Beaufort News

Sponsor of traffic camera-ban bill supports Davis' plan for a study

The author of a bill banning Ridgeland's use of automated traffic cameras on Interstate 95 says he will not oppose a planned amendment by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort.

Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau, said Davis' amendment, filed Tuesday, would not hinder the bill. Davis' proposal would create a commission to study the ethical, legal and policy issues created by automated traffic-enforcement.

Davis' amendment would be tacked onto a bill Grooms introduced in January outlawing the cameras, which the town deployed in August to ticket speeders along its seven-mile stretch of I-95.

"I have no problem with people wanting to take a look at the whole issue," Grooms said. "The amendment is not yet attached to the bill, but I wouldn't oppose it if it satisfies enough people to get the bill passed."

The commission would include representatives from state government, law enforcement and the S.C. Bar Association and would report its findings to the legislature by Nov. 1, according to a copy of the proposed amendment provided by Davis.

Legislators could then debate the camera issue during the 2012 session, Davis said.

In the meantime, Davis said, it's important to maintain the "no traffic cameras status quo."

Grooms' bill to ban the cameras has a temporary hold on its advancement to the Senate floor after Sens. Jake Knotts, R-West Columbia, and Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, last week asked for more time to study the issue.

Grooms said he expects Knotts and Sheheen to remove their objections this week, clearing the way for a debate on the bill.

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