DENVER (CBS4) – A bill to ban red light and photo radar cameras across the state has gotten initial approval in the Colorado Senate.

There were backers and opponents from both parties Thursday when the bill was approved on an unrecorded voice vote.

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Supporters of the legislation believe the cameras increase rear-end crashes and violate a driver’s constitutional right to due process.

“They (block) the ability for you to be able to confront your accuser and to have that due process to be able to defend yourself within a situation that you are stopped,” said State Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley.

Sponsors argued Thursday that the cameras are used as a “cash grab.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

But defenders said that the cameras make streets safer while saving police time.

“If you don’t think evidence gathered by technology overseed by a person confronted by witnesses in court is fair, you should also probably outlaw that crazy device that a policeman has to hold in his car that shoots radar to tell how fast your car goes,” said State Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver.

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The Colorado Police Chief’s Association said the cameras decrease the most serious type of accidents.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Opponents claim the drivers who are ticketed still have the right to go to court and contest the ticket.

“If you don’t think evidence gathered by technology overseen by a person confronted by witnesses in court is fair, you should also probably outlaw that crazy device that a policeman has to hold in his car that shoots radar to tell how fast your car goes,” said State Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver.

Ten states prohibit the use of photo radar or red-light camera enforcement.

Bill 181 still needs final approval in the Senate before it heads to the House.

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