DENVER—Gov. John Hickenlooper sided once again with the red-light camera industrial complexby vetoing a bipartisan bill to ban red-light cameras in Colorado.
ADVANCING COLORADO CHIEF JONATHAN LOCKWOOD RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:
“Gov. Hickenlooper once again sided with the red-light camera complex over a huge bipartisan movement to restore our rights and protect Coloradans from the abuse and dangers of red-light cameras. Coloradans do not believe the mythology coming out of phony groups that the cameras ‘keep us safe,’ because we have all seen the data out there that they increase accidents and that they are nothing more than cash collectors. Red-light cameras are nothing more than one more weapon in the utility belt of gangster government and they should have been banned a long time ago.”
Denver, a city with a population of 2,697,000, collects $6.5 million a year in fines from red-light cameras. Denver’s cameras target drivers for minor infractions, such as ticketing vehicles that stop with their front wheels slightly over the white line at intersections.
Hickenlooper vetoed House Bill 1098 last year, which said no jurisdiction could implement a new photo enforcement program without submitting the question to the local voters. HB 1098 had passed the House 40 to 23 and the Senate 21 to 14. He also vetoed Senate Bill 276, which was an outright ban on camera issued citations with the exception of tolls and was voted in favor by 38 to 25 in the House and 25 to 10 in the Senate.
In 2011, this revenue-enhancing strategy increased citations by 465 percent, according to the Denver Post.
Red light camera proponents are said to be notorious for creating bogus groups to make it appear as though they represent organic grassroots movements. They have also resulted in wrongful tickets being issued due to errors in programming. For example, in Orange County, California there were 570 tickets issued from Aug. 1, 2012, to May 6, 2013. Of those 570, 260 will be refunded at a total of $41,080. Each ticket costs $158. In Florida, red light cameras have even resulted in a class action lawsuit.