State trumps local red-light camera ordinances

IL Staff
January 1, 2008
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Cities and towns that want to use red-light cameras to catch traffic violators can't adopt an ordinance to implement the cameras because current laws allow only the state to regulate moving traffic violations, Attorney General Steve Carter said.

Carter issued an official opinion Friday regarding whether a municipality can adopt an ordinance to use red-light cameras to determine whether a driver has violated traffic laws. Carter issued the opinion in response to an inquiry from Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary. The city of Hammond installed cameras at certain city intersections as part of a plan to generate revenue by catching drivers who run red lights.

State law preempts a local law that attempts to further regulate automotive moving violations, and the General Assembly has to pass legislation before a red-light camera program could be implemented by a city or town, Carter wrote in the opinion. The General Assembly has granted local units of government "all the powers they need for the effective operation of government as to local affairs" in Indiana's home-rule law, but "if a city attempts to impose regulations in conflict with rights granted or reserved by the Legislature, such ordinances are invalid," Carter wrote, citing City of Indianapolis v. Fields, 506 N.E.2d 1128, 1131 (Ind. App. 1987), and City of Hammond, Lake County v. N.I.D. Corp., 435 N.E.2d 42, 48 (Ind. App. 1982).

"It is our opinion the General Assembly must enact enabling legislation before a red light camera enforcement program may be implemented by a local government entity," he wrote.

Bills have been introduced allowing cities, towns, and counties the legal ability to implement red-light cameras, but none of the bills passed the General Assembly.

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  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  2. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.

  3. (A)ll (C)riminals (L)ove (U)s is up to their old, "If it's honorable and pro-American, we're against it," nonsense. I'm not a big Pence fan but at least he's showing his patriotism which is something the left won't do.

  4. While if true this auto dealer should be held liable, where was the BMV in all of this? How is it that the dealer was able to get "clean" titles to these vehicles in order to sell them to unsuspecting consumers?

  5. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless [ ] Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. GOD BLESS THE GOVERNORS RESISTING! Count on the gutless judiciary to tie our children down and facilitate the swords being drawn across their throats. Wake Up America ...