HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- It appears the push to get red light cameras in Connecticut cities, is likely heading for the scrap heap.
In the name of public safety, the Mayors of New Haven, Hartford, and Bridgeport, all want cameras at intersections that catch people running red lights and send a ticket in the mail.
"They're spy cams, that's all they are," said Rep. Bob Godfrey, "they're a way for government to go after people...keeping track of their movements."
"I don't think people should have to go into court and have to defend themselves, they didn't do it, you know," said Rep. Zeke Zalaski, "everybody should be innocent until proven guilty, this is the opposite to me."
"There is no question, in my mind, this is about boosting municipal revenue without having to tax anyone," said Godfrey.
Those arguments against the red light cameras seem to be winning the day in the House. So the bill, despite being approved by all the appropriate committees, appears to be headed for a dead end.
Advocates who originally wanted the cameras set up in 19 cities and towns are rolling back the plan to just a handful for a trial run.
"Just an experiment, we want to have up to seven towns of different sizes and different communities that would allow this program to just be developed," said Rep. Roland Lemar, "see if it works, see if we can continue it."
Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney is also from New Haven and has been attempting to get the cameras for several years.
"We're requiring, under the bill, that a sign be posted before the intersection where the cameras are in use," said Looney, "so it's not a 'gotcha' effort, it's...it really is about public safety."
Further complicating the effort is the fact that the NAACP says the law would unfairly target minority drivers because they live in large numbers in the big cities that would first have the cameras.
If the advocates of the red light cameras can't get commitments from at least 76 lawmakers in the House, it will not even come up for a vote by next Wednesday.
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