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Traffic cameras turning Calif. city into "red light district," even police chief complains

Traffic cameras such as this one in Marysville, Calif. are bringing in big bucks from red-light runners, and not even the police chief is happy about it. CBS Sacramento

(CBS) MARYSVILLE, Calif. - If you get caught on camera going through a red light in the city of Marysville, Calif., north of Sacramento, it'll set you back $478.

Even the police chief thinks that's too much.

It's because of Marysville's red light cameras. The fine is set by the state, CBS Sacramento reports.

Marysville Police Chief Wally Fullerton blames what he calls "fiscal cannibalism" for the high cost.

Essentially, Fullerton recently reported to Marysville council members the state and county are feeding off the city.

"Out of a $478 dollar red light ticket, the state and Yuba County get two-thirds of the money, while Marysville gets only $152," the report stated.

"It's obviously frustrating," said Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti.

Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti, who represents Marysville, takes issue with the idea that the county is taking more than it should from a struggling city.

"I really don't think that's the story," Nicoletti told C BS Sacramento. He says the fine system is set by the state and all the county's portion goes directly to the courts.

Nicoletti says the system of "red light cameras" is almost doing too good a job catching violators.

"The system that's built, designed for a slower volume, is now in an overwhelmed state," said Nicoletti.

Regardless, you're hereby advised to run any red lights in Marysville.

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