Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red Light Cameras Coming to an Intersection Near You, Thanks to the GOP?

During a quick glance at my Twitter feed tonight I noticed an item of note- this Tweet from “citizen activist” Rich Neumeister.  (If you don’t know Rich- and I don’t- there’s a profile of him here that’s worth a read.)

This sounded familiar to me, as the same thing happened when I lived in Phoenix.

After some light digging I was able to confirm that the company pushing this issue in MN is the same one that did so in AZ.  The company is called Redflex. They provide cameras for intersections (“red light cameras”) and speed cameras (“photo radar”) among other “traffic safety” devices.

Arizona implemented an agressive program of freeway photo radar under then Governor (now Homeland Security Secretary) Janet Napolitano.  This program was managed by Redflex.  Just a few years later, Governor Jan Brewer shut the program down.

Proponents of these “traffic safety” cameras will tell you that their purpose is just that- safety.  However, numerous studies have shown that these cameras actually have the opposite effect on safety.  One thing the cameras are good at, however, is raising revenue.  And that’s what Redflex counts on to sell the product.

Redflex has a long history of hiring very effective lobbyists to get their products pushed through, and they have their sights set on our DFL controlled and revenue addicted state.

Unfortunately, there are two Republicans who are authors of SF377, the bill that would allow these cameras in MN:  Senators John Pederson and Julie Rosen.

Rosen is said to be interested in a run for Governor in 2014.

We have enough to worry about from the DFL majorities trying to squeeze every penny of revenue from us.  It’s beyond disappointing to see two Republican Senators join them.

I’ve contacted both Senators to share my opinions with them.  I’d encourage you to do the same.  (Contact Info at the links above)