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Legislature to revisit red light camera elimination bill

Posted: 11:56 AM, Feb 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-05 08:41:51-05

COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s a bill that lawmakers have seen variations of over the last few years: the elimination of red light cameras.

This session, a couple of lawmakers are bringing the bill back once again.

Representatives Stephen Humphrey (R-Ault) and Jovan Melton (D-Aurora) are co-sponsoring a bill that would get rid of red light cameras throughout the state.

Currently, about eleven cities and towns use the red light cameras.

Most of the cities are in the Denver area, however one city in Southern Colorado does use them: Pueblo, but the steel city may not be alone in that for long.

Last summer, Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) announced they would install red light cameras at four intersections in the city to begin with, eventually adding six more.

The cameras aren’t up yet, but with legislation looking at potentially banning the cameras- it could have an impact on whether they go up anytime soon.

CSPD told News 5 they don’t comment on pending legislation.

Last year, when a similar bill went before lawmakers, now-retired Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey testified against the bill in a public hearing before a legislative committee.

‘There’s no one solution to this problem, but across the state we are looking at implementing many traffic safety measures that work to address the crashes,’ Chief Carey told the committee.

At the time, CSPD said they had sent out a request for proposals (RFP) for the cameras.

‘Red light cameras are a proven way to reduce traffic violations and prevent crashes. Especially front to side, t-bone collision crashes,’ said Carey who added evidence suggest the cameras can change driver behavior in other intersections.

Opponents of the bill often say the decision to have red light cameras should be up to local governments.

‘We respectfully ask that we be allowed to continue to make these choices at the local level while conforming to state regulation can improve traffic safety for our community,’ Carey said to the committee.

Supporters of the bill argue the cameras exist to mostly generate revenue, and in some cases, drivers say the cameras are an abuse of power.

‘They can’t have as many patrol officers on the streets, so they’re using technology to enforce it and I think you have to be caught in the act,’ said David Goldin, a driver in Colorado Springs