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5/8/2007
Nevada Rejects Red Light Cameras
A 2-1 majority in the Nevada state Senate rejects red light cameras.

Nevada legislature
The Nevada state Senate overwhelmingly rejected red light cameras by a 15-6 vote last month. Nevada is one of a growing number of jurisdictions with a specific statute banning automated photo ticketing.

In a February committee hearing, a number of top police officials from across Nevada testified that red light enforcement systems were essential for safety reasons. Some senators questioned the motivation behind the bill. Senator Joe Heck (R-Henderson) specifically asked the officials whether they had first considered safety alternatives to the cameras.

"In looking through your written handout, I note the statistics from the Philadelphia study show violations dropped after yellow lights were extended," Dr. Heck said. "Have we taken that incremental approach in Nevada?"

"I am not familiar with any efforts," Frank Adams, Executive Director of the Nevada Sheriffs' and Chiefs' Association responded.

"What is really upsetting here is that this bill, as written, is a copy of the model law the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has put out for cities and counties," Chad Dornsife, the Executive Director of the Best Highway Safety Practices Institute testified. "The goal of that model law was to eliminate pesky due process. By fining the vehicle owner, they can streamline the collection of fines. You are guilty until proven innocent."

Las Vegas Police Captain Tom Conlin disagreed with camera critics and pointed to the increase in rear-end collisions as evidence that the cameras work.

"People do not rear end each other unless they are trying to stop," Conlin testified.

Proponents of the bill promise to make another attempt to pass the legislation next session.



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