5/3/2016Colorado General Assembly Passes Photo Ticketing Ban Again
Colorado lawmakers send a photo ticketing ban to a governor who has vowed to veto the legislation.
Colorado's General Assembly is once again daring Governor John Hickenlooper (D) to use his veto pen to save red light cameras and speed cameras. On Friday, the state House on a 38 to 27 vote approved a largely symbolic measure that would outlaw automated ticketing machines. The bill cleared the state Senate on a 23 to 12 vote.
"A governmental entity or agent thereof shall not issue a traffic citation pursuant to this article based on evidence gathered as a result of an automated vehicle identification system used on any highways, roads, or streets," House Bill 16-1231 states.
The legislation's only exception allows toll road cameras to continue operating. Under existing law, private companies may enter into contracts with cities to issue $75 red light camera tickets and $40 photo radar citations in return for a cut of the profit. The programs are significant moneymakers for local government. The cities of Aurora, Boulder, Commerce City, Denver, Fort Collins, Greenwood Village, Lone Tree, Pueblo and Sheridan split $13,682,840 in revenue over the past two years.
The municipal concern over the impact of a potential camera ban on local budgets was heard loud and clear last year by Hickenlooper, the former mayor of Denver, who vetoed an identical bill in the previous session. He explained his action with a letter outlining a series of cosmetic reforms to the use of cameras that he suggested would be worth signing into law.
In March, state Representative Steve Lebsock (D-Thornton), a photo radar opponent, advanced a much more limited bill that would only have limited the placement of red light cameras to school zones, highway construction zones and "arterial roads" tracking the exact wording of the governor's veto message. The state Senate, however, insisted on a comprehensive ban. Lebsock's bill was amended to include no exceptions.
For the past seven months, American Traffic Solutions has paid mega-lobbyist Larry G. Hudson Jr $30,000 to ensure the ban never takes effect. Unless Hickenlooper changes his mind, the bill cannot become law as photo radar opponents lack the two-thirds majority required in the state House to override a veto.
A copy of the final bill is available in a 130k PDF file a the source link below.