Red Light! Green Light!

Of the 12,642,345,218 12,642,345,281 intersections in Los Angeles, a whopping 16 have those red-light cameras, purportedly responsible for a reduction in traffic collisions and the issusance of some 63,000 citations in their first four years of service.

Love ’em or hate ’em, the L.A. Times today is reporting that Councilman Dennis Zine is outing himself from the bureaucracy closet to let city citizens know that well, uh… the cameras have been off for the past four months because the contract with the company that operates the cameras was allowed to expire last June. And since our esteemed cty councilpersons are being extra-special cautious and duly diligent (read that as “taking their sweet old time because there’s other more important stuff to do like tally up last night’s arrest count brought on by the Halloween silly string ban”) in selecting a new company, Zine’s saying the cams might not be back up stopping crime and crashes until sometime in 2006.

Why the glacial drag in copping to the shut down? Zine’s all: why the hell not… what the people don’t know can’t hurt ’em.

“There’s an advantage until the public finds out they’re not doing anything,” he said.

Is he talking about the council or the cameras?

Zine continues: “It’s like parking a police car in front of a building and not having a police officer nearby. What good does that do? It’s good until people realize there’s a police car parked there and there’s on one connected to the car.”

Thanks for that analogy, Denny. Bureaucracy rocks don’t it? And in a related story the council yesterday admitted to finally abandoning its three-month-old official support for the Dodgers staging a spectacular comeback and winning the World Series last month.