Senate Bill 211 – End Red Light Cameras?

Senator Jim Lembke Introduces
His First Bills in Missouri Senate
Hopeful Senate Bill 211 Will Result in Stopping
Usage of Red Light Cameras

— State Senator Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis, introduced one of his
priority bills on the Senate floor yesterday (1/20). Senate Bill 211 would prohibit cities from using automated red light cameras to enforce traffic violations. “These ‘red light’ cameras are being used as revenue enhancers within municipalities and profit out-of-state companies,”
Sen. Lembke said. “The cameras can’t prove who’s driving the vehicle, and many people argue this method of traffic enforcement disregards a
person’s Fifth Amendment rights and forces self-incrimination. This is an example of big government and ‘Big Brother’ at its worst.”

While the starting salary for a commissioned St. Louis police officer is $37,514 a year, one red light camera costs around $56,000 a year to operate. Senator Lembke also introduced Senate Bill 210, Senate Joint Resolution 9, Senate Joint Resolution 10, and Senate Joint Resolution 11 on the Senate floor.

“I am hopeful these bills will make it onto the governor’s desk,” Sen. Lembke said. “While all of these items are important to me, SB 211 is one of my priorities this year.”

End of Story

From Guy Midkiff:
The primary argument for the devices, “safety”, simply is not accurate. In every incident where entities have proclaimed miraculous increases in accident statistics, there has been significant evidence of bias and a flawed application of analytical processes. Municipalities have sometime entered into unholy alliances with red light camera companies where greed and profit  have become the corner stone of their existence. Also, insurance companies – the usual generator of statistical “studies,” stand to add millions to their bottom lines, not to mention how much red light camera companies and municipalities can add to balance sheets and general revenue funds. Follow the money if you really want to know the truth about red light camera operations.

Your bill makes no mention of standards for camera installation and in fact there is no federal or state standard for intersection design criteria. In Washington, where we have two intersections with cameras, the yellow light length is 4.01 seconds – regardless of the approach speed. If anyone is serious about intersection safety then the first step is to match yellow light length with approach speeds.

If you look at data collected as a result of fatalities at intersections, what you will find is the real culprit for “deep red” light penetrations is caused by distraction and impairment. NO red light camera can stop this; they can only record the accident aftermath. It is also interesting to note that rear end collisions increase dramatically as local drivers are trained to brake aggressively at the first hint of a yellow light. They will do anything to avoid a $100 ticket, and when automobiles with dissimilar braking capabilities brake aggressively, the results are often disastrous.

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 3:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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