1/24/2007Photo Ticketing Bill Advances in Wyoming
The powerful Wyoming House Speaker is pushing for the use of speed and red light cameras throughout the state.
Beginning in July, motorists in the state of Wyoming could find speeding tickets in their mailbox demanding payment of up to $800. On Wednesday, the Wyoming state House of Representatives voted 38-22 to approve a bill authorizing not only speed cameras, but also red light cameras and any other device that issues automated tickets for traffic infractions. A House committee recommended adoption of the legislation with an 8-0 vote last week.
As primary sponsor of the legislation, House Speaker Roy Cohee (R-Casper) provided the momentum for final passage. Senator Bob Fecht (R-Cheyenne) serves as the upper chamber's primary sponsor.
Their proposed legislation sets the the second-highest photo ticketing expenses in the nation. Wyoming would charge $400 for a basic speeding offense which is comparable to the $375 that Illinois charges for a first offense. Speeding in a school or "work zone", however, would bring Wyoming's fine to $800, topped only by the $1000 second-offense ticket in Illinois. Red light camera fines under the proposal would run $250.
The legislation, HB 203, also requires that municipalities using photo ticketing capture the face of the driver. Once a ticket is issued to an accused driver, that motorist will be compelled to appear in court if he fails or refuses to pay the ticket -- although no arrest warrant may be issued. If a challenge is filed in court, motorists will be presumed guilty as "administrative procedures" will be used for hearings where a "preponderance of evidence" rather than "beyond a reasonable doubt" serves as the standard of judgment.
The full text of the legislation is available in a 65k PDF file at the source link below.