2/14/2009Colorado Looks to Double Speed Camera Revenue
Doubling of speed camera ticket cost expected to more than double income for Colorado municipal and state budgets.
With municipal budgets tight across the state of Colorado, members of the General Assembly are looking to offer relief. The Colorado state Senate Transportation Committee voted 4-3 on Thursday to boost the cost of a speed camera ticket from $40 to $75. The measure, Senate Bill 143, also extends the reach of photo ticketing to include nearly any road that runs through the state.
Last May the state authorized the use of freeway photo radar which allows the placement of automated ticketing machines on high-speed roads by erecting a sign that says "work zone." The bill introduced by Colorado state Senator Bob Bacon covers most of the remaining roads within the state by allowing photo ticketing on any road with a speed limit of 50 MPH or less. Combined with the higher fees, the revised program is expected to generate millions in additional revenue. The Senate committee voted to direct this money into funding accounts labeled "traffic safety." The bill must now be considered by the full Senate.
Although the legislature is targeting vehicles traveling through work zones, studies show that such laws do nothing to protect actual workers. Work zone fatalities are caused far more often by construction equipment than automobiles. A number of attempts to increase ticketing in the state have also created problems. A Fort Collins speed camera falsely accused a gardener's truck which, when new, had a top speed of just 99 MPH of blasting through a 30 MPH zone at 132 MPH. Colorado Springs police officers were caught falsifying records in order to meet a ticket quota.
The text of Senate Bill 143 is available in a 20k PDF file at the source link below.