Speed cameras: Matter of public safety, or government money grab?
It looks increasingly likely that the legislature will adopt a law this year allowing speed cameras statewide in highway work zones and near schools. What do you think? Are they an important tool to protect kids playing and walking to school, as proponents argue, or a blatant attmept by government to find a new way to pluck $40 out of your pocket? Details of the legislation under consideration, courtesy of Julie Bykowicz, are posted below.
Senate plan How it works: Cameras could be placed within a half-mile of any school or in any highway work zone where the limit is 45 mph or higher. Motorists going at least 12 miles per hour over the posted limit could be fined.
The penalties: A $40 citation would be mailed to the vehicle's registered owner, regardless of who is driving. The offender would not receive any MVA "points" on his or her license, so insurance premiums could not increase. Motorists could protest the citations in court.
The revenue: Money from the citations would go first to the local governments operating the camera program. After paying operating costs, the local government would retain up to 10 percent of the total revenue to reinvest in pedestrian and public safety programs. The rest of the money would go to the state general fund.
What happens next: The Senate is set to give final approval to its plan Wednesday. A House committee is expected to forward its more expansive plan, and if that chamber approves, lawmakers would have to work out the differences before the session ends in two weeks.