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Old 03-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #1
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Mississippi bans red light cameras

http://www.sunherald.com/185/story/1221991.html

Jackson stops enforcement with red-light cameras
By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS - Associated Press Writer

JACKSON, Miss. -- Mississippi's capital city will stop issuing tickets and collecting fines when automatic cameras snap pictures of vehicles running red lights, city attorney Sarah O'Reilly Evans says.

The change in Jackson is being made immediately, even though a new state law sets an Oct. 1 deadline for the cameras to be taken down in the only two cities already using them - Jackson and Columbus.

Natchez, Tupelo, Southaven and McComb are among the cities that have considered installing the red-light cameras. Officials there are scrambling to re-evaluate their plans or contracts because the law prohibits the devices in any city or county where they're not already up.

The cameras take pictures of the license plates of vehicles that run red lights. A photograph is sent to a vehicle's owner, along with a ticket. Cities share revenue with the private companies that have contracts to operate the cameras.

"We were interested in them for safety," Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton said Monday. "The only person that's going to get in trouble or get a ticket is the person who runs a red light."

Several lawmakers complained the cameras were an invasion of privacy and their constituents thought they had been unfairly ticketed.

Gov. Haley Barbour's office announced Monday that he had signed the bill into law late Friday.

Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said the governor decided to sign the bill after being assured by the Mississippi Highway Patrol that law enforcement officers would still be able to use dashboard cameras to record their interactions with people pulled over for traffic stops.

Jackson has used the cameras since October at eight busy intersections. Police Chief Malcolm McMillin said officials saw the cameras as a way to reduce accidents.

McMillin, who doubles as the Hinds County sheriff, said city officials are "not going to drown ourselves in self pity" over the camera ban. He said the police department doesn't have enough officers to constantly sit at busy intersections and catch people running lights.

J. Thomas Ramsey is a lobbyist who represents RedSpeed Mississippi, the private company that has a contract to install red-light cameras in Natchez. Ramsey said the company already has spent money for the process of installation, including hiring engineers to evaluate traffic patterns.

"These cameras save lives. And lives will be sacrificed for populist politics," Ramsey said.

He said RedSpeed Mississippi is deciding whether to file a lawsuit to challenge the camera ban.

Anticipating that Barbour might sign the ban into law, the Columbus City Council voted last week to remove a camera in the central part of town, and officials are examining the city's contract with a private company that operates the camera and handles the ticketing process. Columbus' chief financial officer, Mike Bernsen, said people have paid more than $53,000 in fines.

The bill passed the House 117-3 on Feb. 11. It passed the Senate 42-9 on March 4.
The bill is House Bill 1568.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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is this a good thing?
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:36 AM   #3
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"populist politics"


yeah fk populist


we are only a democracy of the people.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
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is this a good thing?
they are supposedly reducing accidents in red light camera intersections.

i still look at em as popo piggy banks though.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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There was a study done by the Houston Chronicles that showed accidents increased at intersections where the cameras are installed in Houston. The only thing that the cameras do is increase revenue for the city. Another way the government taxing their citizens without 'raising the tax rate'.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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there was also another report saying after a while accidents went down at teh same intersection.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:16 PM   #7
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cameras are ok and have several upsides to them such as tracking criminals or kidnappers.

Cameras that snap a picture and send you a ticket is bs. Big brother at his finest.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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it's an unwinnable argument - but dangerous accidents are reduced, even though minor accidents go up a bit - but maybe some day people will get used to respecting the law, and the lights, and the safety of others - which will be safer for us two-wheelers in the end!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:45 PM   #9
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i didn't expect the tone of this thread. I guess I didn't realize they actually ended up with some benefits after all. my eyes have been opened a bit i guess. good points all
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:51 PM   #10
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i understand what they say about the privacy issue, i dont want no one seeing when a chics slobbin my and they get to take a pic or laff at it cuz theyre jealous............
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:18 PM   #11
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the problem still remains, you don't have to pay the ticket. it's voluntary. they can't prove you did it, no judge is gonna sign a warrant. I have a stack I use to wipe when tp is low. useless. now, mayor white installed these things thinking he was going to pay them off and make bank. but if you don't have to pay, that's 20 million wasted. what a .
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
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the problem still remains, you don't have to pay the ticket. it's voluntary. they can't prove you did it, no judge is gonna sign a warrant. I have a stack I use to wipe when tp is low. useless. now, mayor white installed these things thinking he was going to pay them off and make bank. but if you don't have to pay, that's 20 million wasted. what a .
don't they have legal recourse?
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifu-TZ View Post
the problem still remains, you don't have to pay the ticket. it's voluntary. they can't prove you did it, no judge is gonna sign a warrant. I have a stack I use to wipe when tp is low. useless. now, mayor white installed these things thinking he was going to pay them off and make bank. but if you don't have to pay, that's 20 million wasted. what a .
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don't they have legal recourse?
they will send it to a collection agency and give your credit a hit.

seriously.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:58 PM   #14
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from what i heard against your credit score vs legal (jail).
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
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they will send it to a collection agency and give your credit a hit.

seriously.
The cameras have absolutely nothing to do with DPS, your ticket will not result in a warrant. They will ruin your credit. It is one hundred percent a money making deal, has nothing to do with saftey. How do I know this? When I received a camera light ticket in the mail, it said no less than three times on the actual ticket that this is not a money making thing, it is for saftey. If they go out of thier way to tell you three times on one sheet of paper that it is not a money making thing, bet your that is all that it is.
I heard that people are not running the red lights near as much where these cameras are. Now they are talking about leaving the cameras but not monitoring them because in many cases the cameras are costing more to operate/maintain than they are now taking in in fines. If this is true and they are worried about our saftey, why would they not upkeep them. Because it is no longer profitable.
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