to end the program, said Encinitas should have taken down the cameras long ago when it became evident there was limited accident-prevention benefit.

“Nothing has changed, and hundreds of people are still getting these ridiculous fines,” Mosca said, referring to the total $490 cost of a ticket.

Instead of ticketing people, the city should increase the yellow-light period on traffic lights and make other intersection changes, Mosca said

Councilman Tony Kranz disagreed and voted in favor of retaining the program. Increasing the length of the yellow lights will not end the behavior of people trying to hurry through and beat red lights, he said.

The city pays $10,200 per month for the Redflex camera contract, as well as expenses associated with issuing tickets.

The annual break-even revenue point is $208,824 and the city has achieved that and sometimes far exceeded the figure since 2014, a city staff report said.

Two other North County cities, Del Mar and Solana Beach, use cameras from Redflex at two of their intersections.

Every detection is reviewed by Redflex to validate the incident before it is sent to the Sheriff’s Department for review, Encinitas said.

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