DENVER (CBS4) - After learning a glitch in the system is preventing state lawmakers from getting some photo radar tickets, state Rep. Chris Holbert plans to introduce a bill in the next legislative session to eliminate special license plates for state senators and representatives.
"Well, it's absolutely unfair," said Holbert, R-Parker. "We should be held accountable like any other citizen. We are elected to represent the people and there's no reason for us to be treated differently."
A recent CBS4 investigation found that the special legislative license plates issued during each legislative session to 100 senators and representatives do not show up in the Department of Motor Vehicles database.
"These particular plates are registered to a person, not a vehicle, therefore there is not a record of them in the DMV database," said Daria Serna, a spokesperson for the DMV.
So Denver's photo radar system, which automatically cross references license plates caught by its cameras with the DMV database, is not able to send out photo radar tickets to state lawmakers since their identities and addresses are not in the primary system.
"If there's a group of people not getting citations others will feel that's not an equitable system," said Lt. Matt Murray of the Denver Police Department.
Murray said the DPD photo radar system works fine, but is only as good as the data provided by the DMV, which he indicated is incomplete.
Holbert said he saw the CBS4 investigation and will take action.
"The solution I am looking at is doing away with the legislative plates."
Holbert said legislative aides are already drafting a bill that he plans to introduce in January, during the early part of the legislative session.
"Your story has created an awareness among the voters', said Holbert. "The public sentiment is with your report. Even if it's unintentional, it creates a double standard and I want to be treated like everyone else."
Holbert said he has long wondered about the purpose of the plates which he said amount to little more than "decorations." He said he removes his legislative plates from his SUV when the legislature is not in session. Holbert said the CBS4 report convinced him that the special plates should be banished.
"Your story did bring something to light with photo radar and that's just more reason to get rid of the plates."
- Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com
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