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Perlmutter Introduces Legislation to Ban Red-Light and Radar Speeding Cameras
Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) introduced the “Prohibiting Automated Traffic Enforcement Act of 2015” to prohibit states, cities or other local governmental entities from utilizing automated red-light and radar speeding cameras for traffic enforcement purposes. The legislation includes an exception in school zones and work-construction zones. Automated traffic enforcement cameras have not sufficiently proven to reduce traffic safety and are primarily being used to generate revenue for municipalities to fill budget gaps.
"Police officers are the only sure way to apprehend seriously impaired, reckless or other dangerous drivers," said Rep. Perlmutter. "All of us are concerned with reducing accidents and reckless driving but it is not evident photo radar cameras improve highway safety, reduce accidents or improve traffic flow."
States across the country are implementing laws to curb or ban the use of automated traffic enforcement including Mississippi, New Jersey, and Maine among others. Several other states, including Colorado, are currently debating state legislation to curb their use.
“Automated traffic technology should be used for improving public safety purposes rather than local governments relying on these devices to generate revenue. My constituents tell me these cameras are excessive and seem to do little to improve public safety,” continued Perlmutter.
In August 2013, the University of Tennessee produced a study, titled “Some Measures for Sustaining Red Light Camera Programs and Their Negative Impacts”, looking at data from existing research on traffic at intersections in counties and states. The study found there is no consensus on whether cameras actually increase traffic safety, citing “dual, conflicting purposes” in the system. Additionally, Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher noted in recent testimony before the State Affairs Committee at the Colorado State Legislature, the City of Denver “cannot demonstrate that either program has had a tangible impact on improving public safety.”