Voters in three Washington state cities, Bellingham, Monroe and Longview, voted to ban red-light cameras in elections yesterday.
According to The Seattle Times”Voters put a stop sign on red-light camera use“, 65% of the voters in Monroe and 60% of the voters in Longview voted to discontinue the use of red light cameras in their cities. Voters in Bellingham voted 65% against starting a red light camera system.
Last week in Redmond, the city council voted to discontinue red light cameras in that city.
It’s interesting to note that voters in Longview, ok’d continuing traffic cameras that catch speeders in school zones.
Washington state is not the only state in which red light camera bans have been put forth to the voters. In Ashtabula, Ohio, 60% of the voters voted for an addition to the city charter stating the city “shall not use any traffic law photo-monitoring device” unless a police officer is also there to write the citation.
Red light cameras have been controversial for sure. One study cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that red light cameras change driver behavior not only at the intersections where they are installed but throughout a city. Opponents say they actually cause accidents.
Why the voter backlash against red light cameras? The crux of the arguments against the cameras seem to be that:
- Cities are using the cameras as a revenue-generating device.
- People feel that since citations are sent to the registered driver, sometimes weeks or months after the fact, the car owner is stuck paying the ticket because he or she cannot always remember who was driving the car at the time the ticket was issued.
- Many tickets are “technical” and issue citations for motorists won’t don’t stop long enough or not in the right position.
- Motorists are issued school zone tickets even when children are not present.
- The cameras can be a distraction to drivers.
The red light camera issues is a contentious one and with a strong movement opposed them, you’ll probably be voting on them in your city before too long.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.
Drivers give red light cameras a nod
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