Some elements to consider about the bill in the Wisconsin legislature:
- New sources of local government revenue are increasingly needed, especially given the public's anxiety about high property taxes.
- How do we know the program will increase safety? While cameras have reduced accidents in some cities, they appear to have increased accidents in others.
- Will the program be susceptible to lawsuits similar to the ACLU concerns in Minneapolis? How can we shape a program that does not have the same vulnerabilities?
- Will citizens be adequately protected from incorrect accusations? Will the system to dispute tickets be simple and streamlined for the wrongly accused, or overly burdensome? To what extent are drivers “guilty until proven innocent”?
As legislators weigh the potential positives and negatives of red-light camera programs, one hopes that they can see through the dollar signs to create a policy that, if passed, preserves safety and justice while generating revenue.