SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office is closely monitoring a corruption scandal involving Redflex Traffic Systems, which is one of the country's largest red light camera vendors, and also operates 25 cameras in the county.
Chicago's mayor just dumped the city's contract with Redflex after a company sponsored investigation found two of its executives had given lavish gifts to a city official and covered it up.
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department manages the city and county's red-light camera program. It reached out to Redflex in light of the scandal.
"They, to their credit, provided a timely response," Sgt. Jason Ramos explained. "There are certain limitations to what they could disclose and we understand that because they have an internal investigation going on."
Outspoken critics of red-light cameras are not surprised. Violations cost nearly $500. One state senator has long argued that red-light cameras are all about making green.
"They created a deal where it was incentivized so the more tickets they wrote, the more money they made," State Senator Jerry Hill, from San Mateo, said. "And when there's a lot of money attached to it, you also start seeing some bad actors and I think Redflex got caught."
Andrew Bates said he wasn't driving unsafely, yet still got a ticket in the mail.
"Who wants Big Brother up in the sky watching your every move?" Bates questioned.
"They shouldn't have this," Lisa Hoffman added. "This is a trap."
Critics are also now calling for independent audits or reviews of Redflex and other red light camera vendors. Ramos said it's too early to tell whether there will be any fallout.
"At this point, we're going to monitor it obviously," Ramos said. "But there is nothing that would cause us to discontinue our relationship with their company for any reason."