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New legislation hopes to rid Colorado of red-light cameras

While some people believe red-light cameras are a useful tool for making our roads safer, there are a great many who think cities simply use them to drive revenue. Regardless of which side you may fall on, however, there is no denying that it can be extremely frustrating to get a ticket from a “robot” for running a red light.

Interestingly, though, this debate may soon may not matter if some Colorado lawmakers are successful in their attempts to completely eliminate red-light cameras across the state.

Colorado House Bill 1072

Specifically, House Bill 1072 would, if passed, prohibit government entities ― including the state, a county, a city or a municipality ― from issuing traffic citations based on evidence collected using “automated vehicle identification systems.”

The proposed law defines “automated vehicle identification system” as any machine that “automatically detects a violation of a traffic regulation and simultaneously records a photograph of the vehicle, the operator of the vehicle or the license plate of the vehicle.” Obviously, this definition would include red-light cameras.

The proposed law, however, does carve out certain exceptions, including:

  • Traffic cameras may be used to assess tolls on toll roads, and to assess civil penalties for certain toll road violations
  • Traffic cameras may be used to issue citations for HOV violations

It is important to keep in mind, though, that this legislation has only been introduced and therefore still has a long way to go before it can become law. Until then, it is safe to assume that Colorado motorists will continue to have to deal with red-light cameras.

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