A new law in Georgia is intended to make it tougher for local governments to install red-light enforcement cameras. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2009.
The cameras that are used in more than 20 cities and counties across the state snap pictures of red-light runners or speeders’ vehicle tags. Tickets are mailed to the vehicles’ owners, regardless of who was driving at the time.
Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill into law allowing cities and counties to continue to use automated cameras at intersections, but put new restrictions on them. The new law, previously HB77, requires local governments to get permits from the Georgia Department of Transportation to put up cameras.
Localities with existing programs have until January 2010 to obtain permits for use of the ticketing machines.
Cities will be required to provide the DOT with annual reports on the devices. Local governments also are prohibited from decreasing the duration of traffic lights’ amber time.
Supporters say the changes are intended to ensure the cameras are for safety and not for filling local coffers.
Motorists who are issued photo tickets can avoid fines by sending in forms certifying that they were not driving when their vehicle was captured on camera running a red light.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Georgia in 2008, click here.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor