The Missouri House approved a bill that will allow citizens to vote on the use of red light cameras.
The House met Wednesday, April 30 to approve a House Bill 207, sponsored by State Rep. Paul Curtman.
Curtman said he believes the use of red light cameras should banned in Missouri. He said there are municipalities in Missouri that have tried to redefine movement caught by a red light camera as a non-moving violation, a way for the municipalities to continue to collect fines without assigning points to licensed drivers.
Curtman said there are alternatives to the red light cameras such as speed limit reductions and better signage on the roads. He also said utilizing red light cameras does not improve road safety.
“There’s a report done from Kansas City in 2012 that report demonstrated that the monitored traffic lanes had an increase in collisions," Curtman said. "They attribute that to the fact that people know that there’s a camera so instead of relying on their best judgment to whether or not they should move through a yellow light, they just hit brakes because now they're trying to avoid tickets not trying to avoid getting into accidents.”
Curtman said the collision rate has gone up by over 17 percent.
The Missouri Alliance for Freedom is a state organization that testified in favor of the bill. Alliance President Ryan Johnson said the bill is just a way for the government to collect money.
“[Red light cameras] are an invasion of privacy because Missouri citizens have the right to confront their accusers and because really red light cameras have proven to be a revenue generation scheme for bureaucrats and government officials,” Johnson said.
The bill faces another vote in the House before moving to the Senate. If approved, the question will be placed on the 2016 ballot.