Traffic camera bill killed in Connecticut

| 3/31/2006

A Connecticut House panel has rejected a bill that would have permitted cities to use automated cameras to ticket drivers.

The cameras snap pictures of red-light runners or speeders. A ticket is mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless who was driving at the time.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 22-16 to kill a bill – HB5210 – that would have fined violators as much as $99. Cities would have kept the ticket revenue.

Supporters say the equipment acts as a deterrent and helps snare red-light-running drivers who otherwise might not get caught. Others said they are concerned about the issue of “Big Brother” and question the effectiveness of such cameras, arguing they have the potential to distract drivers and cause more accidents.

In fact, a study paid for by the U.S. Department of Transportation showed rear-end crashes actually increased in cities with red-light cameras, as motorists stopped abruptly at yellow lights.