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Red-Light Cameras Proposal Back Before Connecticut Legislature

The cameras would catch motorists who run a red light and could generate millions of dollars in revenues for the state.

A proposal to install red-light cameras in urban areas is back before the Connecticut legislature. The measure died in 2011 when the General Assembly's Judiciary Committee refused to consider it.

The latest incarnation of the proposal is HB 5554, and was submitted by Rep. Roland J. Lemar, D-New Haven. The bill states that red-light cameras could be installed in any city with a population of 48,000 or more "to increase safety by reducing the number of red light violations."

The cameras are used in other states and are credited with raising millions of dollars in revenues from fines issued to motorists.

The Connecticut bill is currently pending before the transportation committee and is awaiting a public hearing before the committee.

The measure has the backing of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, though officials in his office say the governor wants to review the proposal, according to an NBC news report.

A similar measure Lemar submitted last year died in committee after civil libertarians and others raised privacy concerns and whether red-light cameras violate individual rights.

Michaela I. Fissel February 20, 2013 at 09:09 PM
I support this, and they should extend the bill to include suburban areas as well. Red light cameras are greatly needed in Windsor Center. I can not even begin to count the number of times we have almost been hit by motorists speeding through the center and running through red lights. It is honestly terrifying when attempting to cross the street with the walk light on and two children in hand.
Willa Nemetz February 21, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Well said, Ms. Fissel!
Al Simon February 22, 2013 at 01:28 PM
This is a bad idea. The job is outsourced to a private company focused on making revenue. The registered OWNER of the car is presumed guilty (what if the driver is different?). One must prove innocence against the automatic ticket sent to you.
Michaela I. Fissel February 22, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Mr. Simon, really - I had no idea. What is the name of the company? This is implemented in other states, and it has demonstrated to be effective and increase revenue for the State. What about if this were implemented in Windsor? We really do have a serious problem with individuals running stop lights in the center. Even on the cross walks. A decision making within our town did decide to put orange flags to strengthen the visibility of pedestrians along the cross walks in front of the Town Hall, so I think that people are aware of the issue. However, over the summer, as my husband and I crossed Broad Street within the crosswalk, pushing our infant son in a stroller, with our oldest waving the flag proudly, a car sped up as we were crossing the crosswalk. I guess that he assumed he was going to beat us across the crosswalk?! Ridiculous. That is the same thing that happens at all the red lights in the center too. I guess it would be helpful if we didn't just spend our time pointing out all the faults and errors in proposed legislation, but worked towards establishing a system that is practical and sustainable. What would you suggest I do in those situations that my children are almost hit my a car being driven by grown adults texting as they make a right on red without stopping for the walk signal???
Agent 86 February 22, 2013 at 04:22 PM
I do not think this is true (for all cases). More than 10 years ago I saw a transaction on my credit card from a car rental agency. It was for a ticket for a red light I apparently ran. I protested it and they sent me the photo -- my face clearly visible. I do not think the owner (or registered user) of car is "presumed" guilty but may be responsible. Is this any different than the responsibiity incurred if car is used in an accident (hit and run)? This is needed in some areas. I used to fear turning onto Palisado Ave from the Discovery Center during morning rush (in fact, i know someone hit there in her car). This could slow some down... Whle the privacy concerns may be somewhat valid, we are being watched/recorded much more than anyone would realize :-)
Michaela I. Fissel February 22, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Agent 86 - I completely agree. Nothing is without a margin of error; whether it based on a human or mechanical failure. Either way, we need to get to the bottom of this, and I believe that this is a conversation that needs to be brought to the publics' attention and I am thankful that the bill has been raised.

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