Voters Can't Ban Red-Light Cameras, State Supreme Court Rules

The decision invalidates Redmond's previous initiative effort, according to The Seattle Times.

Voters don't have the right to ban red-light cameras, the Washington State Supreme Court has said in a ruling concerning a 2010 ballot initiative in Mukilteo.

The ruling invalidates , The Seattle Times reported Thursday, as well as efforts in Longview, Bellingham, Monroe and Wenatchee.

Redmond's petition effort began in early 2011 and ended in King County Superior Court, where a judge that state initiative advocate Tim Eyman filed over the to the county for verification.

At the time, city officials cited a ruling in Bellingham by Division 1 of the Washington Court of Appeals that determined camera enforcement programs are not valid matters for initiative. Similarly, the high court's ruling says red-light cameras are to be approved by governing bodies rather than voters.

Redmond's red-light program ended early this year after the city council , saying the cameras failed to have a significant impact on safety. The council decided to keep a speed camera near Einstein Elementary and has said it might explore the possiblity of adding additional speed cameras in other school zones.

In a statement, Eyman called Wednesday's decision an "incredibly arrogant ruling" and cited three camera-ban initiatives that have been passed in Western Washington.

"So it's clear that the people viscerally oppose ticketing cameras, which is simply a taxation-through-citation scheme by cities in bed with red-light camera companies," Eyman said. "Because we know the people are on our side, we will continue to fight to get rid of these obnoxious cameras using state and local initiatives and lobbying the legislature until they're gone once and for all."


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