"The Dean" does a breakdown on the red light camera bills coming through committee.
The bill approved by the House Transportation Subcommittee (HB1500) also includes provisions that:
--Require "a traffic engineering study" before any new camera could be set up to assure that the proposed camera meets specified criteria.
--Prohibit unmanned traffic enforcement cameras within two miles of a reduction of speed limits of 10 mph or greater. Proponents of the provision say some cameras now create a "speed trap" by being set up immediately past a reduction in speed limit.
--Mandate that notice of violations be mailed to the alleged offender within 20 days and that all responses and payments be made to a Tennessee address. The original bill called for mailing within 10 days, but that was changed by amendment.
Some lawmakers say citations now are sometimes not mailed for months and some require payments be made to the company based out of the state that operates the cameras.
-Require that the mailed notice include a clear statement of penalties and extra costs that can be assessed for late payment or if the alleged offender goes to court. If a person does not contest the citation, the fine would be capped at $50.
-Require that a certified law enforcement officer review all photos or camera footage before a citation is issued. Current law requires only that an "employee" of a law enforcement agency conduct the review.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Vince Dean of East Ridge, is somewhat similar to legislation that was approved by the House last year only to die in the Senate Transportation Committee. This year, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, is Senate sponsor of the measure.
The provision eliminating citations for right turns on red was not part of last year's proposal and stirred most of the debate in its first committee hearing. The bill passed with just two no votes and now goes to the full House Transportation Committee.
Lawmakers say many complaints from motorists about camera-issued tickets are based on right hand turns....
....Dean's bill effectively bypasses that notion by prohibiting any ticket for a right turn on red being issued by a traffic camera. Police could still personally ticket motorists, however, for turning right without a complete stop.
The panel also approved 6-4 another bill -- over Dean's objections -- that says citations issued on the basis of a traffic camera must be personally served on the alleged offender, not just mailed.