3/9/2016Colorado Town May Vote To Outlaw Speed Cameras
Voters in Sheridan, Colorado turn in petition demanding vote to ban photo radar.
Sheridan, Colorado may soon add itself to the growing list of cities where residents have banned automated ticketing machines. Last week the group Ban It Sheridan turned in enough signatures to place the issue on the next ballot in the Denver suburb, but a vote is not a certainty yet.
After receiving a similar petition last year, the city cited a technicality and refused to place the issue on the ballot. Paul Houston, the initiative sponsor, took the staples out of the petitions while he was at OfficeMax so that he could copy them.
"My reaction was disbelief," Houston told TheNewspaper. "I realize it was a rookie mistake, and there is a statute that says you cannot remove the binding of any petition... We're not going to make that mistake again."
Having taken this lesson to heart, Houston and his fellow activists got back out and circulated a new petition -- with proper stapling. The signatures were turned in on Friday and now await certification. The group remains confident that it will prevail.
"The response has been amazing -- even beyond my expectations," Houston said.
After going block-by-block and door-to-door, the group's tally sheets show three out of every four responses from registered voters were positive. The support cut across socioeconomic and political lines. Houston first knew the issue was likely to be a winner when he had the "Honk! Ban Photo Radar" sign professionally printed last year.
"I got out on the streets and the horns just started going," Houston explained. "It was so loud -- eighteen wheelers went by with their airhorns. The ruckus was so great that the nearby apartment building complained. So I thought, maybe we're on to something and it was time to start a voter petition."
The city clerk has until the end of the month to verify the signatures on the petition. Once certified, it would then be up to the city council either to immediately enact the ban measure or to put the question on the ballot.
Since 1991, there have been a total of 37 election contests in Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Washington. Cameras only survived in three of those contests (view list).
The City of Sheridan Colorado or agent thereof shall not issue a traffic citation based on evidence gathered as a result of an automated surveillance camera vehicle identification system used on any highway, road, or street within its legal boundaries. As used in this ordinance, 'automated surveillance vehicle identification system' means a system whereby a machine is used to automatically detect a violation of a traffic regulation and simultaneously record a photograph of the vehicle, the operator of the vehicle, or the license plate of the vehicle. If the voters approve the ballot question, the City of Sheridan shall discontinue its use of automated surveillance camera identification systems within two months following the date of certification of the vote on the ballot question.