Wednesday, February 09, 2005
On this day:

Racist Traffic Cameras?

State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D. - Montgomery) says he will do all he can to stop a bill that would allow municipalities to install cameras at traffic lights in order to ticket people who run red lights.

Holmes, D-Montgomery, said he will ask the Legislative Black Caucus to help him kill the measure.

"We're not going to give law enforcement in the state of Alabama more tools to harass and intimidate black people," Holmes told the Montgomery Advertiser for a story Sunday. "When they put it on the calendar, we're going to filibuster and we're going to lock down the Legislature."

The legislation would give municipalities the option of using camera or video systems to record the license plate of a vehicle running a red light and issuing the owner a ticket of up to $250 by mail. Violations would not become part of a driver's history, no points would be assessed against a driver's license and insurance companies could not raise rates based on the infractions.

Rep. David Grimes (R. - Montgomery) responds: "This is not racial profiling. The only color I'm concerned about is red."

The Huntsville Times also takes on Rep. Holmes here.