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Michigan senator introduces legislation to ban 'red-light cameras'

The senate bill would ban the use of photographic traffic signal enforcement systems for issuing tickets and infractions.

LANSING, Mich. — Republican Senator Lana Theis introduced new legislation on Wednesday that would effectively ban the use of 'red-light cameras' when issuing tickets and citations to motorists in Michigan.

The legislation comes on the heels of a memorandum from the U.S. Department of Transportation that gives guidance for installing automated traffic enforcement systems as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Senate Bill 875 says, "Any citation issued on the basis of a recorded image produced by a photographic traffic signal enforcement system in violation of this section is void."

“Red-light cameras are not about motorist safety. They are cynical revenue grabs, often riddled with corruption with no benefit for the greater good,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “What’s more important, red-light cameras violate motorists’ constitutional rights, and studies show that they even increase traffic accidents. Red-light cameras are the definition of government overreach, and we should keep them off our streets.”

There have been conflicting studies done on the effectiveness of red-light cameras in the United States. Some studies show that the use of the cameras reduce fatal crashes while others show that they actually increase rear-end crashes.

Some studies have also shown that while the cameras reduce overall citations for running red lights, but they have a minimal impact on the number of accidents at intersections that have them installed.

Red-light cameras are currently not used for traffic violation enforcement in Michigan but are used in many other states and the District of Columbia.

The bill was referred to the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for consideration.

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