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November 8, 2011 at 9:05 PM

Red-light cameras losing in 3 cities

Voters in three Washington cities were rejecting red-light cameras, though courts say the votes can’t force cities to abandon the cameras.

Advisory votes in Monroe, Bellingham and Longview could have major implications for the future of red-light cameras in Washington. Opponents say they intend to ask the Legislature to ban the devices.

“The Legislature created this mess. They should fix it,” said Nick Sherwood, of Puyallup, creator of Bancams.com, who says cities are installing the cameras for revenue, not safety.

In Tuesday night returns, 65 percent of Monroe voters and 60 percent in Longview opposed continuing red-light camera operations. In Bellingham, 65 percent opposed installing a red-light camera system.

The Washington State Supreme Court is reviewing a Mukilteo measure in which 71 percent of voters last year said a public vote would be needed to install the devices.

Supporters of the cameras point to a finding from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that cameras saved 159 lives from 2004 to 2008 in the 14 biggest U.S. cities using them.

Comments | More in Government | Topics: Election 2011

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