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. A sad end to a prolific gadfly. Indiana has suffered a great loss in the journalistic realm.

  2. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  3. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  4. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  5. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

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