Red-light cameras loosing popularity across the country
Legal news for attorneys. Cameras used for catching red-light runners are facing a public backlash.
Red-light cameras used to catch traffic light runners are being accused of being a government revenue generator.
West Palm Beach, FL—Red-light cameras used to catch red-light runners are quickly gaining a reputation by motorists as a revenue generator for hard-up local governments. The cameras, which are installed at intersections to take a picture of red-light offenders, were introduced 20 years ago and have since caused a heated debate over the issue, as reported by USA Today.
Last year, Maine, Mississippi, and Montana banned the red-light cameras; they now have joined other states like Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, who also outlawed the cameras. Senators in Missouri and Tennessee have also supported legislation, which would limit the cameras. The cameras are used in over 400 communities in 26 states, and the District of Columbia.
In other parts across the country:
• Chillicothe and Heath, Ohio, along with College Station, Texas have passed referendums in November that will ban the cameras.
• Eighteen lawsuits against the cameras, filed by nearly 1,000 motorists in south Florida, claim the devices are unconstitutional because they force drivers to prove their innocence, instead of having the government prove that they are guilty.
• A lawmaker in Illinois who contributed to bringing the cameras to the state, has since decided he will bring a bill this year that would dramatically limit their usage. The lawmaker stated, “since 2006, crashes have increased at half the intersections in Illinois that have cameras, stayed the same at 25% and decreased at 25%… The municipalities have put them in areas where they’re just to make revenue.”
People who support the installation of the cameras claim the devices make intersections safer. Studies conducted in Fairfax, Va., and Oxnard, Calif., by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) http://www.iihs.org/ found that camera enforcement decreased red-light running violations by nearly 40%.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for lawyers.