Photo Radar Still Has Green Light

Feb 22, 2013

Photo enforcement is here to stay, at least for the time being. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.

Many cities around the state currently use the automated cameras to enforce laws on speeding and running red lights. The measure up for debate this week would have made their use illegal. Representative Rick Gray said the cameras should be shut down. "Everything I've seen, including the evidence within my own community, both in El Mirage, which we had a presentation on...and Peoria's last meeting, it isn't a benefit", Gray said. "It's actually a detriment."

He said the experience in Peoria is that accidents have actually increased at intersections where the red light cameras have been installed. Representative Victoria Steele said that could be because people are slamming on their brakes at the last minute to avoid a ticket - and getting hit from behind. But, she said any injuries are likely to be far less than those caused when someone speeds up to beat the light and T-bones another vehicle. Steele confessed to colleagues she recently had her picture taken by a red light camera in Tucson. She said, "I may be getting something in the mail. I'm not excited about that prospect. But if I broke the law, I should be held accountable."

And Representative Sonny Borrelli said that lawmakers should butt out of what should be a local decision. The legislation failed on a 4-2 vote.