May 10, 2007

A TENNESSEE POLITICAL HERO:

State Rep. Joe McCord, R-Maryville, has resurrected his bill to regulate red-light cameras in hopes of preventing an expansion of their use.

McCord’s House Bill 0698, as originally written, would have prohibited local governments from entering into profit-sharing arrangements with private companies that install and operate the cameras.

The bill, however, failed to pass the Public Safety and Rural Roads Subcommittee.

Now, McCord is trying again with language that would codify current practices.

“They can still go ahead and have cameras at red lights, but it will put into code that it shall be charged as a nonmoving violation,” he said. “Yes, you’ll still have to pay a $50 fee, but it does not go against your insurance record or against the points on your driver’s license.”

I think the original bill — which I believe also set minimum yellow-light times because cities appear to be manipulating those to create more revenue — was better, but the Knoxville political establishment responded to that so hysterically that it makes me suspicious of what’s really going on here.

More on the problems with traffic cameras here.

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