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Red Light Camera Bill Likely To Pass Legislature


A measure that would have implemented red light cameras at intersections will instead call for further study.

Senate Bill 663 would establish a committee in the state Department of Transportation to recommend programs for red light cameras in every county.

State lawmakers passed the latest draft of the measure last week during a committee meeting.

Opponents of the original measure likened the bill to the Van Cam of the early-2000s. But supporters say it has no similarities.

"The point of using these red light safety cameras is not to issue as many tickets as possible, it's safety," said Daniel Alexander, Co-Executive Director of the Hawaii Bicycling League. 

"Initially, it would've allowed for implementation of the red light safety cameras in 2021. And that would have been done at the county levels. So it would have enabled these counties to implement these cameras at intersections where they were needed to improve safety."

Alexander says the bill no longer has the implementation component, but establishes a red light safety committee at the DOT to come up with a report of recommendations. Those recommendations will later be submitted to state lawmakers to take action.

Alexander says he's happy the measure has gotten this far, and hopes the committee will submit its recommendations for the next legislature to act on.

"It's one important step as we go towards, ultimately, seeing these red light safety cameras out on the streets, and making the roads safer."

SB 663 is up for a full vote of the House and Senate tomorrow.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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