traffic cameras

Holt drops traffic camera bill amid unpaid ticket talk

State Rep. Andy Holt, the legislature’s leading crusader against traffic camera tickets, dropped a push for  passage of his latest bill on the subject (HB779) Tuesday after the House Transportation Committee rejected an amendment the Dresden Republican had proposed. He also had a bit of back-and-forth banter with a TV reporter later.

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Rep. Holt wins panel OK of traffic camera bill without noting 10 unpaid tickets

State Rep. Andy Holt has ten outstanding and unpaid traffic camera speeding tickets, but failed to tell members of a House subcommittee about them when winning approval of a bill that would make the tickets secret, reports WTVF TV of Nashville.

Holt, R-Dresden, got all ten tickets from traffic camera operations in the town of McKenzie. He’s long been a crusader against traffic cameras and last year posted a Facebook video showing himself burning one while suggesting others do the same. But he refused to answer questions about his tickets from a WTVF reporter.

They (the tickets) date back to October of 2015 and go through January of this year. He’s clocked traveling up to 54 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone.

….McKenzie Police Chief Craig Moates wished Holt would just slow down.

“Obey the speed limit and then a violation would not be an issue,” Chief Moates said. He can’t believe the local state representative would advise people to burn traffic camera tickets.

As introduced, HB779 would prohibit city and county governments from blocking access to courts systems by people who have unpaid traffic tickets. An amendment added in the House Transportation Subcommittee would also block local governments from making public the names of persons with outstanding tickets.

According to the Nashville Scene, Holt told the subcommittee the legislation is needed because some  cities are “denying access to services such as a civil court because individuals have chosen not to pay their photo-enforcement citations.”

“That’s a problem. That’s a severe problem. When people are denied civil rights and opportunities because they have not paid an unenforceable — in my opinion, I’ll leave it at that — because they have chosen not to pay these photo enforcement citations, that too is a problem.”

The bill was approved by the subcommittee on voice vote. It’s scheduled for a vote next week in the full House Transportation Committee as well as the Senate Transportation Committee.

The same House sub killed a separate bill by Holt (HB780) that would have required law enforcement officers using a traffic camera to station themselves in “a clearly marked law enforcement vehicle that is visible from the road to approaching vehicles and shall give a signal of the operation of a manned traffic enforcement camera by use of authorized flashing lights.”

Rep. Holt pays traffic camera tickets with Monopoly money

News release from state Rep. Andy Holt

NASHVILLE, Feb. 16, 2017– On Thursday, Tennessee State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) took to Facebook Live where he paid two traffic camera tickets with Monopoly money and a photographed image of a $50 bill. On one of the payments, Holt wrote “In the spirit of justice,” before sending it off to processors. Holt says he did the video in an effort to raise awareness for new legislation, aimed at traffic cameras, he’s introducing along with Senator John Stevens (R-Huntingdon) and Senate Transportation Chairman Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta). (Note: The video is HERE.)

“Cities across the state, in concert with photo-enforcement companies, continue to skirt the law and take advantage of our taxpayers, and I won’t rest until everyone knows the truth about this,” says Holt.

The proposed legislation will require all unmanned traffic cameras be used only from a marked police car with the lights blazing, and will require the suspect to be pulled over by the law enforcement officer operating the manned photo-enforcement device.

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