n With two legislative efforts killed,

commissioners don't know what they'll do.

BY EMILY LE COZ

Daily Journal

TUPELO - The hot potato of red-light camera enforcement is back in the laps of state transportation commissioners after legislators killed both bills aiming to ban them.

Commissioners hold the key for cities like Tupelo and Southaven to mount cameras at intersections and catch red-light runners. They've postponed action on the issue to see if the Legislature would do something about it first.

But two bills that would have restricted municipalities from using the devices died last week, and so cities once again look to the commission for action.

"If indeed the Legislature chose to do nothing, then it clearly goes to the commission to see if they want to do something, and they wanted to see what the Legislature was going to do," said Butch Brown, executive director for the Mississippi Department of Transportation. "If the commission feels it needs to be dealt with, they'll deal with it."

Bill Minor of Holly Springs, commissioner for the Northern District, said the group hasn't discussed the issue in a while and will need to consult with MDOT engineers and attorneys.

MDOT engineers already signed off on the camera program proposed by American Traffic Solutions, the contracted vendor for both Tupelo and Southaven.

An agency attorney declined to talk on the record, referring all questions to the state attorney general's public information officer, who could not immediately find an answer.

Minor said the commissioners will meet again in early march, but it's not clear if the camera issue is on the agenda.

In the meantime, ATS spokesman Josh Weiss said his company looks forward to a positive response from MDOT.

Contact Daily Journal city reporter Emily Le Coz

at 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

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