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Colorado Lawmakers Trying To Pull The Plug On Red Light Cameras

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DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado lawmakers are pushing to remove red light and photo-radar cameras that catch drivers speeding or running red lights.

This is the third time lawmakers have tried to get rid of them.

While police argue the cameras help make intersections safer, lawmakers say they just make cities money.

“The data doesn’t show that it reduces accidents,” said Sen. Scott Renfroe.

Renfroe says red light cameras make cities lots of money but don’t make roads safer.

He’s introduced a bill that would ban them statewide.

“We shouldn’t be about revenue should be about safety and people’s privacy,” said Renfroe.

Annmarie Jenson represents the Colorado Police Chief’s Association which includes Greenwood Village where the chief says they’ve lost money on their cameras.

“We have police departments where photo red light enforcement doesn’t make any money at all,” said Jenson.

The chiefs say the cameras do in fact save lives, pointing to a study that found red light cameras lowered traffic deaths by 24 percent.

“We think dislike of tickets is worth the price of people’s lives,” said Jenson.

However there is also data from a Denver audit showing red light cameras increase rear-end accidents and that there are other ways to increase safety.

“It shows that if you increase yellow lights that’ll reduce accidents if you do engineered timing on crosswalk signals, there are different things you can do at your intersection that are statistically proven to reduce accidents,” said Renfroe.

“There’s a lot people who think it should be a local choice not state level choice,” said Jenson

While 20 other states have banned or partially banned the cameras, Colorado is a home rule state where traffic enforcement is largely left to local governments.

Nine of the larger cities in Colorado use red light and photo-radar cameras.

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