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Montana Legislature Considers Red Light Camera Ban
thenewspaper.com ^ | 02/17/09 | thenewspaper.com

Posted on 02/17/2009 6:55:59 AM PST by TornadoAlley3

Montana state lawmaker seeks to outlaw red light cameras.

The Montana state House Transportation Committee yesterday held a hearing on legislation designed to thwart municipal attempts to install red light cameras. The city of Bozeman had hoped to have its automated ticketing machines operational by May, but state Representative Bill Nooney (R-Missoula) wants to cut the program off before it can begin.

"An automated enforcement system designed to detect traffic violations that is attached to a traffic control device may not be used to enforce traffic laws," House Bill 531 states.

The Bozeman City Commission voted 4-1 last October to enter into a multimillion dollar agreement with an Australian firm, Redflex Traffic Systems, to set up cameras at six intersections. Under the deal, Redflex would pay for the right to issue the $135 citations in the city's name. These tickets would go to drivers who make right-hand turns on red, slide through an icy intersection during the winter and who enter an intersection a fraction of a second after the light turns red.

After a number of independent studies began to show that the devices fail to deliver the promised safety benefit, some states moved to ban their use (view studies). Mississippi's state House voted nearly unanimously last week to ban photo ticketing. Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin banned automated citations either through judicial or legislative action. In other cases, the public has taken matters into its own hands. Cincinnatiand Steubenville, Ohio recently voted to ban speed and red light cameras. Between 1991 and 1997, voters also turned out in Batavia, Illinois; Peoria, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska to reject photo radar.

Source: House Bill 531


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; US: Montana
KEYWORDS: ban; camera; montana; redlight

1 posted on 02/17/2009 6:55:59 AM PST by TornadoAlley3
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To: TornadoAlley3

http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/2009/mt-hb531.pdf

House Bill


2 posted on 02/17/2009 6:57:06 AM PST by TornadoAlley3 (Obama is everything Oklahoma is not.)
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To: TornadoAlley3

sorry but I refuse any moving violations that is not given to me by an officer.

it might be my car, but it WASN’T ME. I will take them to court as a matter of principle.

I leave the keys available for hundreds, no thousands of my friends to use....so you CANT give me a moving violation.


3 posted on 02/17/2009 7:02:28 AM PST by Vaquero ( "an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: TornadoAlley3
Local governments have no one to blame but themselves for this backlash. They chose to use traffic cameras as revenue generators instead of bona fide traffic safety devices.

Me personally, I don't have a problem with red light cameras provided the government doesn't pull tricks like change the length of the yellow light to half a second or other BS like that and there is an appeals mechanism in place (just like with any other cop-issued ticket). Some places do have legitimate problems with people running red lights and there simply are not enough cops to ticket everyone who insists on breaking the law.

4 posted on 02/17/2009 7:03:21 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: TornadoAlley3
These tickets would go to drivers who make right-hand turns on red, slide through an icy intersection during the winter and who enter an intersection a fraction of a second after the light turns red.

There is so much room for abuse here it boggles the mind. As anyone who drives in the winter knows, there are times when it is not only unwise, but unsafe to attempt a sudden stop on an icy road.

5 posted on 02/17/2009 7:09:34 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or, are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: pnh102

I have a problem with red light cameras... it’s called the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.


6 posted on 02/17/2009 7:16:00 AM PST by VA_Gentleman (I will not vote for the GOP until they show some spine.)
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To: pnh102
"Me personally, I don't have a problem with red light cameras provided the government doesn't pull tricks..."

The government will always test their limits and when given an inch will always take the proverbial yard; particularly where money and power are involved. There was a time in this country when cars did not have seatbelts. Then seatbelts were offered as an option. At some point, government began to mandate that vehicles come with seatbelts installed. A few years later many states passed seatbelt laws as secondary offenses, i.e. "we'll only ticket you for not wearing a seat belt if we pull you over for something else." A few more years, and seatbelt non-compliance became a primary offense...now the Federal Government subsidizes their annual "click it or ticket" campaign.

Red light cameras at dangerous intersections may seem like a great idea at first, but the purpose is to desensitive people to the presence of cameras, and if you have any doubts about that, simply look at England as a bellwether.

7 posted on 02/17/2009 7:16:26 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: VA_Gentleman
I have a problem with red light cameras... it’s called the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

The Fifth Amendment guarantees the right to run red lights?

8 posted on 02/17/2009 7:31:28 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: pnh102

You question is an example of willfull ignorance.


9 posted on 02/17/2009 7:33:23 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Red light cameras at dangerous intersections may seem like a great idea at first, but the purpose is to desensitive people to the presence of cameras, and if you have any doubts about that, simply look at England as a bellwether.

How is that different than local governments who use cops as revenue generators, like they did in New Rome, OH and in many other places? The end result is the same, it is only the method used that is different.

10 posted on 02/17/2009 7:33:29 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: Balding_Eagle
You question is an example of willfull ignorance.

I know! I live and work in a place where such cameras are very common and I've never once gotten a red light camera ticket. I clearly have no idea what I am talking about.

11 posted on 02/17/2009 7:35:32 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: TornadoAlley3
A rare instance of clear thinking by our esteemed politicians...
12 posted on 02/17/2009 7:38:14 AM PST by montanajoe
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To: pnh102
"How is that different than local governments who use cops as revenue generators, like they did in New Rome, OH and in many other places? The end result is the same, it is only the method used that is different."

Because a police officer has the ability to exercise discretion, and whether to ticket somebody or not. Likewise, abusive or overbearing police practices will raise the public's ire much more quickly than a battery of anonymous cameras. It's all about the incrementalism. If you put a "zero tolerance" cop on every corner, people will immediately get the perception that your in a police state. Put a camera on every corner and you'll hear nary a whimper.

If there is a true, legitimate public safety issue at say, a given intersection, targeted enforcement, increased penalties, and perhaps re-engineering of the intersection are in order...Cameras aren't going to solve anything other than the local politician's dilemma about what to say when constituents ask what they're doing about the problem.

13 posted on 02/17/2009 7:41:26 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Joe 6-pack; pnh102; All
For what it's worth, we've been through the whole red-light camera thing. For the most part, they were put on the back sides of hills where they couldn't be seen until it was too late.

Town Council commissioned a study from a local college to see "How much the red lights had improved things". College found a statistically insignificant change in the number of PI (Personal Injury) accidents, and a large *increase* in the nunmber of PD (Property Damage) accidents - likely from people jamming on brakes to avoid a ticket. So, in other words, the red light cameras not only did nothing to save lives, but put you at much higher risks for accidents. The city council's reponse to this? Throw the study out, and hire consultants (read: paid shills) to do the study all over again.

We finally got rid of the tickets on a technicality. The ticket was a $50 civil fine, camera company was keeping $35, and the city was skimming $15 off the top. *BY STATE LAW* - 90% of all civil fines are required to go, in some form, to the school system. So, instead of leaving the cameras in place, and making up whatever the difference was to the schools....the city opted to have the cameras turned off entirely. Thus proving that indeed, it *was* only about money after all.

14 posted on 02/17/2009 7:44:06 AM PST by wbill
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To: TornadoAlley3

Since local government use these systems for revenue source and not for traffic safety I have no problem with anyone that takes action to defeat the system. That is relatively easy to do. So in the long roun I could care less if they install this crap or not. Just a waste of money in the end.


15 posted on 02/17/2009 7:46:01 AM PST by SECURE AMERICA (Coming to You From the Front Lines of Occupied America)
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To: TornadoAlley3

Cameras at six intersections. Magazine capacity of a Remington 870 shotgun=six. Coincidence?


16 posted on 02/17/2009 7:47:20 AM PST by CholeraJoe (Always pack the heat. Always pack the heat. Always pack the heat.)
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To: pnh102

The right to face your accuser in court.


17 posted on 02/17/2009 7:47:51 AM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: montanajoe

If it wasn’t so freaking cold up there, I might emigrate.


18 posted on 02/17/2009 7:48:28 AM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: MrB
I remember when mark Begich (replaced Uncle Teddy) pushed photo radar in anchorage in 1990s. It almost ruined his politcal career; got run outta office over it. People started shooting out the cameras all over town. It became the in thing to do; cops couldn't get a handle on it; it's all voluntary compliance you know; once people say no way, their game is up.

Anyway, it got real bad, company from Arizona that was installing cameras, started losing money in anchorage, city didn't want to pay the difference, then the people figured out the revenue scam and got upset. Mark Begich tried all he could to distance himslef from what he did , but didn't work. Cameras came done, Begich lost his office for a few years. I've hated Begich since then.

All America has to do is start shooting; out the cameras; the house of cards quickly falls. no joke.

19 posted on 02/17/2009 8:27:38 AM PST by Eska ( e)
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To: Eska
All America has to do is start shooting; out the cameras; the house of cards quickly falls. no joke.

The first pause in your sentence was telling...

This 10th amendment movement might be just the thing. No shots, but when everyone just refuses to comply with unconstitutional federal laws, the house of cards will not stand.

20 posted on 02/17/2009 8:29:53 AM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: Vaquero
sorry but I refuse any moving violations that is not given to me by an officer.

it might be my car, but it WASN’T ME. I will take them to court as a matter of principle.

I leave the keys available for hundreds, no thousands of my friends to use....so you CANT give me a moving violation.

In Albuquerque, the camera captures not only the plate, but, IIRC, takes a picture of the driver and provides a short video (not sure if all have the video).

The city claims it is targeting a nuisance, not the driver. The car is the supposed nuisance. So the owner of the car is ticketed.

There are many folks fighting the red light cameras in ABQ. They mayor, a huge proponent of them, was recently caught speeding in his city-issued vehicle in a small town far away from ABQ.

This is a potential solution: Plate flippers

21 posted on 02/17/2009 8:37:20 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Obama - what you get when you mix Affirmative Action with the Peter Principle.)
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To: pnh102

No, but the government further violates the Fifth Amendment rights by forcing the owner of the vehicle to say who was driving, thus forcing self incrimination.


22 posted on 02/17/2009 8:51:57 AM PST by VA_Gentleman (I will not vote for the GOP until they show some spine.)
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To: CholeraJoe
Cameras at six intersections. Magazine capacity of a Remington 870 shotgun=six. Coincidence?

The ones around here (Chicago Suburbs) have 1/2" lexan over the lens and 1/4" steel armor over the rest. You would need to use a deer slug to take it out. And the noise would certainly draw more attention that you don't want. On the other hand shooting the glass with a paint ball doesn't make any noise and the gun grabbers can't say i had a weapon in the car. And the police get lots of pretty blue pictures. Not that I would ever consider doing something like that.
23 posted on 02/17/2009 9:03:50 AM PST by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: IYAS9YAS
The city claims it is targeting a nuisance, not the driver. The car is the supposed nuisance. So the owner of the car is ticketed.

so there is no moving violation on your license I take??

I can accept that. it is basically a parking ticket.

24 posted on 02/17/2009 9:06:59 AM PST by Vaquero ( "an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Vaquero
so there is no moving violation on your license I take??

I think that is the case, though I'm not 100% certain. I've never received one.

25 posted on 02/17/2009 9:22:21 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (Obama - what you get when you mix Affirmative Action with the Peter Principle.)
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To: VA_Gentleman
No, but the government further violates the Fifth Amendment rights by forcing the owner of the vehicle to say who was driving, thus forcing self incrimination.

In Maryland that is worked around by tying traffic camera fines to the vehicle and not the driver. A driver gets no points for a red light camera citation. However, if the fine is not paid, the vehicle cannot have its registration renewed. Theoretically, one could "skip" the fine by choosing to not renew the registration on a car.

26 posted on 02/17/2009 10:15:14 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: Joe 6-pack
Likewise, abusive or overbearing police practices will raise the public's ire much more quickly than a battery of anonymous cameras. It's all about the incrementalism. If you put a "zero tolerance" cop on every corner, people will immediately get the perception that your in a police state.

This perfectly describes the town in which my alma mater is located. The local citizenry didn't seem to object to having the cops nail out-of-towners for every possible parking violation imaginable, all for the sake of revenue generation.

I am sure if traffic cameras had been more prevalent at the time I was in college, these would have been used instead. My point being that it is the government that causes such problems. The technology required to make it work is irrelevant.

27 posted on 02/17/2009 10:19:27 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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