You may get to vote to ban red light cameras

You may get to vote to ban red light cameras

CREATED Feb 14, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Ever since they went up, we've been hearing from people who want those red light and speed cameras to come down. 
Now you may get your chance.
State lawmakers are pushing for an election to let voters decide whether to kill or keep the cameras.

Cities and counties that use red light cameras, and speed cameras say safety is the motive and claim they don't even make much money after the cut for the state and the contractors that operate the system.
But lawmakers who say the cameras are unfair, big brother, municipal money machines are advancing a plan to give you a chance to vote the cameras out.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked drivers what they think of the idea.

Mike Briefer says, "I think it'd be a good idea because nobody wants them."

Smith: "You included?"

Mike Briefer: "Me included.  I got nipped once."

Laura Dwyer told us:"I think some of them are good but some aren't really fair.  I think some of them just change too quickly and I think getting tickets for those isn't really fair but it does save some wrecks so I think, I don't know, I could go either way with it." 

Craig Smith: "If they let you vote on it, how do you think you'd vote?"

Laura Dwyer: "I'd probably go against it."

Smith: "Take them down?"

Dwyer: "Yeah."

But not everyone thinks the cameras should come down.  Bright Setsoafia thinks safety stats should have the last word.

"I don't think whether voters should decide whether a traffic light should be up or not.  I don't think so, because, like I said it should be based purely on whether the routes are safe or not.  If there's problems, frequent accidents or violations they should be there to cap those situations."

So far this idea has only passed out of a State Senate committee.  The election won't be set unless the idea passes the State Senate and House, and the Governor signs it.

Lawmakers have already killed camera systems on roads that are state responsibility.
A vote last year to use the legislature's authority to kill local cameras failed on a tie vote.  This idea would leave the cameras up to voters, not lawmakers.