Red Light Cameras Proposal Back Before Connecticut Legislature

The cameras would catch motorists who run a red light and could generate millions of dollars in revenues for the state.

A proposal to install red light cameras in urban areas is back before the Connecticut legislature. The measure died in 2011 when the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee refused to consider it.

The latest incarnation of the proposal is HB 5554, and was submitted by Rep. Roland J. Lemar, D-New Haven. The bill states that red light cameras could be installed in any city with a population of 48,000 or more "to increase safety by reducing the number of red light violations."

The cameras are used in other states and are credited with raising millions of dollars in revenues from fines issued to motorists.

The Connecticut bill is pending before the transportation committee and is awaiting a public hearing before the committee.

The measure has the backing of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, though officials in his office say the governor wants to review the proposal, according to an NBC news report.

A similar measure Lemar submitted last year died in committee after civil libertarians and others raised privacy concerns and whether red light cameras violate individual rights.

Lori February 20, 2013 at 03:46 PM
The degree to which we are allowing government to rule every aspect of our lives is growing increasingly disturbing. The fact that they are proposing this as a revenue generator is just another way they are attempting to dupe unsuspecting citizens into believing it is all for their own good. There's a good reason the Judiciary Committee refused to consider it and that reason is no different today than it was a year ago. The government needs to stop finding ways to raise more revenue and start finding ways to do more with what they have-just like we have all been forced to do in our personal budgets.
Fred February 20, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Lori, I could not agree with your first statement any more. Unfortunately we are trained to be obedient and do what we are told by those in charge. With this, they are writing rules that we must live by at a pace so fast no one knows what they are. Like cattle everyone falls in line without questioning the wisdom of what is happening. There is no question that these cameras are revenue generators for both the government and insurance companies. After you receive one or more of the robo tickets, your insurance company will likely put you in an assigned risk pool. We are in serious trouble continuing with an uncontrolled government.
Gary Dumas February 20, 2013 at 05:15 PM
J B February 20, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Individual freedom should not equate with "free-lancing" common sense regulations for community roadways in a several-thousand-pound vehicle. It appears that the latest proposal is again for larger towns and cities in Connecticut. That's too bad: Safely watch a signaled intersection on Routes 44/167 in town sometime. Observe how many pass through red lights -- as long as police aren't around. It's past time to get serious about apprehending traffic scofflaws, distracted drivers, and other everyday dangers, as many states already understand. http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr012413.html
Brigid February 20, 2013 at 06:20 PM
This reminds me of a joke I once heard: A man receives a ticket in the mail for running a red light. Attached is a copy of his car running the red light. He sends the police a picture of a check for the ticket. The police then send him a picture of hand cuffs. He paid the ticket.
David Moelling February 20, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I first ran into these in the UK about 8 years ago. Everybody hated them once they figured out that they were strictly for revenue. The lack of justice was also a concern. The cameras only can see the car (and possibly the plate) but not the driver or any other circumstance. Nothing like an automated criminal sentence! The motivation here is not safety but revenue just like in the UK
Brigid February 20, 2013 at 06:45 PM
David, While visiting Texas about years ago I rented a car. Six months later I received a letter from the car rental company demanding $150 for a ticket my car received for running a toll booth. I called them and said, "What are you talking about? I don't even know how to run a toll booth." Arguing did no good. I had to pay the fine. Very aggravating.
Jon February 20, 2013 at 09:32 PM
The red light cameras are installed and maintained by a third party. The ticket is also issued by the same third party. Typically they keep about 80% or the ticket and the rest goes to the town/city. Most states are having many diffrerent issues with these third party companies. These cameras are also creating legal problems such as some towns reducing the yellow light time under the legal minimum time so that more tickets are issued. While some studies show that these cameras reduce front to side impacts, rearending accidents increased due to drivers realizing there is a right light camera and slamming on the brakes. While the article, and others like it, indicate that states are bringing in millions it does not mention the major headaches is is causing in others.
Fred February 20, 2013 at 10:19 PM
I was moved by the intelligence in this piece, thank you for sharing.
Angela February 20, 2013 at 10:34 PM
This is infringing on our freedoms, our privacy, and our RIGHTS! I am against any such thing. Big Brother just wants to keep an eye on you......Next, Drones will be sent to CT. www.dailypaul.com
Bill February 21, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Think about the face recognition on these cameras. No one can hide. It's part of the new world order. Plus a for profit company will be handing out the tickets, there's something wrong with that.
Robert Kalechman February 21, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Angela the Drones are here in the form of State Senator Witkos and State Representative Hampton who stand up for all type of controls at this point they now are pushing anti 2nd Amendment gun ownership as all drones they have only one thing in mind
Angela February 21, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Robert, Where did you find the information about Senator Witkos pushing anti 2nd gun ownerships? I know that he is pro-2nd, so this is hard to believe.
Midtown Lifer February 21, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Setting aside the completely valid Big Brother issues; these systems just don't work. The companies promise politicians oodles of found money and they take the bait. What happens is that the systems make a little money at first but then the lawsuits start, revenues never materialize and ultimately the systems are removed and the state (or municipality as is usually the case) has wasted a lot of resources. This cycle has happened all over the county. Don't believe the promises and always remember that traffic fines are simply another tax!
Adam February 21, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Zero due process when it comes to these cameras. You have no opportunity to explain to a police officer the unique circumstances (ice, right on red, large truck in front of you, sun in your eyes, emergency situation, etc.) that would sway anyone with an ounce of common sense. I will make it my goal to un-elect any politician from Avon who votes for these ridiculous devices, which, by the way, INCREASE the number of auto accidents and therefore are a drain on resources and a threat to human safety.
diane carney February 21, 2013 at 09:02 PM
In all the comments above, only one barely touched on the basic reason for red light cameras in the first place, which is the fact that too many drivers run red lights and either kill or maim innocent people. All I'm reading is the typical whining from people about their "rights". What about the rights of the people who are driving along, obeying the law, and get killed by these idiots? Running a red light is against the law, plain and simple. If you do it, you should recieve a ticket. Since we can't afford to have police on every corner,cameras are the next best thing.
Bob Rodman February 22, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Describing the Red Light Camera as a money maker is probably a mistake by Rep Lemar. It is a safety issue. While there are weaknesses such as not knowng who is driving the car and allegations of abusive practices, the camera catches irresponsible driving. As a driving instructor, if you state that you have to go through a light because you want to avoid being rear ended, then I am going to tell you that either you are (1) runing a yellow light and (2) you are going too fast. Compliaining about being ticketed for going through a red light is foolish. The practice is dangerous. In addition the most frequent violation is failure to fully stop at a red light before making a right turn. When a traffic light turns yellow, it does not mean jump on the gas and rush the intersection. It means stop.


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