State Capitol News
Thu March 26, 2009
Lawmakers vote to kill photo radar - eventually
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – Members of a House panel voted Wednesday to make the new
statewide photo radar system go away -- but not just yet. Arizona
Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.
Rep. Sam Crump said he does not like the system of fixed and
mobile cameras deployed around the state designed to catch
speeding motorists. And Crump said if he had his way, he'd get
rid of the system immediately. Only thing is, the contract with
Redflex says if the state cancels within two years the company
can demand reimbursement for its installation costs. So Crump
crafted the measure to make the ban effective on Oct. 1, 2010,
just past that two-year window.
(And that really removes those concerns. Especially in this
economic climate, nobody wants to be writing a check from the
state back to the company for early termination of the contract.)
The move came over the objections of DPS officers who said the
cameras reduce speed and accidents, freeing them up to go after
drunk drivers, drug runners and human smugglers. It also came
over the objections of Rep. Matt Heinz of Tucson who told
colleagues about his experiences driving in Phoenix -- and why he
likes photo radar.
(Your freeways scare the crap out of me. They're very dangerous
as far as I'm concerned. The 101 is a death trap. And I think
from my own personal anecdotal experience, this is not my medical
expertise here, I feel safer.)
The 6-4 vote by the Appropriations Committee sends the measure to
the full House.