WESTPORT — Beware traffic-cam scams.
Westport police issued a warning Monday that fake citations for motor vehicle violations — supposedly recorded by a traffic-monitoring camera — are circulating via text messages locally.
Local police do not use traffic cameras for enforcement and do not seek payment for violations through text messaging, according to Lt. Eric Woods, the Police Department spokesman.
The scammers apparently are attempting to capitalize on a new Connecticut law that permits enforcement of speed and red-light regulations — if a municipality first chooses to opt into the program.
Westport, however, has not adopted the policy. Under the state law, that decision would have to be approved by the Representative Town Meeting.
For towns and cities that choose to join the traffic-camera program, enforcement zones monitored by cameras would have to be clearly marked, and fines would be capped at $50 for a first offense and $75 for a second offense regardless of a violator’s recorded speed, according to a report by CTMirror.org.
Speeders would have to be going at least 10 miles per hour over the limit to get an automated ticket. The speed limit and red light cameras would be limited to school zones, defined pedestrian safety zones and other locations chosen by local officials and approved by the Office of State Traffic Administration. Violations would be handled like a parking ticket, with no points assessed to a driver’s license.
Camera locations would have to get approved by the state Department of Transportation every three years, and a town’s legislative body would have to authorize their use.