LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Bernard Parks said they want to keep the city’s controversial red light traffic camera program alive for another year in order to assess its public safety value and consider how to make it work financially.

The councilmembers introduced a motion asking the Police Commission to keep the program’s operator, American Traffic Solutions, on a month-to-month contract for up to one year.

The commission voted last week to end the program, citing concerns that it is running a deficit, in part because state law does not mandate that judges actively enforce traffic tickets generated by the cameras.

“What we really have here is a voluntary citation program, and it’s voluntary because there are no teeth in it. There’s no enforcement mechanism,” commission vice president Alan Skobin said last week. “So it relies, in large part, on the goodwill of people who receive these citations in the mail.”

In its 5-0 vote, the Police Commission also questioned the program’s safety value.

But Cardenas said a recent LAPD study found that collisions at the 32 city intersections with cameras decreased by 64 percent from 2004 and 2009.

He called for the Police Department to study the public safety risk of turning the cameras off. The motion also asks the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst to jointly look at the holes in the program’s fee structure and to meet with the Los Angeles Superior Court regarding refusal to impose penalties for red light camera violations.

Police Commission executive director Richard Tefank said he expects to discuss the issue in council on Friday. He said it was premature to discuss what the commissioners would have to hear in order to change the vote.

“There are a variety of things that have to be vetted with the council,” Tefrank said, including how it defines a cost-neutral program.

The Police Commission has until July 31, when the program is set to expire, to extend photo red light program.