DENVER (AP) – Frustrated by the slow pace of a House bill to ban cities from using red-light enforcement cameras, a bipartisan panel in the Senate is forwarding a rival measure to compel towns to get voter approval to keep the cameras.
The Senate is scheduled to vote this week on the bill, which takes a new approach to getting rid of the hated cameras. Instead of banning the cameras, the state would tie transportation funding to a requirement that cities with the cameras seek voter approval.
“This bill does not ban red-light cameras. It just requires a city to get permission from voters to continue having them,” said one of the sponsors, Sen. David Balmer, R-Centennial.
The Senate version also doesn’t mention photo speed enforcement cameras, which would also be banned in the House bill. Balmer cited House delays in pushing this week for the vote requirement.
“We should stop stalling these great ideas that the people want us to pass,” he said.
Efforts to ban the cameras have languished for at least three years in the state Legislature because cities say the use of the cameras should be up to them.
Some city officials testified this week that potential red-light camera votes would certainly fail – but that doesn’t mean the cameras are bad.
“We have demonstrated accident reduction rates,” said Bob Hendry, manager of photo enforcement for the Boulder Police Department. “Anybody who gets a ticket for any reason is going to find it undesirable.”
The full Senate is tentatively scheduled to debate the red-light camera vote requirement Thursday.
– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer
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