Tennessee Ticket Cameras: Can You Solve This Puzzle?

Last week, as way to turn down the heat from the general public, the Tennessee House Transportation Committee approved a two-year moratorium on new red light cameras and speed cameras.

However, they protected the state’s current ticket camera programs by ensuring that there would be no disruption in ticketing in those cities.

The story was reported on TheNewspaper.com and included this puzzling quote:

“This is a difficult issue for every one of us,” Representative Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga) said. “We’ve got all of our local governments who want to do this, but if you put it on the ballot and you’d get blown out of the water with it.”

One representative calculated that 85 percent of the public was against cameras, and photo enforcement’s primary legislative advocate, Vice Chairman Vince Dean (R-East Ridge), agreed.

“As has been stated, the public don’t like these [cameras],” Dean said.

It’s clear from this excerpt that the legislators know that Tennessee citizens want ticket cameras to be removed from the state.

The quote is puzzling because state legislators are supposed to represent their citizens’ interests, but they seem more worried about pleasing local government officials.

Normally, this wouldn’t be much of a problem because local governments also represent their citizens’ interests. However, for some reason, local governments aren’t listening to their constituents on this issue. So who are they listening to?

The ticket camera companies.

So, why would local government officials listen to the ticket camera companies over the voters? Can you solve that puzzle?

Government should work for the people, not for corporations. If public opposition to ticket cameras is strong enough that even camera supporters acknowledge that the public strongly opposes them, then why is the legislature even debating the issue? It already knows what the public wants.

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