40 Percent Of Red-light Camera Violators Are On The Phone

More than 40 percent of drivers nailed on camera for running red lights in Santa Clarita are freeze-framed, cell phone to ear. Eight intersections in town have red light cameras. In addition to the cell-phone yakkers, 10 percent of the lawbreakers running the red are eating, drinking coffee or reading. Folks in Bakersfield, too, have been snapped by red-light cameras, gabbing away, for the four years cameras have been in place. In Lancaster, red-light cameras went into operation in September at two intersections and in their first 30 days photographed 322 red-light runners. Deputies who reviewed the photos said many of the motorists were talking on cell phones, though they didn't count how many. A California law that goes into effect in July 2008 will make it illegal for drivers to use hand-held wireless phones while driving. Speaker phones and hands-free headsets will be allowed. The fine for first-time offenders will be $20; thereafter, $50.