By on February 17, 2009

With municipal budgets tight across the state of Colorado, members of the General Assembly are looking to offer relief. The Colorado state Senate Transportation Committee voted 4-3 on Thursday to boost the cost of a speed camera ticket from $40 to $75. The measure, Senate Bill 143, also extends the reach of photo ticketing to include nearly any road that runs through the state.

Last May, the state authorized the use of freeway photo radar which allows the placement of automated ticketing machines on high-speed roads by erecting a sign that says “work zone.” The bill introduced by Colorado state Senator Bob Bacon covers most of the remaining roads within the state by allowing photo ticketing on any road with a speed limit of 50 mph or less. Combined with the higher fees, the revised program is expected to generate millions in additional revenue. The Senate committee voted to direct this money into funding accounts labeled “traffic safety.” The bill must now be considered by the full Senate.

Although the legislature is targeting vehicles traveling through work zones, studies show that such laws do nothing to protect actual workers. Work zone fatalities are caused far more often by construction equipment than automobiles. A number of attempts to increase ticketing in the state have also created problems. A Fort Collins speed camera falsely accused a gardener’s truck which, when new, had a top speed of just 99 MPH of blasting through a 30 MPH zone at 132 MPH. Colorado Springs police officers were caught falsifying records in order to meet a ticket quota.

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11 Comments on “Colorado Looks to Double Speed Camera Revenue...”

  • avatar

    I guess I’ll take my ski vacations in Montana from now on.



  • avatar

    Traffic safety… how funny is that?

    I heard that before as I grew up in Colorado and I lived there when the state increased the rural interstate speeds to 75 mph. At the time, the usually protests came up that speed kills, save the children, and that there better be tighter enforcement as drivers will just keep pushing it! Five years later I recall reading an article in a local paper that stated that accidents and death rates actually went down as the interstates could handle more traffic and that it flowed better (more cars were at average speeds).

    Now that I am in the Midwest, the interstate I take to work every day is kept at 55 mph. No one drives that… not even the LEOs. But the city will never change it to what it should be (and safer IMO) to 65 mph as it would hurt revenue. When they city sets up speed traps, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel!

  • avatar

    I’ll never go to Colorado again either.

  • avatar

    I lived there when the state increased the rural interstate speeds to 75 mph. At the time, the usually protests came up that speed kills, save the children, and that there better be tighter enforcement as drivers will just keep pushing it! Five years later I recall reading an article in a local paper that stated that accidents and death rates actually went down as the interstates could handle more traffic and that it flowed better (more cars were at average speeds).

    You lived there when Colorado was controlled by Republicans. Blue State, Red Lights.

    Just look at what happened to Maryland when they elected O’Malley, friend of red light cameras and speed cameras, to replace Erhlich, who had kept vetoing the legislature’s attempts to expand their use.

  • avatar

    I can’t wait for the backlash. It will be fun to watch, even from Ohio. Red light camera ticketing schemes are political suicide. But the elected (and appointed) officials think they are untouchable. So revenues go down a bit, you need to tighten up your belts and reduce spending, just like we plebeians, I mean, private citizens. The closest analogy I can think of is a man gets his hours reduced at work. This seedy character approaches him on the way to his van afterwards and says, “psst– Hey buddy, need some cash?” He goes out and rents a camera. He records someone breaking a traffic law, and documents it with his rented camera. He mails a copy of the photo to the person he followed home, as well as a picture of a gun, and the icing on the cake is the stern letter he sends that implies ‘something’s gonna happen to you if you don’t pay up.’

    People want to feel safe in their homes and property. Extortion campaigns such as this milk owners of vehicles dry when we live in one of the safest times in recent history. Accidents are down, fatalities are down, murders are down (I think). Yet we are absorbed in a news cycle of fear, trained to fear and hate our fellow man. Some industrious fellows will band together with political and community groups to stop these crooks just like they did in Cincinnati. It may take a few years if people are convinced they can’t do anything to change it, but they will either directly change it, or elect those who will rescind the contracts. Just look at the situation in Arizona, as they are in open revolt against these systems. The best argument against photo enforcement is actually having it. The greedy bastards have gone too far, just wait for the backlash you political gobshites, it’s coming…

  • avatar

    One easy way to defeat the bastards is to drive the legal limit…..then vote them out of office.

  • avatar

    I’m amused to see how the mainstream media jumps on board when they feed them this garbage. They were looking at putting in red light cameras here locally and the newspapers had front page stories about all the lives they were going to save.

    When times are tough and you can’t raise taxes, you find ways to fleece the populace anyway you can. In the end, we remain a nation of sheep and our elected officials will do with us as they will.

    You may not vote for them, but “they” won’t vote them out of office. They’ll just mention gay marriage or some such nonsense and the votes will pour in.

  • avatar

    The bill introduced by Colorado state Senator Bob Bacon

    Tell me his name isn’t a joke.

  • avatar

    Where is Hunter S. when you need him and his arsenal…..

  • avatar

    If this passes the Colorado senate I will avoid driving through that state.

  • avatar

    Drivers who don’t follow those basic rules will have more to worry
    about in the city of Boulder next year. The city plans to expand its
    photo-radar and red-light photo programs, both of which issue
    “tickets” – see below – to drivers via automated devices.
    The city now operates six red-light cameras, which snap photos of
    vehicles and drivers that run red lights, and plans to add two more in
    2007. The city also plans to double its fleet of photo-radar vans, from one to two.
    Traffic planners say red-light photo devices have reduced violations
    at relevant intersections by an impressive 57 percent (based on 2002
    figures, the most recent available). But they also acknowledge that
    they also tend to increase rear-end collisions.
    We’re all for anything that helps reduce dangerous driving (though
    some strategies, such as traffic circles, are themselves rather
    dangerous and poorly understood by most drivers).
    But in the interest of full disclosure, here are a few things
    Boulder drivers might want to know about what the Legislature calls “automated
    vehicle identification devices.”
    The “ticket” you receive in the mail is anything but. It is merely a
    request that you pay up. Suggestions you may receive by phone to pick
    up an unspecified document at the police department are just that, requests.
    To prosecute a photo violation, state and local law requires that you
    actually be served – in person, by a “peace officer” – with a ticket
    within 90 days. And even if requested to do so, you are not required
    to pick it up.
    If you are personally served with a ticket, you have the right to go
    to court, just as with any other alleged offense. However, if you go
    to court and are found guilty, a judge can add $60 to the maximum $75
    fine allowed under state law.
    Any offenses detected by automated devices cannot, by law, be reported
    to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles. Violations – even if you
    are found guilty in court – will not appear on your record; no “points.”
    And should your vehicle be detected by a device when you are not
    driving, you do not have to snitch on who’s behind the wheel. But you
    can be required to demonstrate that the driver is not you.
    Few drivers know the particulars of photo violations; most just send
    in the fine. If more were aware, it might reduce revenue generated by
    the program, while still causing alleged violators to think twice
    before driving dangerously on city streets.
    And that’s OK. The goal, we presume, is increased safety, not “revenue
    The city doesn’t go out of its way to let citizens know about any of this.
    But a squeamish Legislature put strict limits on automated devices
    when it considered the issue back in 1999. We’re glad they did.
    “Little Brother is Watching You” strategies are becoming more common.
    But as more of our lives are eyeballed by remote technological
    devices, it’s nice to know that we humans still have a say in all this.
    Drive safely, and know your rights.

    © 2006 Daily Camera and Boulder Publishing, LLC.

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