Bluff City has shut down its speed enforcement cameras after being called out by state legislators for violating a law passed earlier this year. As Press staff writer Gary B. Gray first reported in Thursday’s paper, Bluff City has ignored a state law that went into effect July 1 by not moving two posted 45 mph signs on the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 11E at least 1 mile away from the cameras.
State law forbids traffic enforcement cameras to be placed on public roads and highways unless the reduced speed of 10 mph or more is posted within this prescribed distance. The Press was alerted to a problem with the signage by motorists who had noticed the speed posted on the southbound lanes on 11E leading to the cameras was reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph, but the 45 mph was posted only three-tenths of a mile from the speed cameras.
An inspection by the Press found the speed limit signs were only misplaced on the south bound lanes heading into Johnson City. The signs were placed correctly on the northbound lanes.
By not properly posting its signs, Bluff City knowingly broke the law. It should be punished for that. And there are no excuses city leaders can make to justify their actions. Ignorance of the law would never get a speeding motorist out of a ticket. Bluff City shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what it has done.
We agree with state Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesborough, who has suggested Bluff City be asked to “throw out” every speeding ticket and forfeit all revenues it has collected since the new law went into effect.