Mississippi House Votes to Ban Ticket Cameras

Mississippi state House votes 117-3 to ban red light and speed cameras. Public protest against photo ticketing grows in Maryland and Missouri. A near-unanimous Mississippi state House of Representatives voted Wednesday to ban red light cameras and speed cameras while anti-camera citizen protest movements gathered steam in other parts of the country. Mississippi state Representative Edward Blackmon, Jr. (D-Canton) inadvertently kicked off the effort when he introduced a measure designed to give legislative approval to the use of photo enforcement so long as ticket records were not shared with insurance companies. Blackmon’s proposal was a clever way to encourage the city councils of Columbus, Jackson, McComb, Natchez, Southaven and Tupelo, all of which have approved red light camera ordinances, in the guise of placing limitations on automated ticketing machines. The state House Judiciary Committee would have none of it. The panel rewrote Blackmon’s measure to ban not just the reporting of photo tickets to insurance companies, but also the issuance a photo ticket for any offense other than a toll violation. “A civil or criminal traffic citation may not be issued as the result of the use of automated recording equipment on state, county or municipal highways, roads and streets, and any evidence obtained from such use shall not be reported to the Department of Public Safety for any purpose, to any person or entity for the use on any credit report or to any insurance company for insurance purposes,” House Bill 1568 now states. Blackmon was one of only three House members who voted against the revised legislation which now heads to the state Senate for its consideration.

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