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Old 2009-03-24
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Exclamation Photo Enforcement Banned in Mississippi

Article: Photo Enforcement Banned in Mississippi

Governor Haley BarbourAs of last Friday, no jurisdiction had the authority to enter into a contract with a private company to operate either a red light cameras or speed camera system in the state of Mississippi. With a stroke of his pen, Governor Haley Barbour (R) had quietly signed into law one of the most comprehensive bans on photo enforcement in the country after the state legislature put the proposal on his desk with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The final tally in favor of House Bill 1568 was 111-9 in the state House and 42-9 in the state Senate, both veto-proof margins. As a result of the proposal becoming law, McComb, Natchez, Southaven and Tupelo must immediately stop their planned efforts to install automated ticketing machines. Columbus and Jackson have until October 1 to pull the plug on their operational devices. The Columbus City Council has already taken action to remove the city's lone camera at 14th Avenue and Waterworks Road.

Mississippi is not alone in moving to ban photo ticketing. A number of independent studies have shown that red light cameras actually increase the number of collisions at intersections where they are used (view studies). This fact has driven states around the country to turn against the use of photo ticketing. The Montana state Senate Highways and Transportation Committee yesterday held a hearing to consider a ban on traffic cameras that the House had passed in February (view bill).

In 2006, the West Virginia state legislature by overwhelming margins passed a photo ticketing ban into law. Alaska, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah and Wisconsin have also banned automated citations through judicial or legislative action. More
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