By on January 19, 2010

(courtesy:betterroads.gcnpublishing.com)

Lawmakers in Indiana, swayed by the potential budget enhancement that recently convinced California’s governor, have introduced legislation that would authorize photo ticketing in the state. House Minority Floor Leader Bill Friend (R-Macy) and state Representative Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point) last week filed House Bill 1289 to create a so-called work zone freeway speed camera program.

“Revenues for the new fiscal year are way down,” Friend wrote on the day he introduced HB 1289. “Since July 1, 2009, the state is $500 million short of projections.”

Under Friend’s proposal, the state transportation department would lower the speed limit on freeways to 45 MPH, then allow private contractors to issue automated citations worth $300 to $1000 each to drivers who may have missed the speed reduction sign. The tickets could be issued even when no work is being done in the so-called work zone.

In Maryland, a similar program generated 8800 tickets within its first six weeks, which means the program is on track to generate 76,000 citations by year’s end. Indiana legislators have also been influenced by the construction zone photo radar program operated by Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) in neighboring Illinois since May 2006.

Over the past few years, ACS has made sure to make its presence equally known in the hallways of Indianapolis. The company lavished $64,500 in campaign donations on various Indiana lawmakers, with the lion’s share — $40,500 — going to Governor Mitch Daniels (R). The photo ticketing company also gave $2500 to the House Democratic Caucus.

In addition to ACS, the insurance industry stands to make millions if the legislature approves a photo ticketing program that imposes points on the licenses of ticket recipients. Not surprisingly, insurance companies and political action committees numbered among the top contributors to Friend’s political campaign account. In a message to constituents last week, Friend denied that industry lobbyists hold sway over the state capital.

“Ultimately, everyone who contacts a legislator is a lobbyist,” Friend wrote. “Whether by phone call, e-mail, lunch or dinner, a conversation to influence legislation or issue is lobbying. To think that a lunch, dinner or ticket to a game can buy a vote is in my mind a stretch and I do not believe that it occurs.”

A copy of HB 1289 is available in a 140k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File House Bill 1289 (Indiana General Assembly, 1/12/2010)

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11 Comments on “Indiana Lawmakers Push Freeway Speed Cameras...”


  • avatar
    Disaster

    Do I understand this correctly?  They actually create fake construction zones just so they can issue tickets?!?  Wow.  So they think it is OK to slow people down…possibly even cause accidents, so they can generate revenue?  Have these politicians no shame?  Do they have that much popularity to burn?

  • avatar
    tced2

    Politicians?  Shame?
    I repeat my usual question: Are photo tickets for revenue?  or safety?
    The politicians always seem to be discussing revenue concerning these cameras.  Safety is never mentioned. Government is for the common good (safety).

  • avatar
    Bergwerk

    Once again, proof that speed enforcement is more about revenue than safety.  The legislature, as “Disaster” pointed out, has authorized potentially dangerous traffic slowdowns purely to entrap their citizenry.  Whats more; the legislators and Governor are not even shy about admitting that they are taking bribes from those who will profit at their voters expense.  How detached has government become when they no longer fear being turned out of office for such behavior?

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    Indiana isn’t doing a single thing that Washington DC isn’t doing.   

    This, of course, doesn’t make it right. 

    Remember this kind of thing in November, folks. 

    My mantra is “vote for no incumbents, vote for no major parties, but vote”. 

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    The federal government needs to shut down the state and municipal racketeering between these elected officials and traffic camera operators.
     
    We may need a federal law to come in and stop these criminals if the courts fail us.  The FBI could wrap up any one of these rackets with a few wiretaps, some immunity deals for testimony and the scores of wrongfully convicted motorists who are victimized by their own government.
     
    The “public servants” don’t even bother to mask the obvious cash-grab nature of these ventures anymore with the usual campaigns of safety and think of the children.  They just come straight out and let you know it’s a shakedown.

    • 0 avatar
      Bergwerk

      Be careful what you wish for.  Federal intervention would lead to:
      1) Increased Federal involvement in our lives.  Isn’t City , County and State enough?
      2) The Feds will want a piece of the revenue from “Federally funded” Interstate highways.  Leading to more – not fewer – revenue enhancement measures.

  • avatar

    I don’t see how they could possibly create fake construction zones.  That just reeks of entrapment.  Here in Texas the courts ruled workers must be present to enforce any work zone penalties on traffic tickets. 
    The photo enforcement is a safety sham, it’s only about money and politicians have finally realized it’s not worth even arguing that point any more with the new studies refuting those claims.  They are smart enough to know they can’t let any of it go to a vote because they will ALWAYS LOSE.   Any aspiring politicians could easily carry an election on an anti-photo platform in these areas, but how many have we heard of backing out on the promise once they get there.  It’s all a sham and one more reason people are losing faith in the system.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    If they legalized Pot, it would reduce the number of revenue cameras, and at least the tax would give the consumer something for the money, rather than just extortion for the cities.

  • avatar
    Rick

    I’m pretty sure Indiana already finances road construction using construction zone fines.  There’s a 2 mile stretch of highway between my home and office that has been a construction zones for months and months.  I see workers maybe 2-3 days a month, but I see 2-3 cars a day pulled over (presumably) for speeding.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Seems those Chicagoans whose only purpose is to pass through Indiana as quickly as possible on their way to beautiful West Michigan have finally brought something else with them that, somehow, makes Indiana suck even more….
     
    This is straight out of the Illinois playbook.  They should love it in Indiana.  I’ll give them credit for raising limits to 70mph where they were previously 55mph, but with the way the Indiana Toll Road and Borman Expressway are under 24/7/365 construction, who can really go 70mph anyway.  And as if their trooper patrol on these roads (particularly during the summer….prime time to snag some Illinois or Michigan motorists) wasn’t bad enough, now we’ll have loads of speed cameras up our asses?!

    To the poster above regarding creating workzones….maybe they won’t create workzones just for fun, but if its like Illinois, they’ll be there for months, 24/7 enforcement even if no workers present, and they’ll take their sweet time getting the job done, then just for good measure, leave the construction zone in place for a few additional weeks until they finally take down the signs. And in Indiana, near Gary, the toll road is under constant construction (I travel this road frequently for work and leisure), yet rarely are they any workers, or even equipment. But I’ll pass 8 troopers in 15 miles…. hell even been passed by a trooper at 80mph (I kept up with him) only to see him pull over a few miles down the road, stop in the median, and wait for the next sucker doing 62 on the same stretch he just did 80 on….
     
    Keep it up governments.  Won’t be much longer now before everyday, honest, people will start finding ways to obscure their license plates from these ridiculous systems. Actually, taking a pause, might be easier to hide from the cameras than the cops. Might not be a bad tradeoff.
     
    Put it to a vote….


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