Discuss: automated ticketing cameras
What do you think of them? Should citizens be able to vote on them?
Here is some news about them: On June 22, Redmond took down its cameras, marking another victory for citizens wanting to prevent or remove them.
The victory occurred even though the campaigners' chief weapon, the voter initiative, was taken away from them by the Washington Supreme Court. Earlier this year, the court ruled traffic cameras were beyond the initiative power because of the way the state law authorizing them was written. No matter; the political effect of a vote, or even a petition drive, has usually been enough.
In Redmond, said initiative entrepreneur Tim Eyman, who advised the campaign, “We lost the battle but won the war.” The signatures were collected to put an anti-cameras initiative on the ballot. Although the city blocked the initiative effort in court, so that there never was a vote of the people, city officials decided to take down the cameras.
In Bellingham, the
city camera company tried to block an anti-camera initiative in court, lost, and the measure got on the ballot. The people voted 68 percent against the cameras—and also voted out their mayor, Dan Pike, who had signed a contract with the camera company while signatures were being collected. In Bellingham, the cameras never went up. “We won the battle and the war,” Eyman said.
In Monroe, the signatures were turned in, the city sued, and the measure on the ballot became an advisory vote only. The people voted against the cameras. The cameras are still up because the contract runs through 2013.
In Longview, signatures were turned in, there was a lawsuit, the city council authorized an advisory vote, and the people voted 60 percent against red-light cameras but 58 percent for speed cameras in school zones. The red-light cameras were turned off and the school-zone cameras remain. Recently, a retired Judge in Longview beat a speed-camera ticket for going 31 miles per hour in a 20-mph school zone by arguing that the camera could not prove he was the driver.
In Mukilteo, 71 percent of the people voted against the cameras, and the city dropped its plans to install them.
Bottom line: if you want to get rid of traffic cameras, demand a public vote on them.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics