1/29/2009Second Arizona Jurisdiction Rejects Speed Camera Tickets
Maricopa County, Arizona judge cancels all speed camera tickets issued within his jurisdiction.
Another Arizona jurisdiction has joined Pinal County in refusing to accept photo radar ticketing. Arrowhead Justice Court Judge John C. Keegan in December issued an order declaring the state's freeway photo radar program unconstitutional. Since then, Judge Keegan has torn up at least 400 state-issued tickets because these tickets carry penalties that differ from those issued by a live police officer.
"The clear meaning of these provisions of the Arizona and United States constitutions is that it is unconstitutional to create one set of laws that applies only to a particular class of defendant and not to other defendants based solely on the mechanism employed by the government," Keegan ruled. "Given the not uncommon set of circumstances where two drivers are traveling on the same highway, at the same speed in excess of the speed limit, at the same time, in essentially the same location and are cited by the same agency into the same court, [the freeway photo radar statute] ARS 41-1722 creates a distinction whereby one class of defendant is subjected to a significantly different array of penalties than another class of defendant based solely on the use of photo enforcement."
Keegan is an elected justice of the peace for Maricopa County. His court has jurisdiction over north Glendale, Peoria, Sun City and Surprise. Any driver contesting a freeway speed camera ticket within this jurisdiction will have the $181 fine automatically dismissed.
"It is the determination of this court that the provisions of ARS 41-1722 are unconstitutional and unenforceable within the jurisdiction of this court," Keegan concluded.
Keegan was an Arizona state representative in 1991 when residents of Peoria voted by a two to one margin to eject speed cameras from the city. Keegan later was elected Peoria's mayor, a post he held until 2007. The statewide speed camera program operated by Redflex currently has the authority to issue photo radar tickets in Peoria on the Loop 101 freeway, despite the public's strong opposition. CameraFraud.com's Tucson affiliate praised Keegan for taking a stand.
"Finally, a judge with common sense who follows the Constitution," wrote CameraFraud Tucson organizer Bill Conley.
View the full text of the court order in a 125k PDF file at the source link below.