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Red Light Cameras Proposed in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Registry News

If enacted, a proposed law would allow police to use cameras to identify and cite traffic violators. Proposed by Massachusetts State Representative John D. Keenan, House Bill 1799 will allow police to use traffic cameras, which are also known as “red light cameras,” to photograph vehicles which commit traffic violations at intersections.
Under this legislation, owners of vehicles which commit red light violations at intersections will receive citations for violations by mail. Convictions of these red light violations will not appear on the violator’s driving record or be considered “surchargeable events” for the purpose of establishing insurance premiums or license revocations for 7 surchargeable events.

The law allows law enforcement agencies to use revenue generated by these traffic cameras to pay for them. Owners of vehicles who have unpaid citations will have their licenses made “non-renewable” and the Registry of Vehicles will revoke the license plates of vehicles with unpaid violations.

Within 60 days of the mailing date of the violation notice, alleged violators can contest liability by appealing the citation to the parking clerk in the city or town where the alleged violation occurred. The determination at the hearing shall be final, expect that it may be appealed to Superior Court under G.L. c. 30A, the Massachusetts Administrative Procedures Act. This  is the same law which allows drivers to appeal hardship license denials which are issued by the RMV Board of Appeal.

These “red light” cameras are controversial and considered “big brother,” by some who oppose them. Proponents claim that the cameras will increase public safety and reduce accidents at intersections. However, opponents claim that they represent an Orwellian intrusion into privacy. The red light camera bill is currently before the Joint Committee on Transportation.

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