Downtown Los Angeles header image
Los Angeles Police Department Badge


News Release

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Media Relations

Activation of New Photo Red Light Equipment in Central Bureau

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department today announced the reactivation of a Photo Red Light (PRL) system at the intersection of South Soto Street and East Olympic Boulevard, in Operations-Central Bureau. The new Photo Red Light (PRL), the fifth of its kind in the city, is a monitoring system which records the license plates of vehicles running red lights. In the near future, 27 additional locations will be outfitted with comparable machinery, totaling 32 intersections Citywide.

In June 2005, after many years of contending with poor quality photographs from the previous PRL vendor, the City declined to renew the provider's contract. In November 2005, the City Council approved a new vendor, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc. The new vendor's technology delivers significant improvements over former systems. After a traffic signal has changed to red, Nestor's dual-digital video cameras record violators approaching and traveling through an intersection. The vehicle license plate is photographed from both the front and rear.

With installation of the new system's rear-facing cameras, officers anticipate a marked increase in the likelihood of convictions. At the moment the light turns red, the new cameras record the precise position of a violator's vehicle in relation to the intersection signal light.

The digital video systems record 30 still frames-per-second for each violation, providing a greater opportunity to capture a clear photograph of the driver and vehicle.

The new systems also allow officers to monitor and adjust equipment remotely via satellite. Live photographs of an intersection can be obtained during a breaking emergency.

The LAPD and Los Angeles Department of Transportation will monitor the new systems and analyze results to determine deployment locations for the 27 systems yet to be installed.

A sergeant and four officers will be assigned full time to administer the program. They will use a laptop computer in court to present digital evidence during disputed cases.

Media inquiries regarding this system may be referred to Sergeant Matthew MacWillie, Traffic Coordination Section, at 213-847-1705.

A list of the current and former Photo Red Light intersections is available from Media Relations Section.