State rep works to ban traffic cameras

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A Tennessee representative is on a mission to rid the state of traffic cameras, meaning both speed and red light cameras.

Republican representative Andy Holt out of northwest Tennessee says he has the full support of State Senator Lee Harris, a former Memphis City Council member.

A ticket from a speeding or red light camera hurts your wallet. According to Holt, it also hurts your constitutional rights.

"I think that there is an abridgment of a couple of rights that were granted to us in the bill of rights. A specific instance is I'm supposed to have the right, based on that bill of rights, to face my accuser," Holt. said

Holt said with a camera, that accuser can never be cross-examined and the cameras are a poor replacement for law enforcement. He also said much of the revenue generated from the cameras doesn't go back to the community but to the camera's contracted company.

Holt said Harris was the first co-sponsor of the Tennessee Freedom From Traffic Cameras Act and is thrilled with his bi-partisan support.

"He's in an area where it's probably a lot tougher to be against traffic cameras than it is for me," Holt said.

WREG saw some of that when speaking to people about the bill on Thursday.

"I think we need them here because we have such a problem with people running red lights and creating accidents," Jesse Johnson, a Memphis driver, said.

Others said they see where Holt is coming from.

"I think they should outlaw the cameras, I think they probably cause more wrecks," one driver said.

Holt expects the bill to be before a subcommittee within the next two weeks.

A call to State Senator Harris was not returned.