East LA residents report concerns about street light cameras


Anthony Aguilar

Street light camera on 3rd street in East Los Angeles. Photo by Anthony Aguilar

Is something awry with the red light cameras in East Los Angeles?

That’s a question in the mind of a number of residents who say they have been burned recently by what they say are mistaken tickets at certain intersections.

They report the street light cameras on 3rd Street and South Mednik Avenue and 3rd Street and South Ford Boulevard appear to not be working correctly.

Residents report having experienced street light cameras flashing when they say they didn’t do anything wrong and at times, when they did something that deserved a ticket, the cameras didn’t flash or the residents didn’t get any type of warning afterward.

East LA resident and stand up comedian Ronan Lemus believes that the street light cameras don’t work correctly because he said the street camera flashed while he was driving following the rules.

“I got upset because I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. “So I began to think that I would fight the ticket but as weeks passed by, nothing happened. I haven’t received a letter about it or nothing.”

Lemus said that one day the cameras just kept flashing even when a Metro Gold Line train was passing by.

“The Metro was passing by and when that happens, everyone stops,” he said. “What I remember was only the Metro and two or three cars waiting, but as the train had the right to continue, the street lights began to flash. I was confused.”

Lemus said he has been seeing this happen for some time now.

“I used to go to East Los Angeles College in 2018 and I would have to take Mednik Avenue daily to school. I would see different situations happen that were questionable,” he said. “I remember because it’s not everyday where you see a bright light flash upon your eyes and look around like what’s going on?”

East L.A. resident and Cal State Northridge student Kenneth Carlos said he experienced a similar situation while commuting from his neighborhood to school in fall 2021.

“I was heading home one day and I was at a red light waiting and I saw a car doing a u-turn in an intersection that said you were not able to make a u-turn,” Carlos said. “I was waiting for the lights to flash but nothing happened.”

Carlos noticed how inconsistent the street light camera system is and he questioned the point of even having them.

Carlos also raised concern over what the cameras are even for.

“I am not sure what the specific functions these cameras are meant to be doing either,” he said. “I don’t know if they are meant more for speeding, red lights, or is it just catching people on the act of not following the rules of driving?”

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department were both contacted but no comment was provided by UT Community News’ print deadline. An online version of the story will be updated if a comment is provided.

Community News produces stories about under-covered neighborhoods and small cities on the Eastside and South Los Angeles. Please email feedback, corrections and story tips to [email protected].