The proposal sought a November vote on whether photo enforcement should be outlawed in Arizona. That includes not just catching speeders but also those who run red lights. Sen. Rick Murphy said only a small percentage of those who ignore traffic signals are bad drivers. He said these red light cameras mainly capture what he called technical violators.
"They're three inches behind the line and they're a thousandth of a second late getting across the line," said Murphy. "Nobody was ever in any danger. There's a two or a three second lag where both lights of red. There was never any danger. There's no public safety problem."
Murphy said communities design the sensors and cameras to keep catching those technical violators to make the system pay for itself. He said that's wrong. But Sen. Paula Aboud said those who run red lights are a danger, especially to other innocent motorists. She said lawmakers should not take away a tool that local officials conclude is necessary.
"I believe it's our job here to provide public safety, and to allow communities to make their own decisions," said Aboud.
The Senate sided with Aboud, voting 15-14 to keep the measure off the ballot.