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Denver red-light cameras: Crossing the line?

We have discussed controversial red-light cameras on this criminal defense blog before. In fact, just last month, we posted a piece stating that Colorado Springs has put an end to its use of the cameras because they've found that citing people for alleged red-light traffic violations didn't provide more safety.

Some might say that more than creating safer streets, the lights have created distrust in the government. Many critics of the law enforcement cameras suspect that their use is more for generating revenue than for improving traffic safety. A recent study into the cameras in Denver brings critics a stronger reason why they will likely continue to protest against the use of red-light cameras until they are done away with.

According to Denver Westword, researchers looked at tickets issued as a result of red-light cameras at one intersection during one day. The findings suggest that the cameras aren't even "catching" people who are running red lights. In fact, about 94 percent of the traffic tickets issued were because the supposed offenders crossed too far over the white line at the intersection or because they were turning right on red.

Law enforcement that supports the red-light cameras respond to the above-mentioned findings by saying that simply crossing over the white line is a violation that deserves a ticket. They argue that it's a serious safety issue with regards to pedestrians trying to cross the intersection.

Obviously, the law enforcement tools remain to be a matter of great debate. This is a time in our country when many are having a hard time believing in the government, and the utilization of these cameras doesn't seem to be creating a sense of trust. We will continue to follow this matter as the controversy proceeds.

Source

Denver Westword (Blog): "Red-light cameras at intersections set to nab people trying to turn right on red?" Michael Roberts, Nov. 8, 2011

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