State Representative Andy Holt (R-Dresden) says his constituents are sick and tired of being constantly watched by street cameras hoping to make a quick dollar off of them. Holt took to social media to ask voters in his district whether or not they were in favor of highly controversial speed and red light cameras.
"If I could single-handedly outlaw every speed camera in the Great State of Tennessee, I would do it without a second thought," said Holt. "Regardless of political party, the vast majority of folks are 100 percent against them."
Holt says he received hundreds of messages from Democrats and Republicans supporting his call to outlaw the controversial cameras that have been ruled unconstitutional in many states.
"Speed & red-light cameras are nothing more than a modernized form of speed-trapping. They have very little to do with safety, and everything to do with municipal greed. Apart from being a technically unlawful form of local fundraising off the backs of local citizens, it's a poorly contracted scheme since a large portion of the "revenue" is sent elsewhere, outside the State of Tennessee," Holt continued.
Holt says that many businesses in his district are concerned due to the fact that motorists are now avoiding streets where the cameras are located which is hurting their bottom line.
"In a depressed economic environment, I believe we should all be aware that money walks. This goes for all policy makers; federal, state & local. When people and businesses are over-regulated, they leave. I support these movements if necessary; that's the basis of liberty & freedom as our founders intended, and Tennessee is currently a beneficiary of these movements from other states. We need to ensure that our state does not begin moving in the wrong direction by allowing folks' rights to be violated so out-of-state businesses can collect revenue," said Holt.
Holt says that some are upset and have accused him of being soft on crime.
"Some have argued against the calls to outlaw speed traps and redlight cameras by saying that I am being "soft on crime." Let me be clear... I believe in the rule of law. Therefore, due process of the law. How can one ever claim to believe in the rule of law, set forth by our Constitution, if they willingly allow the rights of millions of Tennesseans to be violated by these cameras and traps? On Tuesday, I swore an oath to protect the Constitution of Tennessee and the United States of America, and that is exactly what I plan to do."
Holt is planning to introduce a bill within the coming weeks.
Red Light Cameras in Murfreesboro (Story from November 2014):
After the very involved public comment session on the issue of renewing traffic light cameras, Thursday's Murfreesboro City Council meeting was sure to spark debate as well.
Chief of Police Glenn Chrisman opened up the floor talking about this issue. He says this was a result of citizens complaining about the many traffic accidents at intersections...
There are currently traffic light cameras at six different interactions. Some Murfreesboro residents have complained that this is just a way to generate revenue. Chrisman says that is not the case...
He believes this is something necessary for the city to help keep residents safe...
Councilmember Madelyn Scales Harris says there are a lot of things to be considered when making this decision...
Councilmember Rick LaLance wants to know if enforcing this would be an issue. City Attorney Susan McGannon explains...
Over an hour back and forth discussing this issue among the council, they moved to approve the contract with the company that oversees the red light camera's. In other words... the red light camera's in Murfreesboro are here to stay.