Indiana News

House Kills Bill to Authorize Automated Traffic Cameras



The latest attempt to let police use automatic cameras to catch traffic violators in Indiana appears dead for the year at the statehouse.

Legislators have balked for years at authorizing cameras to catch red-light runners. Representative Ed Soliday's (R-Valparaiso) bill would have allowed cameras only for what he says are two particularly dangerous violations: speeding through work zones, and passing a school bus.

Soliday says 11 highway workers died and more than 500 were injured in work-zone crashes last year. He says Triple-A estimates two-thousand drivers a day blow through school-bus stop signs.

But Soliday pulled the bill off the floor on the last day for a vote in the House -- he says there's opposition for a variety of reasons. Soliday says he believes he had enough votes to pass the bill, but says he wants it to pass with broad support, not narrowly.

The bill would have set fines stemming from the cameras at $250 to $1,000. 30% of the money would have been earmarked for construction of a new trauma-care hospital. Soliday says that's less than the potential fine if a police officer caught you in person, but says it was one source of opposition. He says legislators reviewing the issue before next year's session will need to consider where to set the fine so it's high enough to discourage violators, but not so high that it looks like a money grab.

The proposal could still be amended into another bill, but Soliday says he doesn't plan to attempt that.


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