Results mixed for red-light cameras in four US states
The use of automated cameras to ticket drivers is getting a mixed reception at statehouses around the country.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has again vetoed an effort to ban the use of red-light cameras throughout the state.
State law now permits the use of red-light and speed cameras in all communities. To date, programs are in place in cities that include Denver, Boulder, Commerce City, Pueblo, Fort Collins and Aurora.
The governor vetoed two pieces of legislation one year ago to restrict the use of red-light and speed cameras.
Instead, Hickenlooper told state lawmakers he would support efforts to limit the use of cameras to school zones, highway work zones, and areas with high accident rates. The Democratic governor also called for fine revenue to be earmarked solely for traffic safety improvements and enforcement.
The 2016 version, HB1231, cleared the statehouse after removing a provision to permit camera programs to continue to be used in work zones and school zones. Instead, the bill called for a blanket ban on all red-light camera programs. The use of speed cameras was not covered.
Hickenlooper said he issued the veto because the bill was too broad.
“(HB1231) implements no such reasonable limitations,” Hickenlooper said in the letter. “The bill enacts a state-imposed blanket ban of red-light cameras for all municipalities, denying communities the right to decide for themselves based on their own traffic safety needs.”
In Pennsylvania, a bill moving through the Senate would grow and extend the state’s red-light camera program.
The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance a bill that would delay plans to rid the state of ticket cameras.
Automated ticketing devices are used in the city of Philadelphia and authorized for use in certain other municipalities. Without legislative action to save them, the devices are set to be discontinued next year.
The bill from Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Rafferty, R-Montgomery, would extend the sunset provision for red-light cameras to 2027. SB1267 awaits further consideration in the Senate.
Two new laws in Alabama cover automated ticketing programs.
Eight communities that include Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Midfield and Selma use red-light cameras. The cities of Montgomery and Midfield also employ speed cameras.
One new law forbids police in the city of Montgomery to deploy traffic cameras in unmanned police cars.
City officials argued the program that doles out $60 citations reduces reckless driving and frees up police to serve the public elsewhere.
Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery, said law enforcement in the city should be able to continue to function without the five-year-old program.
A separate new law expands the ticketing program into one Birmingham-area municipality.
SB401 authorizes the city of Bessemer to post cameras to monitor drivers running red lights, stop signs and speeding.
Violators found running red lights or failing to stop at stop signs could receive citations up to $110. Speeding fines could reach $160.
A new law in Louisiana is intended to give drivers a heads-up about red-light cameras.
The cameras are used in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans.
Effective Aug. 1, municipalities are required to post signage within 500 feet of each approaching camera. SB357 bars parishes in violation of the rule from collecting fines from red-light runners. – See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=31392#.V22UFpMrL5Y