City Attorney says red lights cams are OK - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City Attorney says red lights cams are OK

February 1, 2007

Albany -- Unconstitutional.  That's what some state lawmakers say red light cameras are, because they don't allow you the chance to confront your accuser. 

Albany's city attorney says their claim is without merit and the cameras work great, because they protect people.  

Not everyone obeys the law.  No surprises there.  People run red lights everyday.  That's why red light cameras were installed at the intersection of Jefferson Street and Pine Avenue, to keep you safe.

"That's definitely the intent," said Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis.  "That's definitely a proper basis for having a local ordinance like that and so hopefully the legislature will consider that." But now some legislators say the cameras are unconstitutional. 

They say you can't cross-examine a camera, but Davis says there's no need to.  You can always go to court and dispute the claim.

"That argument has no weight to it.  There's no constitutional problems that I see.  You can always go to court and make that argument to the judge or something, but I don't see where that has any merit at all."

Another argument about the cameras is that they cause more crashes, because people slam on brakes to avoid a ticket and in turn cause a rear end collision.  Davis says people should simply obey the light-- that in itself would reduce the number of both tickets and wrecks.

"They should be a good form of deterrent, because if you feel that there's a red light at an intersection you will begin to prepare to slow down long before you really need to apply the brakes harshly."

 The cameras were only legalized six years ago.  If found unconstitutional, the lights would have to come down. 

The city was given a $140,000 grant from the DOT for the cameras.  

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