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5/7/2009Fifteen States, Twenty-one Cities Where Automated Ticketing is Banned
The list of fifteen states where red light cameras or speed cameras are prohibited under state law. Updated 11/11
When Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) signed a bill banning red light cameras on May 5, 2009, Montana added itself to a growing list of states that prohibit photo enforcement. In total, fifteen states and twenty-one cities now prohibit this form of ticketing. The following list includes links to the full text of each statute or legal decision prohibiting the use of photo radar or red light cameras.
Some measures require explanation. In Arkansas, for example, state law authorizes police to use a photo radar gun if the officer personally delivers the ticket at the time of the violation. This does no more than allow a photograph to be used in conjunction with a traditional traffic stop and serves as an unconditional ban on automated enforcement. In Utah, the legislature has placed so many restrictions on the use of photo radar -- specifically, banning outsourcing of the ticketing process to private, for-profit companies -- that no city uses speed cameras. This serves as an "effective ban" on photo enforcement. The list also excludes states like Florida where photo enforcement is illegal but local jurisdictions ignore the law in the hopes that they will not be sued before the legislature retroactively approves their use of photo ticketing.
Cameras have also been banned at a local level by referendum (view results in list format). In November 2011, voters rejected cameras in seven of eight contests. In Dayton, Texas 70 percent said no. In Washington state, voters said no with a two-thirds vote in Bellingham and Monroe, and Longview voters rejected cameras by 59 percent. In Ohio, Garfield Heights rejected an attempt to bring back cameras and South Euclid voted 55 percent against them. After sending police officers in uniform door-to-door to encourage votes for cameras, East Cleveland won the first and only victory for automated ticketing. In October 2011, a majority rejected red light cameras in a non-binding referendum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the 2010 midterms, voters in Houston and Baytown, Texas as well as Garfield Heights, Ohio rejected red light cameras. The vote in Mukilteo, Washington was 70 percent against the cameras and 73 percent in Anaheim, California. In May 2010, 61 percent of Sykesville, Maryland voters overturned a speed camera ordinance. In 2009, eighty-six percent of Sulphur, Louisiana rejected speed cameras. The November elections included three votes: 72 percent said no in Chillicothe, Ohio; Heath, Ohio and College Station, Texas also rejected cameras. In 2008, residents in Cincinnati, Ohio rejected red light cameras. Seventy-six percent of Steubenville, Ohio voters rejected photo radar in 2006. In the mid-1990s, speed cameras lost by a two-to-one margin in Peoria, Arizona and Batavia, Illinois. In 1997, voters in Anchorage, Alaska banned cameras even after the local authorities had removed them. In 2003, 64 percent of voters in Arlington, Texas voted down "traffic management cameras" that opponents at the time said could be converted into ticketing cameras. Photo enforcement has been defeated in 22 of 23 election contests.
Full text of laws:
27-52-110. Automated enforcement device operated by a county government or a department of state government operating outside a municipality.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Automated enforcement device" means a system operated by a county government or a department of state government that is operating outside of a municipality that:
(A) Uses a photo-radar device that is capable of detecting a speeding violation; and
(B) Photographs or records an image of the vehicle used in committing the violation, the operator of the vehicle, or the license plate of the vehicle; and
(2) "Municipality" means a city of the first class, a city of the second class, or an incorporated town.
(b) Except as used under subsection (c) of this section, an automated enforcement device shall not be used by a law enforcement agency of a county or a department of state government that is operating outside of a municipality to detect or enforce:
(1) A violation of the traffic laws or regulations of the State of Arkansas; or
(2) An ordinance of the municipality.
(c) (1) A county government or a department of state that is operating outside of a municipality may use an automated enforcement device to detect and enforce a violation of traffic laws or ordinances:
(A) In a school zone; or
(B) At a railroad crossing.
(2) If a county or a department of state government that is operating outside of a municipality uses an automated enforcement device, then a certified law enforcement officer must:
(A) Be present with the automated enforcement device; and
(B) Issue the citation to the violator at the time and place of the violation.
(d) This section shall not prevent the Arkansas Highway Police Division of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department from using automated enforcement devices to enforce state or federal motor carrier laws.
History. Acts 2005, No. 1451, Section 1.
NRS 484.910 Use by governmental entity or agent of photographic, video or digital equipment to gather evidence for issuance of traffic citation. A governmental entity and any agent thereof shall not use photographic, video or digital equipment for gathering evidence to be used for the issuance of a traffic citation for a violation of this chapter unless the equipment is held in the hand or installed temporarily or permanently within a vehicle or facility of a law enforcement agency.
Highway Video Surveillance
236:130 Highway Surveillance Prohibited. –
I. In this subdivision, "surveillance" means the act of determining the ownership of a motor vehicle or the identity of a motor vehicle's occupants on the public ways of the state or its political subdivisions through the use of a camera or other imaging device or any other device, including but not limited to a transponder, cellular telephone, global positioning satellite, or radio frequency identification device, that by itself or in conjunction with other devices or information can be used to determine the ownership of a motor vehicle or the identity of a motor vehicle's occupants.
II. Neither the state of New Hampshire nor its political subdivisions shall engage in surveillance on any public ways of the state or its political subdivisions.
III. The prohibition set forth in paragraph II shall not apply where surveillance:
(a) Is specifically authorized by statute;
(b) Is undertaken on a case-by-case basis in the investigation of a particular violation, misdemeanor, or felony;
(c) Is undertaken to produce images or data that:
(1) Are viewed only at the transportation management center of the department of transportation in connection with a particular incident occurring on a public way; and
(2) Are not recorded;
(d) Is incidental to the monitoring of a building or other structure under the control of the state or a political subdivision of the state;
(e) Is undertaken for purposes of operation of the E-Z Pass system; or
(f) Is undertaken for the security of the following bridges and approach structures: I-95 Piscataqua River Bridge, Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, and the Memorial Bridge, all in Portsmouth.
IV. Nothing in this section shall prevent the creation, transmission, or recording of any images or data which cannot, by enhancement, manipulation, or otherwise, be used for surveillance.
V. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a violation if a natural person, or guilty of a misdemeanor if any other person.
Source. 2006, 107:1. 2007, 335:2, eff. July 16, 2007.
41-6a-608. Photo radar -- Restrictions on use.
(1) "Photo radar" means a device used primarily for highway speed limit enforcement substantially consisting of a low power doppler radar unit and camera mounted in or on a vehicle, which automatically produces a photograph of a vehicle traveling in excess of the legal speed limit, with the vehicle's speed, the date, time of day, and location of the violation printed on the photograph.
(2) Photo radar may not be used except:
(a) (i) in school zones; or
(ii) in other areas that have a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less;
(b) when a peace officer is present with the photo radar unit;
(c) when signs are posted on the highway providing notice to a motorist that photo radar may be used;
(d) when use of photo radar by a local highway authority is approved by the local highway authority's governing body; and
(e) when the citation is accompanied by the photograph produced by photo radar.
(3) The restrictions under Subsection (2) on the use of photo radar do not apply when the information gathered is used for highway safety research or to issue warning citations not involving a fine, court appearance, or a person's driving record.
(4) A contract or agreement regarding the purchase, lease, rental, or use of photo radar by the department or by a local highway authority may not specify any condition for issuing a citation.
(5) The department and any local highway authority using photo radar, upon request, shall make the following information available for public inspection during regular office hours:
(a) the terms of any contract regarding the purchase, lease, rental, or use of photo radar;
(b) the total fine revenue generated by using photo radar;
(c) the number of citations issued by the use of photo radar; and
(d) the amount paid to the person providing the photo radar unit.
(6)A moving traffic violation obtained through the use of photo radar is not a reportable violation as defined under Section 53-3-102'>53-3-102, and points may not be assessed against a person for the violation.
(a) In this subsection, "photo radar speed detection" means the detection of a vehicle's speed by use of a radar device combined with photographic identification of the vehicle.
(b) Notwithstanding sub. (1), the state and local authorities may not use photo radar speed detection to determine compliance with any speed restriction imposed by s. 346.57, 346.58, 346.59, 346.595 or 349.11 or a local ordinance in conformity therewith.