Legislators Steering Michigan Toward Red Light Cameras

Photo ticketing bills presented in the Legislature

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Michigan lawmakers have introduced bills that would legalize unmanned red light cameras in the state.

The bills, House Bill 4763 and 4762, were introduced May 22 by Reps. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and Thomas Stallworth III, D-Detroit. The bills define running a red light that's caught on camera as a civil offense. That differs from a 2007 opinion from then-Attorney General Mike Cox, who said Michigan law recognizes red light running as a criminal violation, and the law was not authorized for photo ticketing. 

On Tuesday, the House Transportation Committee heard testimony on the matter. A representative from a safety group supported by a company that sells red light cameras, American Traffic Solutions, spoke in favor of the bills. Five people spoke against the bills. 

Jim Walker of the National Motorists Association, said his organization has a number of studies on its website showing red light cameras cause more harm than good. The bills are expected to reach the full House before summer recess.

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