Monday, March 23, 2009

Mississippi Bans Traffic Cameras

Mississippi Bans Traffic Cameras
Red Light, Speeding Cameras Still Allowed In Louisiana
POSTED: 11:13 am CDT March 23, 2009
UPDATED: 12:27 pm CDT March 23, 2009

NEW ORLEANS -- While some Louisiana drivers look to the courts to remove automated traffic cameras from area roads, Mississippi has enacted a measure that bans the systems under state law.

Gov. Haley Barbour signed into effect a bill that prohibits the red light and speed-enforcement cameras and requires the removal of existing systems.

The cities of Jackson and Columbus already use the cameras. Tupelo, Natchez, Southaven and McComb had been considering them.

A representative for the governor said Barbour decided to sign the bill into law after being assured by the Mississippi Highway Patrol that law-enforcement officers would still be able to use dashboard cameras to catch speeders.

Lawsuits in Louisiana hope to have the same effect as the Mississippi legislation. In December, a federal judge declined to throw out a case against Jefferson Parish. Those behind the class action lawsuit claim the cameras violate their constitutional rights.

The City of New Orleans issued more than 61,000 citations last year through its camera program, which launched in April and includes 17 intersections. City officials said they saw an 85 percent decrease in red light violations during that time.

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