12/29/2005The Year in Photo Enforcement Legislation
A review of state legislation reveals a trend against allowing the operation of red light cameras and photo radar.
Photo enforcement was a hot topic in several state legislatures throughout 2005. One state voted to allow camera tickets and another threw out an existing system. Another seven states turned aside serious lobbying efforts by localities and the insurance industry seeking to sanction the lucrative camera programs. Insurance companies profit from photo tickets in Arizona, California, Illinois and other jurisdictions that attach points to camera citations.
In July, Virginia's legislature effectively banned cameras by refusing to reauthorize a 1995 law that had allowed the devices to operate. In May, attempts to ban cameras in Arizona and Texas failed despite the support of a majority of legislators. By contrast, Rhode Island enacted legislation authorizing a new red light camera program in July.
Similar attempts to authorize red light cameras died in Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The Indiana Senate defeated speed cameras and red light cameras with a decisive 18-76 vote in April.
Several bills introduced in 2005 will carry over into the 2006 session, including a measure effectively banning cameras in Ohio that passed the state House with an overwhelming vote in May.