Wyo Considers Traffic Cameras As Other States Take Them Down
A bill that would allow the use of automated vehicle identification systems to enforce traffic laws in the state has been filed for the 2021 Wyoming Legislature. You can read the entire story on that bill at this link.
I'm guessing the author of that bill did not stop to do any homework on why many other cities and states that adopted these cameras in the past have given up on them and taken them down.
Back in 2012 around 540 U.S. jurisdictions had these cameras in use. But then, after some backlash and lawsuits the number dropped to 503, then 213, and in 2020 is down just a few cities.(Governing.com)
New Jersey tested the cameras and found they had no noticeable reduction in traffic accidents. At the same time New Jersey discovered this the governor of Ohio signed a law blocking the use of these cameras in his state.
While that was going on, a California appeals court began throwing out $500 tickets because the towns had not set the cameras with the proper 3.6-second yellow light as required by law. This caused Riverside California to end their red light camera program.
I really don't think Wyoming wants to get sued over this. Lawyers in Missouri reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit against 20 cities. Those cities will have to refund everyone they fined.
The next concern is that cities in Wyoming, or the state itself, will want these camera just because it can make them money. Many cities actually used red light cameras as part of their income and when their programs came to an end they suddenly had budget problems.
The credit rating company Moody’s, wrote of the impact. “These developments are credit-negative,” Moody, “because they further constrain governments’ ability to implement new revenue streams at a time when these governments are facing property tax limits, uneven sales tax growth and anti-tax sentiment.” (Governing.com)
POLITE NOTE TO LEGISLATORS: Before writing a bill find out who might have tried the same thing and if it worked for them.