Sheridan voters could ban red light camera and photo radar vans

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SHERIDAN, Colo. -- A petition to ban the city’s only red light camera and photo radar van arrived at Sheridan City Hall on Friday morning. Paul Houston delivered 523 signatures to the city clerk hoping to force a special election.

“This is historic. It’s never been tried before in the state of Colorado,” said Houston, explaining his effort to let voters decide if they want red light cameras and photo radar vans in their city.

“Municipalities love it because it raises a lot of money. The voters actually, though, boy they see it as a scam."

Sheridan Mayor Dallas Hall disagreed.

“I believe it is about safety," he said.

The two-term mayor said photo radar vans slow drivers in school and construction zones. He added the city’s only red light camera at Highway 285 and Bryant Street reduces red light runners.

Sheridan’s city budget showed it raised about $1.46 million in the past two years from red camera and photo radar fines.

"The city said it's about safety, but they can't point to any valid study that proves that. We know it's successful for one thing: Revenue raising,” Houston said.

Hall acknowledged the revenue raised is critical for city coffers.

“Yes, it's critical. I mean we taken in every dollar we can and we use it for the best of our abilities for the city of Sheridan, but if the voters say no more then we will cease and desist," he said.

The city clerk has 30 days to validate the signatures. If she deems at least 452 come from registered Sheridan voters, then the city council can adopt the ban as an ordinance or put it to voters in a special election later this year.