Pennsylvania Senate votes to expand use of red-light cameras
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HARRISBURG -- Red-light cameras are a big step closer to coming to Pittsburgh.
The state Senate voted 34 to 15 today to expand the use of red-light cameras to several cities besides Philadelphia, the only town in Pennsylvania now authorized to have them.
Pittsburgh and several towns in suburban counties around Philadelphia could set up the devices, which advocates tout as traffic safety enhancements, under an amended House Bill 254, which now returns to the House for final action Saturday.
Rep. Paul Costa, D-Wilkins, said, "I am very optimistic" the House will approve the bill, which was amended today by Senate Republican leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County. Mr. Costa has been a leader in trying to bring the red-light cameras to busy intersections in Pittsburgh, claiming they will reduce accidents and save lives. Philadelphia now 85 cameras at several busy intersections, dating back to 2005, and Mr. Costa said accidents have decreased.
"Hopefully the House will add its approval (Saturday)," Mr. Costa said. "This is not about raising revenue, as critics claim, this is about saving lives."
Drivers who speed through a red light would be photographed and assessed a $100 ticket. The money must be paid by the person who owns the car with the license plate that's photographed, whether he or she is driving or not. The fine revenue would go the state for traffic safety enhancements.
"Yes, it generates revenue, but that isn't the reason for it," Mr. Costa said. "It will reduce accidents and improve traffic safety."
First Published June 29, 2012 5:03 pm