Perlmutter seeks to ban red light cameras across the nation

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Photo: Red light cameras (AP Photo)
Colorado lawmakers are again considering banning red light cameras.

As Colorado lawmakers debate a bill to ban the use of red light cameras, one of their colleagues, Ed Perlmutter, has introduced a bill in Congress seeking to eliminate them across the nation.

The debate about automated red light and speeding cameras hinges on whether they improve public safety or if municipalities use them to make money.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has lauded the cameras as a tool to catch and prosecute those who flee the scene of an accident. He says that the technology needs improvement, but is necessary because it “changes people’s behavior” and makes roads safer.

Perlmutter, a Democratic representative for Colorado's 7th District, says "there is some safety aspect to it," but adds, "I think it has turned into something beyond that, which is to generate revenues.”

Morrissey on safety concerns:

"What I know is we average about 17 hit and runs a day in Denver. Anywhere from fender benders to fatals, where people are being killed... These lights change people's behavior."

Perlmutter on cameras being used to identify hit and run suspects:

"He, I think, is as much concerned about having some kind of ability to see if somebody leaves the scene of an accident, which is not a photo radar or a red light camera kind of issue. You can still have cameras to see if somebody is leaving the scene of an accident."