Hickenlooper not tipping hand on proposed red light camera ban

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DENVER -- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper wouldn't say on Monday if he supports a proposal to ban red light cameras and photo radar vans across the state.

FOX31 Denver asked Hickenlooper about Senate Bill 181 Monday a few hours after the bill passed out of the state senate on a 21-14 bipartisan vote.

"I have not seen the version that passed, I know there were some changes made," Hickenlooper responded. "So we're going to look at that first and see what happens in the House."

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, called the bill "the most bipartisan bill of the session.

"I hope the governor will see fit to sign it when it reaches his desk," he continued.

Despite opposition from the Colorado Association of Police Chiefs and the Colorado Municipal League, the bill appears to have public opinion on its side -- and it offers lawmakers in both parties a chance to support a crowd-pleasing, consumer-focused measures just months out from an important election.

"There are a number of people who feel a level of anger at what they see as an intrusion that's not making their roads safer," Hickenlooper said. "And they see it as a way that local governments are trying to increase their revenues. So I understand the frustration."

Many in law enforcement are frustrated that the legislation is sailing along despite their concerns about public safety.

Chief Daniel Oates of Aurora has been extremely outspoken about his view that red light cameras have helped police improve public safety by holding drivers accountable.

"This is working in Aurora," Oates said last week. "The notion that the legislature would take this away from aurora and make the policy decision for our elected officials is we think wrong and offensive."

The bill now heads to the House for consideration where it has the support of Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver.

Renfroe, who is running for Congress in the state's sprawling 4th district, sponsored the legislation the past two years but failed to advance the bill because Democrats didn't support it.

Renfroe blamed that on former Senate President John Morse, a Democrat and former police chief himself who was ousted last year in a recall election.

According to Renfroe, Morse demanded that his caucus vote in lockstep against the red light camera ban.

"The change in leadership on their side has helped loosen things up," he said, noting that Morse's predecessor, Senate President Morgan Carroll, is co-sponsoring his bill.

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4 comments

  • Tom Sanders

    Just another example of a gutless democrat politician that won’t reveal any position until he figures out how it will affect he’s reelection….it’s all about them and keeping power NOT what’s best for the public.

  • James Walker

    It is great news to see the bill pass the Senate. Hopefully it will sail through the House and get signed by the Governor.

    Ticket cameras produce profits ONLY when they ticket mostly safe drivers with deliberately mis-engineered traffic safety factors. Speed limits are set lower than the safest levels and yellow intervals on lights are set too short for the actual approach speeds of most of the traffic.

    Colorado deserves to be the next state to totally ban these scams.

    South Dakota just passed the best bill to ban red light cameras. They are now prohibited in the state AND state authorities are prohibited from helping other states collect ticket camera fines from state residents.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National motorists Association

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