Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/31/2012 04:10:39 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The city’s red-light cameras have gone black, one more effect of the city’s bankruptcy.

City officials say they couldn’t afford to keep making payments to Scottsdale, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions without even steeper cutbacks than the ones already made in what they call a bare-bones budget passed as the city works through bankruptcy court.

And so the company pulled out the cameras, which photographed vehicles at major intersections and mailed tickets to anyone running a red light.

That’s just fine with some City Council members.

A council majority voted to end the contract in 2011, but changed its mind when American Traffic Solutions said ending the contract before July 2014 would cost $1.9 million, or about $1.8 million more than they had previously been told.

Operating the system for fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14 was projected to cost $835,740 in an earlier report by the city’s Police Department, which runs the program.

“This councilman is happy to see them leave,” said Councilman Chas Kelley, who opposed the original contract. “They were a deterrent to commerce … and 60 percent of the tickets were for right-hand turns (on a red light), which you and I can do in any other city but we used to nickel-and-dime students and residents.”

Many local cities have attempted to back out of contracts with red-light camera companies after failing to make money from them or hearing complaints from

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