Daily Herald
Red-light camera enforcement company out of Ind.
Associated Press
Published: 6/1/2010 12:40 PM

HAMMOND, Ind. -- A leading red-light camera enforcement company has given up its efforts to get the General Assembly to pass a state law that would authorize its services.

Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., an Arizona-based corporation that operates in 21 states, has canceled its registration to lobby the General Assembly after spending $54,241 between February 2009 and April 2010.

"There's really not much action going on in Indiana right now," said Timothy Johnson, Redflex's legislative affairs administrator.

Redflex worked to pass a state law after former Attorney General Steve Carter issued an August 2008 opinion saying red-light violations broke state law, not local ordinances, so the General Assembly would need to explicitly grant local governments the authorization to regulate those violations. That hasn't happened.

Carter's opinion effectively struck down a Hammond ordinance that allowed red-light cameras to be used in issuing tickets for going through a red light rather than having a police officer issue a moving violation. The fine was set at $100.

The cities of Hammond, Gary, Lafayette and West Lafayette asked state legislators to pass a law. State Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, and state Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, sponsored similar bills in the House and Senate last year, but neither measure was able to clear the House.

Critics argued that cities would use the cameras as a tool to boost revenue.

In Illinois, which has hundreds of red-light cameras deployed throughout the Chicago area, most red-light camera violations are issued to drivers turning right on red without first coming to a complete stop.

Chicago alone takes in more than $40 million annually in red-light camera revenue.

Johnson said Indiana is the only state where Redflex has canceled its lobbyist registration.