Bill proposes red-light camera pilot program for Waterbury

Red light camera program in Waterbury
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 8:29 PM EST
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WATERBURY, Conn. (WFSB) - A new red light camera program could be coming to Waterbury.

Waterbury lawmakers introduced a bill to the state house asking to pilot a red-light camera program.

Representative Michael DiGiovancarlo is at the front of this campaign. He says he’s seen firsthand how dangerous driving has become in Connecticut.

“Reckless driving over the years has increased year over year. It’s coming to the point where red lights and stop signs mean nothing. The roads in not only Waterbury, but all over the major cities are also becoming a dangerous place to be,” says DiGiovancarlo.

The camera can take pictures of the font and back license plates, as well as record video which can be sent to anyone who wants to appeal their ticket.

“It’s not a money grab. There’s no interest in charging probably a full price on a ticket. I believe there’s a desire to keep maybe a half-price ticket in the beginning, at least while the program is in place, but again it’s 100% public safety. We’re up here as legislators to try to keep the residents of this state safe,” says DiGiovancarlo.

State laws don’t allow towns or cities to install any devices for traffic control or citations.

Connecticut’s executive director of the ACLU, Dave McGuire, says there are other alternatives to make roads safer for everyone.

“The state and cities should be investing in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure to make cities walkable, not moving toward automated enforcement. It’s not as if we’re saying there’s not a problem here, we’re just saying that the solution is not doubling down on law enforcement and law enforcement surveillance,” says McGuire.

Waterbury officials including Mayor Neil O’Lear have been in contact with cities out of state to learn more about the cameras they intend to use.