Ky. Senator Reggie Thomas proposes red light camera bill

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 10:42 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - State Senator Reggie Thomas has proposed a new bill that would ticket drivers who run red lights. One Lexington neighborhood association said a change is needed to prevent a tragedy.

“It’s going to save lives if, IF, we can slow traffic down,” said Fran Taylor with the Woodward Heights Neighborhood Association.

Taylor moved into her home in the Woodward Heights area in 1993. Since then, she said the downtown neighborhood off West High Street has seen more than a dozen fatal crashes. The most recent was back in February, when a 59-year-old woman was killed while crossing the street.

“I think with more young families in our neighborhood, we’re all so much more aware of how dangerous it is. It’s dangerous to go out and put your trash out at the curb, it’s dangerous to walk your dog, it’s dangerous to push a baby stroller,” Taylor said.

Taylor and her neighborhood association have been pushing for a way to slow down speeders. Now with Lex Live, Rupp Arena, the Convention Center and the soon-to-be-opened Towne Branch Park, she feels a sense of urgency to do something to deter reckless drivers before it’s too late.

“We’re just trying prevent a tragedy,” Taylor said.

State Senator Reginald Thomas has a proposed bill that may do just that. And it starts with catching and ticketing people who run red lights.

“We can do it relatively cheaply, it will get those people who violate our traffic laws and acts as a deterrent to people who think, ‘well I can run this red light and end up hurting somebody,’” Thomas said.

Kentucky state law does not specifically prohibit use of red light cameras. But the only way you’ll be fined or ticketed for running a red light, is if someone present at the time physically sees you doing it. The proposed bill would allow you to be fined through use of the cameras alone by taking a picture of your license plate.

“It’s designed primarily to protect people’s property, people walking on the street, even children who might be outside, who play near where stop lights are,” Thomas said.

Taylor and Senator Thomas agreed the proposed bill is a start.

A similar bill was originally filed by the late State Senator Tom Buford, but it never passed. Senator Thomas said the next step to getting his bill passed is presenting it in front of the transportation committee during a hearing.

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