3/16/2006West Virginia Legislature Bans Photo Enforcement
West Virginia legislature votes overwhelmingly to ban red light and speed cameras.
The West Virginia legislature on Saturday passed legislation outlawing both red light cameras and speed cameras. The Senate voted 26-8 to adopt HB4004 which had passed the House with an 88-3 vote last month. The bill is now before Governor Joe Manchin (D) for his signature.
Although no cities in West Virginia use photo enforcement, the measure was meant to stop the practice before it could gain a foothold in the state. It was also meant to send a message of disapproval to nearby Steubenville, Ohio which had been mailing $85 speeding tickets to West Virginia residents. Earlier this week, a court terminated Steubenville's camera program, ruling in a class action suit that the ticketing system violated the law.
Text of HB4004 as amended on March 9, 2006
ARTICLE 6. SPEED RESTRICTIONS.
§17C-6-7a. Prohibition of the use of traffic law photo-monitoring devices to detect or prove traffic law violations.
(a) As used in this section "traffic law photo-monitoring device" means an electronic system consisting of a photographic, video or electronic camera and a means of sensing the presence of a motor vehicle that automatically produces photographs, videotape or digital images of the vehicle, its operator or its license plate.
(b) No police officer may utilize a traffic law photo-monitoring device to determine compliance with, or to detect a violation of, a municipal or county ordinance or any provision of this code that governs or regulates the operation of motor vehicles.
(c) A violation of a county ordinance or an ordinance of a Class I, II, III or IV municipality, as defined in chapter eight of this code, or any provision of this code that governs or regulates the operation of motor vehicles may not be proved by evidence obtained by the use of a traffic law photo-monitoring device.
(d) The provisions of this section do not prohibit the use of any device designed to measure and indicate the speed of a moving object by means of microwaves to obtain evidence to prove the speed of a motor vehicle including by a Class I, II, III or IV municipality, as defined in chapter eight of this code, pursuant to section seven of this article.
(e) The provisions of this section do not prohibit use of a traffic law photo-monitoring device for any other lawful purposes other than violations of municipal or county ordinances or any provision of this code governing moving traffic violations.