By on March 5, 2009

Only three lawmakers in the entire Mississippi state Legislature are willing to put themselves on record in support of red light cameras and speed cameras. Without opposition, the state Senate passed legislation yesterday that would put an immediate halt to the plans of several municipalities interested in implementing new photo ticketing programs. The vote followed last month’s 117-3 passage of a similar ban in the state House. State senators, however, did not believe that the House language went far enough.

The legislation was amended to take effect immediately rather than wait until July 2009 as the state House had voted to do.

The Senate would also give Columbus and Jackson until October 1 to tell Redflex Traffic Systems and American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the private vendors operating the programs, to pack their bags and take down the systems currently in operation. The Senate legislation explicitly forbids counties and municipalities like McComb, Natchez, Southaven and Tupelo from adopting or enforcing any ordinance allowing automated enforcement.

The bill now returns to the state House. Under that chamber’s rules, if 117 representatives vote to accept the revisions, the bill goes straight to Governor Haley Barbour (R) for his signature and enactment.

Otherwise, Speaker of the House William J. McCoy (D-Alcorn) will appoint three members to a conference committee that will work out compromise language with three senators appointed by Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant (R). The compromise product, known as the conference report, would then come up for an up-or-down vote in both chambers under expedited procedures.

Upon Barbour’s signature, Mississippi would join Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin which have also banned automated citations through judicial or legislative action. A similar ban passed the Montana state House of Representatives last month and currently awaits Senate action. An attempt to ban cameras in Missouri ran into a roadblock in a state Senate committee.

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11 Comments on “MS to Ban Red Light, Speed Cameras...”


  • avatar

    Now this is change in which I can believe.

  • avatar
    dubtee1480

    Thank God Barbour is my governer and I live in a somewhat sane state.

  • avatar
    menno

    good news. Even Michigan (leftie leftie UAW Michigan) has an old state constitutional requirement that, to be arrested requires a personal visit of a police officer. Ergo, no mail-it-to-you-and-stick-it-to-you photo tickets.

  • avatar
    grog

    Before we go patting the state-level pols on the back for their so-called altruism on this, come to Missouri.

    The main reason Lemke (the state guy in the MO story) is heading this is for two reasons:

    1) The profits, in part, leave the state, and

    2) The high-priced lobbyists didn’t come to Jeff City to spread the wealth around.

    As someone who works here in Jeff City, I can guarandamntee you that if the company was based here, Lemke wouldn’t be crying so loud. Moreover, while all state legislatures are essentially corrupt cesspools of filth, ours is one of the worst. It’s exceedingly susceptible to high-priced lobbying for just about anything.

    The photo-ticket yahoos simply didn’t learn from the entrenched “outdoor advertising” people here in terms of how you get your way.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    At least with an old fashion officer on a cycle labor intensive speed trap you get peripheral law enforcement benefits and the revenue remains local.

    As unpopular as they are I’m surprised that they have not been banned by initiative in California yet.

  • avatar

    RedStapler: It’s because most people are snowed by Redflex and other companies’ lies.

    I was just talking to a guy at work about how I was working to stop the red light cameras in Canton, OH. Anyway, he mentioned that his daughter got TWO tickets down in Columbus, OH and they had to pay them because, hey, she was guilty.

    I told him “No she wasn’t guilty. They game the yellow light timing, shortening them to trick more people into violating the law, when I think the Ohio Revised Code states that ‘Any intersection equipped with a red light camera must have a full second of extra yellow, above the mathematically recommended minimum for the intersection.’, yet they don’t! When they bring the light timings in line with the law, 80-90% of these violations disappear and the systems become unprofitable.”

    He immediately perked up and was curious as to how they could get the money back. I told him they’d probably have to sue the city and the camera company in small claims court, but if they can show the company violated state guidelines, then they can win all the money back, plus court costs, plus sue for money for their time and effort to research the issue. It costs a little extra to get them served with a summons at their corporate headquarters, but is totally worth it, because sometimes they don’t show up. If they don’t show up, you win, if they lose at all, and don’t pay, you can literally send out a sherriff to seize equipment (computers, files, etc.), and even have the CEO or other company officers arrested. I saw this on Consumerist.com, just look for ‘suing companies in small claims court.’

  • avatar
    essen

    “It’s got a cop motor, a four hundred and forty cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks, it was a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on regular gas,” says Elwood Blues.

  • avatar
    morrisminor

    Needs a lighter…

  • avatar
    unleashed

    What is brand and model of the car in the picture? Just wondering…

  • avatar
    Johnster

    unleashed : What is brand and model of the car in the picture? Just wondering…

    It appears to be a 1974-76 Dodge Monaco.

  • avatar
    fallout11

    Considering that these scameras and associated after-processing violate American’s 5th, 6th, and 10th Amendment rights (per the Supreme Courts of six US states), I’m glad to see common sense prevail.

    Not only is the above pictured vehicle a ’74 Dodge Monaco, it is the same model used by Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi in “The Blues Brothers” (1979).

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