State lawmakers in Olympia are entering the debate of red light and speed zone cameras. Three bills have been introduced that would change how the cameras are used.
Rep. Christopher Hurst has introduced two bills. One would require a public vote before red light cameras are installed. It would also require that the timing of yellow lights conforms to federal guidelines plus one second. Some critics claim cities intentionally shorten yellow lights to generate more revenue.
Hurst’s other bill would give drivers a one second grace period after the light turns red before a citation is issued.
“What started as a very small pilot project some years ago has turned into a fairly big issue and I would submit it’s also turned into a big problem in Washington state that needs to be addressed,” Hurst said.
Rep. Connie Ladenburg has introduced another bill that would expand the use of automated speed cameras. It would allow cameras near transit stations, public parks and recreation facilities. Currently they’re only allowed near school zones and railroad crossings. It would also require cities conduct studies before installing cameras and issue annual reports about how many accidents occurred and how many tickets were issued.
All three bills got a hearing yesterday in the House Transportation Committee. The footage is below.