Nevada Senate panel OK's bill to fine red-light runners

A Senate panel has voted to give local governments limited authority to use traffic cameras to assess civil fines against red-light runners.

As amended Thursday by the Senate Transportation Committee, SB220 would give local governments the authority to use cameras to impose administrative fines on motorists for such violations, but not to issue traffic citations.

Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, worked on a compromise sought by Clark County traffic safety officials to allow use of cameras to issue traffic tickets to red-light runners. He said the process envisioned in the amended measure would be similar to that used for a parking ticket.

The bill, as passed, wouldn't allow citations that could be used to revoke driver's licenses or increase auto insurance premiums, he said.

Instead, a local government could permit the use of cameras, which would be used to send a notice of a fine to the car's registered owner. The owner would have the right in a hearing to contest the fine on any grounds, including questioning the reliability of the camera, Care said.

The committee heard no testimony to suggest that issuing such fines would violate anyone's due process rights, he said. State law currently prohibits the use of cameras, sometimes called photocop, to cite motorists.


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