ILNews

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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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