NASHVILLE, April 22, 2015– On Wednesday, the Tennessee General Assembly voted to outlaw unmanned speed cameras used to issue traffic tickets. Followed by a 29:1 Senate vote in favor of the ban, the House voted 74:16:1.
“My office has received thousands of phone calls and emails in support of this legislation from across the state. The outcry from the public is palpable. I was really honored to have more than thirty co-sponsors on this legislation. Especially Senate sponsor Todd Gardenhire,” said HB1372 chief sponsor Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden).
Multiple judges from across the country have thrown out traffic camera tickets due to their unconstitutional nature.
“Tennesseans are tired of having their constitutional right to face their accuser sold to private out-of-state companies.”
The original intent of the bill was to outlaw red light cameras and speed cameras. However, the bill was stripped of some of its elements through the committee process. Currently, the ban only outlaws speed cameras. However, school zones and a s-curve roads will still be able to utilize the cameras.
Holt says he will continue to work towards outlawing red light cameras next year.
“It’s very rare that you get everything you want. However, I am really happy that we were able to take a step in the right direction. We’re not going to quit fighting for our constituents’ rights.”
Proponents of the cameras argue that they are a safety measure. However, Holt says the evidence proves otherwise.
“The truth is, almost all studies showing that cameras improve safety are sponsored by the very companies and municipalities that make millions of dollars off of them. Virtually every non-biased, peer reviewed study shows that the cameras actually have either a negative effect, or no change at all regarding safety. At best, the evidence is inconclusive. Regardless, we have to realize that we cannot sell our rights for the guise of safety.”
HB1372 awaits Governor Bill Haslam’s signature.