3/3/2016Colorado Moves To Restrict Red Light Cameras
Colorado state House passes restriction on placement of red light cameras.
Lawmakers are trying a second time to rein in the use of red light cameras in Colorado. The General Assembly last year placed bill on the governor's desk that outlawed both speed cameras and red light cameras outright, along with a separate measure that would have let voters in each city decide on the issue in a referendum. Citing the "tight budgets" of local governments, Governor John Hickenlooper (D) vetoed both bills. The state House responded on Tuesday by advancing a more modest measure that would limit the locations where red light cameras could be installed. The bill passed the lower chamber on a 33 to 31 vote.
"House Bill 16-1231 [is a] common sense improvement limiting the use of red light cameras," state Representative Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton), the bill's sponsor, explained on Twitter. "Current law allows red light cameras on all intersections with a traffic light. We need reform."
In his veto message, Hickenlooper rejected a "blanket prohibition" on cameras, even if the ultimate decision was made by the public. The governor claimed he would consider more modest restrictions on the use of automated ticketing machines.
"We encourage the General Assembly to enact legislation in 2016 that limits photo radar and red light cameras to only the following locations," Hickenlooper wrote. "(1) School zones; (2) construction and roadway work zones; and (3) areas with disproportionately high traffic... Secondly, legislation should require that fine revenue be used solely for traffic safety improvements and enforcement, rather than general operating funds or non-transportation purposes."
Lebsock intends to test whether the governor will stay true to his word by imposing exactly those restrictions on red light cameras. The bill limits red light camera placement to school zones, highway construction zones and arterial roads. It also requires money raised from cameras go only to "traffic safety improvements" or "traffic enforcement."
Red light cameras are currently used in Aurora, Boulder, Commerce City, Denver, Fort Collins, Greenwood Village, Lone Tree and Pueblo, generating $7.5 million in revenue over two years.
A copy of the bill is available in a 120k PDF file at the source link below.