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Red Light Camera Bill Gets Green Light From House Committee

DENVER (CBS4) - Drivers love to complain about red light cameras, especially when they get a ticket. Now there's talk at the state Capitol about restricting them.

Colorado legislators have tried to get rid of red light cameras before, but this time those against the cameras are willing to compromise.

After failing to get a red light camera ban signed into law last year, Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, now hopes to push through a new plan that would restrict the use of cameras by keeping them out of local streets and neighborhoods. But under the bill arterial roads that connect to highways could still have cameras.

A House committee passed his bill 10-3 on Wednesday.

"It's a good first down, it's a nice 10-yard pass down the field,," Lebsock said. "It's not a hail Mary, it's not a touchdown."

red light cameras
(credit: CBS)

But opponents are not giving up the fight saying the cameras benefit communities. Diana Goldberg, executive director of Sungatekids, opposes the bill.

"What's at risk is direct services to the children and families that we serve," Goldberg said.

In Aurora, Goldberg says money from red light camera tickets funds programs for abused children and victims of domestic violence. She worries $500,000 in funding would be lost under the bill.

"It's certainly not lining anyone's pockets, its going toward greatly needed services that really help support the community," she said.

Now that the bill passed in committee it moves on to the House floor. Lebsock says the governor's office has indicated that Gov. John Hickenlooper would sign the bill. But Hickenlooper's spokespeople to CBS4's Lauren DiSpirito that the governor has not yet changed his mind from last year when he vetoed two other bills regarding red light cameras.

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