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Haynes promotes ‘yields’ on right at all intersections

Yielding to a compromise position concerning red-light camera use, literally, is territory state Rep. Ryan Haynes sought out last month during an address in Farragut.

“I think a lot of people would probably calm down a lot on the issue if not for right-on-red [tickets],” the District 14 Republican said during his speech to Concord-Farragut Republican Club last month at Seasons Cafe.

“What’s frustrating people is when there really wasn’t a safety issue involved, and they’re getting a ticket.

“I think we need to look at perhaps going to a yield law turning right on red,” he added.

However, “People that blow right through an intersection, I don’t think anybody has a problem [being ticketed] with those,” Haynes said about camera use. “I don’t have a problem with them getting a ticket.”

Haynes called for “fair, uniform standards statewide ... the red-light cameras all ought to be set up the same way,” adding, “We tried to regulate them last year, and we tried to work with the red-light camera companies and the lobbyists that they hire.”

Haynes said such legislation, “that I believed I co-sponsored with Joe McCord out of Maryville,” passed in the House but died in the Senate.

Red-light camera companies haven’t “yielded” to Haynes’ statistics requests.

“I’ve talked with several of the red-light camera companies, and I asked them to please supply me with statistics,” Haynes said. “Based on how many crashes we’ve had from the right turn on red and how many tickets they give for [illegal] turning right on red, and every company’s said they’re unable to provide that.

“That’s bull,” he added. “All they have to do is simply tally up how many tickets they’re giving right on red.

“If they’re not going to work with us, I want [cameras] removed.”

Haynes said he fears a camera traffic control slippery slope.

“The next thing, I’m afraid, is going down Kingston Pike and you’re going 46 mph in a 45 [zone] I’m afraid you’re going to get a ticket,” he said.

Highlighting other Haynes points:

• Republicans in General Assembly are having “tremendous difficulty” in attempting to cut a roughly $29 billion budget.

• GOP-controlled legislature “also was able, this year, to hold off roughly $185 million in tax increases. As a result, “We were able to cut the budget for the first time in literally decades.”

• Credited Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen for governing “very reasonably,” but added Bredesen “has been a tremendously lucky governor. He came into office on a huge sales tax increase ... about a billion extra dollars he got to play with.

“Just when we were ready to fall off the cliff again, the economy starts tanking ... President [Barack] Obama came along and really helped save Gov. Bredesen by passing the stimulus package. I think it was somewhere in the ballpark of $4 [billion] or $5 billion.”

• Concerning “district lines,” Haynes cited Democratically controlled “gerrymandering” that’s created districts unfair to Republicans.

Keeping GOP control of General Assembly is key to drawing the districts “fairly and legally.”

If redrawn, “We’ll pick up six to seven seats; and, quite frankly, I think Republicans in this state will be in control for a generation to come. Don’t do what’s been done to us in the past.”

• Potential redistricting also would affect Washington’s GOP power. “We’d have the potential to pick up three U.S. Congressional seats.”

• After the November 2010 election, Haynes predicts Republicans will increase General Assembly control with “somewhere in the range of 56 house seats.”

• Higher education “is about to literally fall off a cliff in this state. That stimulus money is running out. They’ve prepared for massive cuts, massive layoffs. ... The revenues from the lottery are not keeping up with the scholarships. ... We need to make sure that the lottery stays as a merit-based program, not an entitlement program to keep our best and brightest.”


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