Washington’s ballot initiative I-985 is sheer genius. Supporters of red-light cameras (which we do not have in my state, thank heavens), claim that they are about safety. They are lying. Red-light cameras exist to generate revenue, and that’s all. We can see this from all the red-light cameras that are shut down for losing money. Also, they usually hurt safety, since municipalities can’t resist shortening yellow lights to generate more revenue.
That’s why I-985 is sheer genius. I-985 would allow red-light cameras, but would assign any revenue they generate to the state, thereby removing any financial incentive for them. If they were really about safety, this wouldn’t discourage municipalities from using them. So what’s happening?
[Wenatchee] Mayor Dennis Johnson says Tim Eyman’s red-light camera initiative could delay the cameras’ arrival in Wenatchee. . .
“Quite frankly I have no problem with the money being used locally for traffic-congestion projects,” Johnson said Tuesday night. “But there is no way the city of Wenatchee will become a tax collector for the state of Washington. It certainly is not acceptable from my point of view.” . . .
Johnson said if the council were to approve the cameras and I-985 passed, the city might stop using them because the money would not go completely toward local projects. He also said it is possible the council would wait to see what happens with Eyman’s initiative before it makes a decision. . .
In February officials in Aberdeen cited I-985 as the reason for dropping discussion on red-light cameras there.