Harris Proposes Scholarship Funded by Red Light Camera Revenue

Press release from the Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus; February 4, 2015:

Proposal would invest red light camera revenue in our students

NASHVILLE – Legislation filed today by state Sen. Lee Harris would create new scholarship opportunities for students to attend college paid for entirely by revenue from municipal red light cameras.

“Red light cameras frustrate citizens and distract from more important public safety measures,” Sen. Harris said. “If we can’t eliminate them altogether, let’s invest the revenue they produce in our students, not the bottom line of traffic camera companies.”

Sen. Harris filed Senate Bill 361 Wednesday to create the Drive to College scholarship, which invests all revenue generated by new red light camera contracts after July 1, 2015 in sending students to college.

In Memphis alone, according to a report in the Commercial Appeal, red light cameras have generated $3.1 million in camera-related fines, but the Arizona-based contractor earned $4.8 million.

“As a member of the Memphis City Council, I worked on and authored comprehensive legislation to make our streets safer for pedestrians and drivers,” Sen. Harris said. “Taking the profit out of red light cameras will keep us focused on more serious ideas, like speed bumps and traffic-calming devices.”