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Lawmaker Could Put Stop To Red Light Cameras

DENVER (CBS4)– Red-light cameras could become a thing of the past in Colorado if one state lawmaker gets his way.

Sen. Scott Renfroe, a Republican from Greeley, has introduced a bill that would ban the cameras. Many drivers would be happy if the legislation passed because they feel the tickets are a money grab by cities that use them.

The bill comes as the Denver City Council will decide whether to reduce or eliminate fines for a particular red light violation if a driver stops at the light but has crossed the white line. The council hearing is set for later this month.

Connie Crites was ticketed $75 for rolling over the white line even though she did stop at the red light.

“I took the time to write this heartfelt letter about the circumstances I was going through,” said Crites.

Crites’ brother had been murdered in Montana and her fiance injured in an accident.

“Are you kidding me? Are we looking for any tiny infraction of a way to make more money?” said Crites.

“I think it’s a waste of time, actually. My tax money is going for this, really?” said ticketed driver David Benedict.

Aurora also has red-light cameras but doesn’t ticket for drivers rolling over the white line. Other cities, including Greenwood Village, Boulder and Fort Collins, don’t ticket drivers for the same reason.

“It’s easy for somebody that is not disabled or can see to go across, move around traffic, but it’s harder for somebody in a wheelchair or someone who is blind trying to cross the crosswalk,” said Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez.

Videos provided by the City of Denver show cars stopped over the white line which blocks the crosswalk to pedestrians.

The Denver City Council is debating whether to reduce or eliminate those fines for drivers who stop.

“This particular ticket has nothing to do with traffic or law enforcement. It’s all about greed,” said Crites.

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  • Marilyn P. Goodgion

    When I got my Driver’s License in the Early 1960’s, it was a given that when you came to a stop light or a stop sign, we, as drivers, were required to stop behind the crosswalk, regardless if there were White Lines designating a crosswalk or not. SO, WHY can’t these people understand! I, for one, am tickled pink that they are giving out tickets to these people who think they can do what ever they want.! Too bad folks! It should be a LAW!

  • Steve

    These cameras are completely unfair. There are many instances where people make errors to to unexpected conditions. Police have common sense, the camera lights don’t. It is not alway black and white. To treat every situation this simplisticaly is wrong.

  • Henry

    I just read, in Newsday, a firefighter saying that the cameras (indirectly) block emergency vehicles – because drivers stopped at a camera intersection are afraid to move out of the way! Just one of the many side effects of the cameras.

    Other side effects: Increased rearenders, local money sent to Oz, AZ or New York (Goldman-Sachs) where it won’t come back, tourists and shoppers driven away, and a false expectation of safety – something that is a real liability for those who venture into the real world.

    The main reason to not install red light cameras is that they don’t stop the bad accidents, because they can’t stop the real late runners. (If cameras prevented the bad accidents, ATS wouldn’t be able to come up with the videos they’ve been sending around recently, of major accidents. Which happened at ATS-enforced intersections! )

    Want actual safety, without the side effects?

    To decrease car-pedestrian accidents, train your kids (and grandma) not to step into the street just ‘cuz the walk sign came on. Tell them: Look BOTH ways, and do not step out unless you have made eye contact!!!

    To cut nuisance running (a fraction of a second late), lengthen the yellows. This has a huge % effect, the effect is permanent, and it can be done cheaply, thus all over town.

    The dangerous real late (multiple seconds) runs occur when someone is lost, distracted or impaired. The mere presence of a camera won’t stop these runs, because the runner doesn’t know (a visitor) or doesn’t remember (a distracted or impaired “local”) that there’s a camera up ahead, and in any case isn’t doing it on purpose. The way to reduce these rare but very dangerous real late runs is to improve the visual cues that say, “Intersection ahead.” Florida’s DOT found that better pavement markings near intersections (plain old paint) cut running by up to 74% without increasing rearenders. Also, make the signal lights bigger in diameter, add backboards, and place the poles on the NEAR side of the intersection. Put brighter bulbs in the street lights at intersections. Put up lighted name signs for the cross streets.

    The fact that the real world is not a nanny state like here means that we need to continue to drive, and walk, defensively. Who needs cameras and their side effects?

  • Asodeska

    Get rid of them and remove the only break on Colorado’s worst drivers running red lights?
    I don’t think so. Every major intersection should have a camera.
    Then, maybe, those drivers will think twice about it.
    The parking over the white line is a fake issue.

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