Finally Ending Photo Radar in Colorado?

Here in Colorado, Republican state senator Scott Renfroe is taking his third shot at banning photo speed cameras and photo red light cameras. In large part due to Democrats' concerns with privacy following the revelations about NSA spying, Renfroe now has key Democratic support, including the president of the state senate and the speaker of the state house of representatives.

The Denver Post recently published an editorial arguing (unconvincingly) that the use of photo radar should be limited but not banned.

In my current piece for the Denver Post, I strongly disagree:

UPDATE: In testimony to the Colorado Senate committee hearing the photo radar ban bill, the Denver Auditor implicitly skewers the city's program with a few facts:

  • The Denver Police Department have never shown a safety impact of either photo radar or red light programs despite the Auditor specifically recommending such studies: "To our knowledge, the Denver Police Department still cannot demonstrate that either program has had a tangible impact on improving public safety."
  • The two programs "are generating over $7 million combined annually."
  • "Because these programs were sold as public safety enhancements but are widely viewed as a 'cash grab' by the public, it undermines public trust to maintain photo enforcement programs that are profitable but whose safety impact has not been conclusively shown."
  • One intersection chosen for installation of a red light camera "was not on the list of the Top 100 intersections in Denver by total crash count" and another was 32nd on the list.
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