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States roll back red-light camera usage

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Some U.S. states, responding to residents' complaints traffic cameras are being used as revenue generators, are removing red-light cameras.

Officials in Maine, Mississippi and Montana have already banned such red-light cameras, which are facing growing public backlash over the perception that rather than serving as safety devices as claimed, they are being used unreasonably by cash-strapped local governments to hand out fines, USA Today reported Monday.

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Anne Teigen, a transportation specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the newspaper that at least four other states -- Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Wisconsin -- have also banned red-light cameras while lawmakers in Missouri and Tennessee are sponsoring bills that would limit them.

The devices' supporters, however, claim they make intersections safer. USA Today reported that Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studies in Fairfax, Va., and Oxnard, Calif., indicated camera enforcement of driving laws reduced red-light running violations by about 40 percent.

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