Red light camera petitions turned in

Red light camera petitions turned in

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A group that has been gathering petition signatures to ban Tucson's red light cameras turned them in Friday.

The group says it has more than enough signatures to put the question on the November ballot so voters can decide whether to keep the cameras.

The process began contentiously as petition organizer, John Kromko, began by criticizing the office of City Clerk Roger Randolph.

Kromko addressed the news media members present: "Come back and hang these guys by their thumbs okay if this doesn't work out because we're going out on a limb here. They're going to give me a receipt that isn't worth very much.

Randolph responded, "John, you're questioning my integrity and I have a real issue with that.

Kromko: "Well."

Randolph: "Because this office has got strong integrity."

Kromko: "If you would ahh."

Randolph: "If you would question that in the press then I take exception to that."

Kromko, a former legislator, is heading the Tucson Traffic Justice Committee that wants to ban red light cameras at Tucson intersections.

"We all know cameras are a scam and we have to work on that," said Kromko. "A lot of people still think it's about safety. They don't realize this city has turned over enforcement to a private, profit-making company who lobbied the legislature to set traps for citizens."

Tucson Police say they are proven to reduce collisions and make intersections safer.

"We have statistical data that's been kept since each one of these has been implemented that shows that they change driver behavior," said Sgt. Chris Widmer of Tucson Police. "They decrease collisions and that's a big thing that has us sold on them and that's why we support them."

The petition backers contend the cameras merely are revenue generators.

After the short confrontation, Kromko and his group handed over the petitions to the City Clerk Randolph.

Randolph's office counted the pages in front of Kromko and this group, then securely packed the petitions in boxes.

Both Kromko and Randolph signed their names on the boxes which were then put into a vault at city hall.

Randolph says the boxes will not be touched until Monday when they are opened with representatives of Kromko's group present.

That's when the signatures will be counted and a sample sent to the Pima County Recorders office for verification.

The camera opponents say they gathered about 22,000 signatures.

They need 12,730 to put the question on the November 5th ballot.

Barbara Grijalva can be followed on Twitter at @BGrijalvaKOLD.

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