PERRYBLOG: Gotta love Perlmutter for taking on the red-light camera crusaders in Congress

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Like we all need one more reason to love Congressman Ed Perlmutter. The hero people’s-rep today introduced a bill in the U.S. House that would ban the use of red-light cameras across the whole country.

Go, Ed, go.

Please, start here in Aurora. This paper is no fan of the funky contraptions designed only to rake in cash for cities and inflict tight grips and sphincters upon unlucky motorists who see the flash of light pass before their eyes and car windshields all across the country. Our own state lawmakers hasn’t found the temerity to take on such a substantial line-item budget number in almost every state in Colorado — Aurora included.

It’s hard to see how he could gain any traction on a bill like this since relatively mundane traffic matters are the purview of states. But, hey, Perlmutter is a lawyer, and like President Lincoln said, anything is possible with public sentiment, and impossible without it. And if you ask most folks, they’re seeing plenty of red over the damned things. They immediately bring the overwhelming question to mind when jerks are behind the wheel all over the country, “Where’s a cop when you need one?” Sitting on the other side of the camera, folks.

It takes a brave man to lift a finger to the camera as you pass by, or to naysayers on the U.S. House floor, or to finally do something in Congress that actually needs to be done.

Go, Ed, go.

— Dave Perry, editor

 

Here’s the release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) introduced the “Prohibiting Automated Traffic Enforcement Act of 2015” to prohibit states, cities or other local governmental entities from utilizing automated red-light and radar speeding cameras for traffic enforcement purposes. The legislation includes an exception in school zones and work-construction zones. Automated traffic enforcement cameras have not sufficiently proven to reduce traffic safety and are primarily being used to generate revenue for municipalities to fill budget gaps.

“Police officers are the only sure way to apprehend seriously impaired, reckless or other dangerous drivers,” said Rep. Perlmutter.  “All of us are concerned with reducing accidents and reckless driving but it is not evident photo radar cameras improve highway safety, reduce accidents or improve traffic flow.”

States across the country are implementing laws to curb or ban the use of automated traffic enforcement including Mississippi, New Jersey, and Maine among others.  Several other states, including Colorado, are currently debating state legislation to curb their use.

“Automated traffic technology should be used for improving public safety purposes rather than local governments relying on these devices to generate revenue. My constituents tell me these cameras are excessive and seem to do little to improve public safety,” continued Perlmutter.

In August 2013, the University of Tennessee produced a study, titled “Some Measures for Sustaining Red Light Camera Programs and Their Negative Impacts”, looking at data from existing research on traffic at intersections in counties and states.  The study found there is no consensus on whether cameras actually increase traffic safety, citing “dual, conflicting purposes” in the system.  Additionally, Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher noted in recent testimony before the State Affairs Committee at the Colorado State Legislature, the City of Denver “cannot demonstrate that either program has had a tangible impact on improving public safety.”

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davebarnes
davebarnes
7 years ago

The exemptions are large enough to drive a truck thru.

Frank2525
Frank2525
7 years ago

Have not seen a single vehicle up on its side at Blackhawk and Iliff intersection since the lights got the flashers there. Very busy intersection of I-225 just west, and lot of traffic on Abilene feeding to Blackhawk, with fire station on n-e corner. Fast intersection, and in the period just before flashers with cameras installed there, saw 4 vehicles at different times that had been T-boned by folks who just blow through the yellow-red lights. Also Mississippi and Havana has been a bear for years with deaths, cars driven into ice cream parlor, with being one of most dangerous intersections in Aurora. Was one of 4 first installed. JUST WHERE WILL WE FIND THE POLICE WHO WILL GET OUT IN THAT TRAFFIC AND STOP ANYONE? Folks don’t respect police, firemen, or military in todays PC world, until they need some of them. Internet reply to me just this week, was that I was a dinosaur, and needed to go back to 1950. World had passed me by, and I had not kept up. That was in reference to my 26 years of military service, and having worked before service in 1940 period – entering service 1950 (Korean) then staying when I managed programs in ever increasing responsibilities and authority, retiring 1976, and working after that. But this young fast burner of todays youth, was very upset that I interjected opinion about his comment of same sex judges and decreasing morality. That fits with the night time cruising and drinking, while using drugs and being chased by police.

davebarnes
davebarnes
7 years ago
Reply to  Frank2525

“PC world” – I agree. Let’s blame it all on Apple and IBM for popularizing PCs.

Frank2525
Frank2525
7 years ago
Reply to  davebarnes

I don’t know about blaming them, but I have to wonder if we were very smart after WWII and Korean Wars ended (I know politicians did not call Korea and Vietnam wars – but don’t think the warriors in those agree), when we made Colorado so attractive, that all these folks decided they wanted to move here and live on top of those already here. Just slow down, drive within posted speed limits, and follow my father’s advice to me when I was 15, on lumber truck and he taught me to drive. Approach all intersections and railroad tracks slowly, put truck in gear you intend to cross without changing gears, and WHEN YOU GET IN THE INTERSECTION OR ON THE TRACKS, GET THE XXXX OFF. I never had crisis on either from age 15 to now 85, except for those speed burners who tried pushing my vehicles through intersections where I was completely stopped. They were arguing, texting, combing hair or other real important stuff, and did not see my vehicle (on 3 occasions after I retired in 1976, and moved back to my home in Aurora. I-225 now has speeders (mixed from 35 mph to 80mph, shifting lanes, just to keep everyone alert. And drive Chambers either direction, and also be sure to take some thing to calm nerves to drive Parker at any time of day or night. Everyone is in rush to get somewhere, so they have time to fight with spouse, friend, or who ever? Police used to have unmarked cars to improve some attitudes, but that does not happen now that I can see. Drive at or slightly below limit, and get your nerves rattled big time, especially those who wait until about 1 foot off rear bumper, then cut around, and cut you off, just to keep you alert. Especially when fairly close to the exit they are going to exit on, anyway.

ryecatcher
ryecatcher
7 years ago
Reply to  Frank2525

Come out here to Littleton and watch the fun. The light runners are alive and well especially at rush hour. It warms my heart to see the flash as a couple of cars come careening through the intersection running the left turn light. If it were up to me I’d double the fine.

I’m with you. Nail em and fine em if they can’t slow down or stop on red. I like Perlmutter. But on this one he’s wrong and I don’t support his bill to ban the cameras.

Frank2525
Frank2525
7 years ago

Note should be made that Chambers is 35 mph and 40 mph. I-225 is between 40mph minimum and 55 mph maximum, and Parker is mostly 45mph, with multiple lanes turning off right or left, with solid white lines (not to be crossed), but are crossed randomly and without indicating for most of the drive from Mile High Station area to past Arapahoe Road in the south. I would never drive Arapahoe, but my Cardiologist moved his office to medical center, there. I try to drive in one lane, at or just below the posted speed. Others seem to think that is minimum speed.

Frank2525
Frank2525
7 years ago

Think Ed P. will have problem getting much support in Congress for this. Few years ago, in my more agile days (before knees, heart, and age kicked in, with 2 grandchildren in college, I had reason to drive to DIA many times to meet arriving family, or take them to airport to depart. Never stopped in any of my trips with 60 and70 mph limits. At that time we had State Legislator who had received over 20 speeding tickets taking his wife to airport. Always wondered at the time why he was in such a rush to get her out of town. Now with cameras and merchants having security cameras, England and European areas know within short time what kind of vehicles, descriptions of suspects, when there is some episode involving crime, terror, robberies, or shootings. And with go-pro cameras on police uniforms, and on cars, I see this as much more economical means of controlling traffic, crime, and folks have hard time disputing video of themselves in court. When my Calif Son had problems with teenage thugs breaking in or vandalizing his home, he had professional installation of security cameras. Police now come to him to review, and obtain copies of some film, in arresting drug users, and others in that part of town. Time, date, length of time, and being on a traffic circle, gets good photos of the main street, and those entering or leaving his circle. And the audio is just as good as the video. Depending on facility, that is better than a loaded 45 under the counter. And reduces insurance costs for owner too.

indiana
indiana
7 years ago

Of course I hear a lot of complaining and I agree these lights should be removed but I noticed that the people that complained are the same people that vote for politicians to gouge us on taxes and regulations. You people encourage politicians to rip us off then want to complain about this…so please shut your mouth. I hope they keep them to remind you of what you voted for.

Doloris
Doloris
7 years ago

i NEVER THOUGHT i WOULD SAY THIS, BUT THANK GOD FOR REP. PURLMUTTER
RED LIGHT CAMERAS ARE ABOUT NOTHING BUT MONEY!

U.S.M.C. Liberal
U.S.M.C. Liberal
7 years ago

Stop running red lights you dumb F’s.