Legislature Considers Transportation Bills

by LonSeidman

The Transportation Committee will have an interesting meeting today on whether or not to forward new proposals to the floor of the General Assembly. Among the proposals include placing electronic tolls at the state borders, a stricter ban on cell phones, seatbelts on school buses.

They also will consider a proposal about when a soldier’s or sailor’s license expires, and an open container law.

Some odd legislation SB 345 being considered includes pilot programs for installing traffic cameras at intersections. Pilot program? I think we all know what this is. Its a camera to see if driver’s run through traffic lights. Either you are in favor of such devices or not, but don’t establish a pilot program when such systems already exist in many cities nationwide including New Haven. Rather than set up a brand new system then evaluating it, why not simply use data already in existence from areas that already have such cameras. Certainly New Haven has statistics on how many drivers run red lights and whether or not the presence of the cameras has increased accidents at those intersections. Police accident records could yield those numbers.

Yet, some municipalities like New Haven may choose to install these programs. No big deal right? I mean, the city would install the cameras and reap the benefits from it. In the end, the city makes money off the scheme. right? Well… here’s where the state can’t to steal even more money from local towns to take for itself:

The last paragraph of the bill reads:

One-half of any fine collected by the municipality pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the general fund of the municipality or in any special fund or account of the municipality, as determined by the chief executive officer and legislative body, and one-half shall be paid to the State Treasurer for deposit in the Special Transportation Fund.

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