New disclaimer on traffic camera citations may encourage nonpayment

TENNESSEE (WJHL)- A Tennessee lawmaker is taking a stand against red light traffic cameras. Representative Andy Holt’s post on Facebook is gaining a lot of attention. Representative Holt claims (in this video) that traffic camera citations should not be enforced because they are not directly issued to drivers by police officers. News Channel 11 spoke to local lawmakers and police who say the lawmaker’s suggestion to ditch your tickets is not a wise one.TRAFFIC CAM 2

Holt said, “A new statement has been added to all photo enforcement citations.” “What that says is that nonpayment of this notice cannot adversely affect your credit score or report, driver’s license or automotive insurance rates,” he said.

Last month the Tennessee legislative session passed that this disclaimer is now required to be included on all traffic camera citations in the state of Tennessee. Kingsport Police Department Public Information Officer Tom Patton said, “If a person chooses not to pay, we’re not going to come out and arrest you for not paying the ticket. However, it will be turned over to collections and it could, potentially, affect your credit rating.”TRAFFIC CAM

Tennessee Representative Bud Hulsey said, “It says on the disclaimer that it doesn’t (affect your credit score) and on its face it probably doesn’t, but if a city chooses to turn you over to collections to collect that revenue then I suspect there is an unpaid debt that would show up on your credit score.”

Angela Markland received her first ticket from a traffic camera and feels the system has its flaws. She pointed out that the owner of the vehicle is the one who receives the citation but they are not always the person that was actually driving the vehicle when the violation was committed.

TRAFFIC CAM 3Markland said, “If an officer is not there to look at your license and see that you are actually the one responsible then they should not issue tickets.”

Kingsport police say whether the citation is personally handed to someone or mailed to them, it is still directly issued by a police officer. Patton said, “For the entire time that our camera system has been in place, so over a decade now, every citation has been reviewed and issued by an actual Kingsport police officer.”

So, should you take Representative Holt’s advice and toss your ticket? Hulsey said, “I probably wouldn’t recommend that. I would recommend not running the red light and if you do, settling up and doing the honest thing.”

To view the full bill that was passed into law that includes the new disclaimer to be included on all traffic camera citations follow this link: Traffic Camera Disclaimer Bill

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