Red light cameras called ‘un-American’ by lawmakers proposing ban

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – “Un-American” and “an easy way out” were descriptions by two Tennessee lawmakers of the cameras designed to catch those who speed through red lights.

The words Tuesday came from west Tennessee Republican Rep. Andy Holt and Memphis Democratic Sen. Lee Harris who are sponsoring a bill to ban the so-called “red light cameras.”

“These cameras are discouraging,” Sen. Harris said Tuesday morning after a news conference on his bill. “You are tired of the red light camera rip off and you want someone to step in and do something about it.”

At the same news conference, Rep. Holt told News 2 “this is not law enforcement,” and “it drives up the number of accidents.”

That point was contested last fall by Murfreesboro Police Chief Glenn Chrisman when he recommended the eventual extension of his city’s red light camera contract.

He told Murfreesboro Council members in a letter there had been about a 50 percent decrease in crashes at six Murfreesboro intersections where the red light camera were installed, compared to the number of crashes before installation at the same intersections.

A random sample of a few drivers at one of those Murfreesboro intersections supported what the lawmakers said about the red light cameras unpopularity.

The bill to ban the cameras is expected to be heard this week in a legislative committee.

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