Senate passes ban of Ridgeland traffic cameras

A bill that would outlaw Ridgeland’s use of speed cameras along Interstate 95 received the unanimous approval of the S.C. Senate today in its second of three readings.

The bill, S.336, was introduced in January by Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, in response to the town using the cameras to ticket speeders along its seven-mile stretch of I-95. Grooms says the bill faces one more reading, which he expected to sail through, as there appears to be no opposition to it.

Grooms’ proposal bans speeding tickets “based in whole or in part upon photographic evidence ... whether the camera or other electronic device capturing the photographic evidence was attended or unattended at the time.”

The proposed legislation would require officers issuing tickets to stop the speeders themselves and hand the citation directly to the driver. It prohibits law enforcement agencies from using mail or any other parcel service to issue traffic tickets.

The bill includes an amendment introduced last month by Davis to create a state commission to study the ethical, legal and policy issues created by automated traffic-enforcement.