3/21/2008Georgia Senate Restricts, Maine Rejects Red Light Cameras
Georgia state Senate votes to force cities to justify red light camera programs while Maine panel votes to reject their use.
The Georgia state Senate yesterday voted in favor of a measure that adds significant restrictions to the use of red light cameras while a legislative panel in Maine ensured automated ticketing machines remained banned from that state's roads.
Although Georgia Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) would rather see the devices banned outright, his measure represents the next best thing in a state that has authorized their operation for several years. If adopted by the House and signed by the governor, cities with existing camera programs would have two years to show "demonstrable evidence that there is a genuine safety need" at each of the intersections where the devices are installed. Traffic engineering studies would also be performed at each location to determine whether alternatives to the cameras might improve safety. The state Department of Transportation serves as the final judge by issuing operational permits.
All new requests for camera installations in the state would face the same justifications in order to obtain a permit from the state. Loudermilk's bill gives the department has the right to inspect and audit any photo enforcement program and can enforce compliance by revoking the permit to operate cameras if a city refuses to cooperate.
The bill also requires a second red light camera ticket notice to be sent by certified mail to ensure that the vehicle owner actually receives the notice before being judged guilty. Current law only requires one notice sent by regular mail.
In Maine, the state legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Transportation yesterday voted to kill a proposal by state Representative Donald Pilon (D-Saco) that would have allowed cameras to operate throughout the state. No committee member voted in favor of the proposal.
The full text of the Georgia bill is available in an 80k PDF file at the source link below.