TACOMA, Wash. -- Several cities say they will have to turn off their red light cameras if Initiative 985 passes.
The measure on Tuesday's ballot in Washington requires that revenue from the tickets go to a fund to reduce traffic congestion.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports that leaders in Tacoma, Lakewood, Fife, Puyallup and Auburn say they won't have money to pay for the red light cameras if voters approve I-985.
Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman says it takes the profit motive out of the cameras and forces cities to make the decision based on traffic safety.
Please report back after the results so that I can keep track of what is going on in that state.
As if I needed another reason to vote for 985...
WASHINGTON STATE - Cities say Initiative-985 would end red light cameras
This iniative had zero advertising behind it and was blasted on tv and radio station ads for the last month. Never stood a chance. I would have loved to see it pass.
If that passed the money used to pay for the cameras would have to come out of the general budget. That would not be possible in nearly every city in the country. Then you would be left with 2 choices.
Turn off the cameras and now have to pay for the new project that I-985 created out of the general budget (the amount from car sales tax is not going to be much with the economy the way it is) driving the debt even further into the hole.
Put out a ton more cameras in an attempt to generate so much surplus in ticket revenue so that all I-985 projects will paid for and enough left over to go into the transit fund so that the general budget money used for transit would not be needed and it could be diverted pay for the cameras.
Initiatives put out by a "professional ballot-measure activist" really don't have much chance. After convincing people to pass his initiatives only to have all of them ruled unconstitutional in court people tend to become disheartened. Throw on top of it claiming to be working for free and then paying himself $50,000 out of the fund for getting these initiatives on the ballot he gets to be known as a liar.
Despite what is discussed on these forums the camera argument is far greater than "money v safety".
Red light cameras are about public safety-I can tell you that because I live in Chicago where the mumbling idiot, AKA Mayor Daley, has said that time and time again. The revenue is just an unintended side effect of the cameras.
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