Hesperia has no plans to install red-light cameras, according to members of the City Council.


"We actually looked into that before the cameras were in Victorville, and we flatly turned it down," City Councilman Tad Honeycutt said during Tuesday's city council meeting.


Referring to a recent commentary in the Hesperia Star that addressed Victorville's red-light camera program, Honeycutt added, "We don't want to create a Big Brother state here in Hesperia."


Honeycutt's statement came after City Councilwoman Rita Vogler asked City Manager Mike Podegracz to clarify where red-light cameras are installed.


"I've been asked that question quite a bit and more recently about Bear Valley Road," Vogler said. "I try to reassure people that there are no cameras [in Hesperia] but they insist there are. For now, and hopefully for a very long time, that won't happen."


Podegracz explained that while Hesperia shares a large portion of Bear Valley Road with northern neighbor Victorville that Hesperia has not installed cameras there.


"We have no red-light cameras," Podegracz said. "All the cameras on Bear Valley Road only picture the violators that are coming from Victorville. They will not capture any violators from Hesperia into Victorville."


In a July 15 Hesperia Star commentary, Editor Peter Day suggested, "Recently released statistics of Victorville's photo enforcement campaign likely have the powers that in be in Hesperia salivating with anticipation." (For additional thoughts on the topic by Day, see "A View From Main Street" in the July 22 Star.)


Over the past three months, Victorville's red-light camera program took in more than $2.3 million with the city receiving about $1 million of that revenue. Violators are fined $391 per ticket.


Last Tuesday, the Daily Press reported a traffic and red light camera snafu caused by an emergency vehicle led to a fender-bender and an hour-and-a-half traffic snarl at the intersection of Bear Valley and Mariposa roads. The incident occurred when an emergency vehicle's Opticom sensor, which allows ambulances and other emergency vehicles to safely travel through an intersection, interfered with traffic lights.


The online version of the Daily Press story has five pages of comments from readers, many of whom complain about Victorville's red-light camera program.