2/6/2005Virginia Legislature Set to Reject Red Light Cameras
The Virginia legislature is poised to ban red light camera programs in the state.
The committee in the Virginia House of Delegates with jurisdiction over the red light camera issue has overwhelmingly rejected a bill that would allow the devices to continue operating. Seven cities currently operate camera programs in the state, but the law allowing them to operate expires July 1. The committee vote was 15-6.
Although legislation that would extend camera operations has passed the state senate, such bills have never fared well in the lower chamber. With the firm opposition of Majority Leader Morgan Griffith and the committee of jurisdiction, extension of the sunset appears unlikely.
This would mean removal of all cameras currently operating in the state, serving a blow to proponents who have cited Virginia as a model for other state's programs, including the Virginia-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one of the most vocal camera supporters.
Other states such as Hawaii and Alaska have tried camera enforcement only to vote later to ban the devices. The Texas legislature is currently considering a ban on camera enforcement.
House Republican Leader Morgan Griffith of Salem, Virginia says government shouldn't be able to take your money without establishing you've done something wrong. Griffith says it's difficult to prove fault without establishing who was driving.