RED LIGHT CAMERAS
If you haven't already done so, please
read the Los Alamitos section on the
Camera Towns page.
City of Los Alamitos
Some of Los Alamitos' tickets can
possibly be ignored. If your "ticket" does not
have the Superior Court's name and address on it, it is
what I call a "Snitch Ticket." For more details,
see the Snitch Ticket section on the Your Ticket page.
If you have a ticket from Los Alamitos - even one you already have paid - be sure to read Docs Set # 6 below, as the City may need to refund a number of tickets issued after Aug. 1, 2015.
In 2020, Vote No on Donald Wagner
Do you live in Orange County, in or near Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, El Toro, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna, Lake Forest, Newport Beach, Orange, Tustin, or Villa Park? Was Donald Wagner your State assemblymember or is he now your county supervisor?
In 2014 Wagner was the sponsor of Assembly Bill 2487 which would have taken away your right to a Trial de Novo.
In early 2015, while he still was in the Assembly, Wagner ran to jump over to the State Senate, but lost to John Moorlach. Early the next year he started another Senate run against fellow Republican Moorlach, but backed down after encountering heavy criticism from their Party followed by the Party's endorsement of his opponent. Later in 2016, when he was just months away from being termed-out of the Assembly, he ran for mayor of the City of Irvine, and won.
Then in a 2019 special election to replace County Supervisor Todd Spitzer (who ran for DA and was elected), Wagner ran to fill out the remainder of Spitzer's supervisorial term, and won by a narrow margin.
Wagner will be on the ballot again in 2020, running for a full four year term.
Please don't reward him with your vote.
In 2022, Vote No on Sheila Kuehl
Do you live in LA County? Was Zev
Yaroslavsky your County Supervisor? (He
represented the Third District, which includes the
central and western San Fernando Valley, Malibu, Santa
Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, the City of West
Hollywood, and part of Hollywood.)
Zev "termed out," and in the Nov. 2014 election Sheila Kuehl won the race to succeed him, by a narrow margin.
Sheila "Kuehl Cams" Kuehl, in 2007
During her career in the California
Legislature, Kuehl made three attempts to pass bills to allow
the use of automated speed enforcement (photo radar) in
As an LA County Supervisor, she has a seat on the MTA/Metro board and she will be a vote to continue and expand Metro's huge (101 cameras, so far) red light camera system.
In 2016 she voted to put an additional LA County-wide sales tax, to go to Metro, on the Nov. 2016 ballot - and it passed. (See Measure M on the Action/Legis page, for more about that tax.)
Kuehl may be up for re-election in
Be sure to read the "Countywide
Information" for OC, which is Docs Set # 6 on the Santa
Ana Documents page.
Map by OC Register, 7-6-16
Violations, Notices Printed 
New 1-4-12, updated 1-20-20
This table made by highwayrobbery.net, using official reports provided by the City under the California Public Records Act.
2005 - 2011
[ ] indicates a
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 2
Summer 2014 was the first time the City
provided bar graphs of Late Times, etcetera, for its
Bar graphs are available for more than
fifty other cities - see the list in
the expanded version of Defect # 9.
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 3
In July 2005 the City signed a contract
The city council approved a new
five-year contract with RedFlex in September 2010.
The City agreed to pay $4500 monthly
rent for each camera. With annual adjustments
for the CPI, as of early 2014 the rent was up to $4576
per camera and the City was paying the full amount,
monthly (the 2010 contract did not include a "cost
neutrality" clause - see Defect # 10 - B).
The City agreed to
pay WAY too much. In March 2014 the City of Elk
Grove, California approved a new contract which
specified the following schedule of rents for their five
Over the five years 2010 - 2015 Los Alamitos paid 59% too much (compared to the Elk Grove price schedule), $305,568 extra. To cover that extra rent, the City needed to issue an extra 3056 tickets (assuming that the City's cut of the fine money averaged $100 for each ticket issued). The 2010 contract did not contain an escape clause (Termination for Convenience), something commonly found in other cities' contracts.
The contract was
to expire in Sept. 2015, so the cameras were on the
council agenda of Aug. 24, 2015.
The staff report
recommended a two-year extension, with no decrease in
the monthly rent.
The proposed new
contract amendment added an escape clause, but the new
clause included a provision requiring the City to pay
a penalty of up to $30,000 in order to escape. The
staff report said that the $30,000 was to re-pay RedFlex
for the proposed upgrading of the software and changing
the ten-year-old cameras to "HD." (Are three
HD cameras worth $30,000 plus $223,200 in extra rent?
Should a City have to pay an extra fee or extra rent for
routine upgrades to the equipment?)
On the Saturday before the meeting
highwayrobbery.net submitted a letter
questioning the amount of the monthly rent and the
Early on the morning of the meeting
SaferStreetsLA.org submitted an accident study.
On the morning of the meeting, RedFlex
sent the City a Fact
Sheet including some accident graphs and also a
table showing that 76% of the tickets were going to
visitors. Although there was little time before
the meeting, SaferStreetsLA submitted a response
to the Fact Sheet.
On the public information table at the
meeting there was a Program
Cost/Revenue Details sheet (author not indicated)
showing that in Fiscal Year 2014-2015 the City had
ticket income of almost triple what it spent to run the
Escape Now Possible!
During the meeting a councilmember
announced that RedFlex had just agreed to drop the
$30,000 penalty from the Termination for Convenience
(escape) clause. Signed
Amendment with Revised Clause. Without that
penalty, the City will be able to cancel the contract at
any time, on 30 days notice, and walk away Scot Free.
The council approved the new contract,
unanimously, with discussion by only one councilmember,
and without a reduction in the rent.
With the $4576 rent (per camera, per month), Los Alamitos would pay triple what it should, $221,472 extra over the two years 2015 - 2017, and would need to issue an extra 2215 tickets in order to cover that extra rent (assuming that the City would get $150 from each paid ticket and that 2/3 of tickets are paid).
To see how much other cities pay, see
FAQ # 17.
The extension was originally on the July 17 agenda, but that meeting was cancelled. The new hearing date was July 31, and the vote was 4 - 1 to approve - Wilson nay.
The 2017 amendment reduced the rent
from $4576 to $3200 per camera per month, which was
still more than double the Elk Grove schedule (above)
for cameras ten or more years old, more than double what
Del Mar pays (($1578) for its three RedFlex cameras, and
1/3 more than Solana Beach pays ($2386) for its three
RedFlex cameras. Assuming that by hard bargaining
Los Alamitos could have achieved a target rent of
$2400, the City's consent to pay $3200 will cost
$115,200 extra over the four years and the City will
need to issue an extra 1152 tickets in order to cover
that extra rent.
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 4
There is a little program info on the
police department's website.
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 5
Mickey Mouse Tickets - Mostly Left Turns
report showed that in 2016, 66% of the City's
tickets were for left turns.
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 6
Possible Mass Refund in 2016
Los Alamitos may need to refund an estimated 1000 tickets issued between Aug. 1, 2015 and mid-June 2016, as it appears the City missed the deadline to set longer yellows at one of its camera enforced intersections.
Background: A new statewide rule effective Aug. 1, 2015 changed the method for calculating minimum yellow times. The former rule used the posted speed limit to look up the applicable minimum yellow in the lookup table (see Defect # 2). That table requires a yellow at least 3.9 seconds long for a speed of 40, 4.3 when it is 45, 4.7 when it is 50, and 5.0 when it is 55. The new rule says that the minimum yellow shall be determined by rounding the 85th Percentile Speed of traffic (found in a city's current radar speed survey of the street) up to the next 5 mph increment, and then using that number to look up the applicable minimum yellow in the same lookup table.
Los Alamitos' 2013 radar speed survey for Katella Avenue just east of Bloomfield reveals an 85th Percentile Speed of 40. (The survey actually shows 39.9, but 85th Percentile Speeds are to be reported as whole integers.)
Under the new rule, an 85th Percentile Speed of 40 requires a yellow of at least 3.9 seconds. The City's 2006 traffic signal timing report shows that the yellow at Katella/Bloomfield was set at 4.0 seconds, which would be just long enough except that a detailed examination of page 3 of the 2013 radar speed survey shows that the 85th Percentile Speed for just the westbound cars - those approaching the camera at Bloomfield and monitored by it - is 41 which, after the rounding up required by the new rule, calls for a yellow of at least 4.3 seconds. (A footnote in the City's 2016 traffic signal timing report says: "If opposing approaches are different, use the higher value for both directions.")
On June 29, 2016 the court dismissed 19 cases because of the City's too-short yellow. (For details about the case decided on June 29, see the Jonathan B. case in highwayrobbery.net's Library of cases.) Will the City voluntarily dismiss and/or refund all of the (est.) 1000 Katella/Bloomfield tickets it issued after Aug. 1, 2015? Or just some, or none? In an OC Register Article published July 6 (archived copy) the Los Alamitos city attorney was quoted as saying, “I imagine they’ll be offering to dismiss those.”
Further news coverage:
Nationwide Motoring Blog, 7-7-16
OC Register Editorial, 7-14-16 (archived copy)
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 7
We received this 2017 document
in which an outside consultant examined the City's
Los Alamitos Docs Set # 8
There may be some more Los Alamitos information posted in the next few weeks. Mark your calendar to remind you to come back here and look!