Every ticket generated by red-light enforcement cameras in Union City, Calif., before last Saturday will be dismissed due to a snafu – letting thousands of motorists off the hook and costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, reports the Oakland Tribune. Police officials and city engineers discovered last week that the yellow-light duration at every one of its camera-enforced intersections was too short – in some cases by more than a second.
Since then, about 3,000 people have been photographed driving through red lights. With the city getting $136 for each conviction, dismissing every ticket means the city now will not receive more than $400,000 that would have gone into its general fund. The state Department of Transportation sets the minimum time that a signal must remain yellow before turning red, based on the road’s speed limit. For a road with a speed limit of 45 mph, the light must be yellow for at least 4.3 seconds. An engineer who was ticketed did some research and discovered that the lights were yellow for far less than the state-mandated time.