Flash: the red light camera dilemma expands
John Latta | February 28, 2013
Stateline reports that traffic cameras are on legislative agendas throughout the country. This year, lawmakers in 22 states have filed more than 100 bills dealing with traffic cameras, according to Anne Teigen, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “The proposals range from outright bans on either speed or red-light cameras to rules to allow speed cameras in work zones to pilot programs to test the devices.Despite the backlash, traffic cameras keep spreading. As recently as 2000, only 25 communities had red-light cameras, compared to more than 500 now. ”
Stateline is the daily news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts reports that red-light cameras are explicitly allowed in 21 states, plus the District of Columbia, but are banned in nine states. The rest of the states have not weighed in either way, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.Speed cameras, on the other hand, are banned in more states than they are permitted. A dozen states prohibit them, while only two states and the District of Columbia permit them. Seven other states allow them only in certain areas or place other restrictions on them.
The relatively even divide between the pro/con sides suggests this stalemate will be around for a while. A key part of the problem seems to be that there is no clear evidence that cannot be debated or redefined. And a that suggest we’ll be arguing about this for years to come. It will be an election issue, a budget issue and a court-clogger for years. They have the power to become one of those hot button issues that gets talked and talked for years while nothing is determined. Mayeb that;s us politically today, or maybe there are just some issues that never become clear-cut enough to get beyond this stage.
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