Washington State residents will vote in November on an initiative pushed by activist Tim Eyman that takes a swipe at the automatic cameras that photograph motorists who drive through red lights, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It requires the state to make traffic improvements, such as opening HOV lanes to all vehicles during off-peak hours, requiring traffic light synchronization, and boosting roadside assistance programs.
The money would come from taking 15 percent off the sales and use tax on vehicles, tapping highway tolls, and directing cities with red-light cameras to deposit the revenue raised through fines into a special account, the Reduce Traffic Congestion Fund. Eyman’s goal is to take away the profit motive. While city leaders and traffic officials contend the cameras reduce accidents and make roads safer for motorists and pedestrians, Eyman doesn’t buy it. “If it was all about safety, they’d be increasing the duration of yellow lights,” he said.