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Should Massachusetts Allow Red Light Traffic Camera Enforcement?

BOSTON – The push to allow traffic enforcement via red light cameras has been revived in Massachusetts. 

A bill filed by Democratic Reps. Steven Owens, of Watertown, and Manny Cruz, of Salem, would let up to 10 cities and towns in the state install the red light cameras.

What a red light camera law would mean for drivers

Municipalities would be allowed to have a limited number of cameras – one system per 25,000 residents – to watch for traffic violations like not stopping for a red light or blocking an intersection. Cameras would not be permitted in towns with fewer than 2,500 people. Authorities would need to present crash data for proposed locations before launching the cameras.

The maximum fine would be $25 per violation. The bill does not allow fine revenue to be used to pay for operating the camera system.

It would require the cameras to take pictures of the back of the car – not the front – to prevent any possible racial profiling of drivers.

According to The State House News Service, Owens told fellow legislators that “the time has really come for Massachusetts to join the 26 other states that allow some sort of automated traffic enforcement.”

“You guys know that the traffic is back post-pandemic. Drivers are as aggressive as ever. Lately, I talk to people, and when I asked them, ‘Do you think drivers have gotten worse since we’ve gotten back from the pandemic?’, everybody seems to agree,” he said.  

Previous red light camera bills failed

The proposed pilot program is narrower than a push by former Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration in 2021 that would have allowed any number of communities to put red light cameras at intersections.

A 2020 bill authorizing the cameras stalled in the state Senate after “tense exchanges” between lawmakers. 

Source : CBSNews