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Old 2009-06-08
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Exclamation Maine Bans Photo Enforcement

Article: Maine Bans Photo Enforcement

State Rep. Rich CebraMaine last week became the fourteenth state to ban the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. Governor John Baldacci (D) signed into law a bill introduced by Representative Richard Cebra (R-Naples) that prohibits the use of a "traffic surveillance camera to prove or enforce a violation" of traffic laws. Cebra's measure sailed through the legislative process with almost no opposition at any stage of the process.

"While on the surface these cameras may appear to increase public safety, recent studies have shown that they actually increase the occurrences of accidents at intersections where the public is aware that there is a camera," Cebra said in a statement. "The placement of these cameras is also a civil rights issue, creating the issuing of a summons and possible fines and jail time to the owner of a vehicle and not necessarily the actual driver of the vehicle. In many places around the country, these cameras have become nothing more than a money-maker for municipalities."

The issue of automated enforcement was first raised in March by state Representative Donald Pilon (D-Saco) who wanted to give municipalities the right to install red light cameras throughout Maine. His idea backfired. When Pilon's bill came before the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation, not one member voted in favor of the proposal. Cebra followed up with his prohibition measure which was greeted with unanimous committee approval in April. It cleared the full state Senate under a suspended rules procedure used for non-controversial measures, but an amendment was added in the House to allow the use of toll road cameras. Thus modified, the legislation cleared both chambers on May 21 with overwhelming support.

The law formally takes effect ninety days after the legislature adjourns, which would be September 15 according to the latest schedule. Earlier this year, Mississippi and Montana enacted photo enforcement bans. View the full list of states that ban traffic cameras. More
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