Speed Cameras

WA Initiative Would Let Voters Ban Traffic Cameras

The state Supreme Court ruled they have no right to a say


Photo enforcement firms might have thought they won in Washington when the state's highest court ruled voters had no right to vote on whether red light cameras or speed cameras could be used in their community. In the 5-4 decision handed down in March (view ruling), the majority insisted the legislature only authorized city councils to make such decisions, not members of the electorate. Voters could overturn that decision next year.

Initiative mastermind Tim Eyman, who lost the legal case over red light cameras in his home town of Mukilteo, now has a statewide ballot proposition that would effectively nullify the Washington Supreme Court's adverse ruling. The cameras were taken down in Mukilteo after 71 percent of voters agreed with that the automated ticketing machines had to go, but activists in other cities have been denied access to the ballot in the wake of the decision—even though the state constitution says "the right of petition… shall never be abridged."