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Arizona Reconsiders Traffic Camera Ban
Lawmaker in Arizona to introduce legislation banning the use of speed cameras and red light cameras.

Representative Warren Petersen
Lawmakers in Arizona will once again debate whether to continue the use of automated ticketing machines. State Representative Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) intends later today to introduce photo radar ban legislation that in the previous session came within a few votes of passage. This year, grassroots activists supporting the measure are hopeful newly elected members like Petersen will push the bill onto the desk of Governor Jan Brewer (R).

"It's about time that local jurisdictions and foreign companies stop taking away money from Arizonans, especially in these hard economic times," Campaign for Liberty spokesman Shawn Dow told TheNewspaper. "Visitors shouldn't be shaken down when they travel our streets."

Dow points out the state Republican Party in Arizona unanimously adopted a resolution formally opposing the use of photo radar, and the GOP holds sixty percent of the seats in the legislature. Many of the party's biggest supporters of photo enforcement are now gone, including state Representative Linda Gray, who was term-limited out of office. While he served as speaker, state Representative Kirk Adams also blocked any legislation on the House side that threatened to advance to final passage. Adams stepped down to run for a congressional seat last year but was clobbered in the primary by former US Representative Matt Salmon.

Legislation that would have put the question of banning red light cameras and speed cameras in Arizona to the voters died on a split 14 to 14 vote in the Senate in March of last year. Petersen's bill revives language introduced in the previous sessions that immediately bans the use of cameras as an act of the legislature.

"A photo enforcement system shall not be used by a local authority or any agency of this state to identify violators of article 3 or 6 of this chapter," the proposed bill states. "Section 28-1602, Arizona Revised Statutes, is repealed."

If the legislation passed, Arizona would become the sixteenth state where photo enforcement is banned (view list). The bill would serve a particularly powerful message as American Traffic Solutions is based in the Phoenix area. The US office for Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia is also located within the state. Redflex lists Arizona as one of the company's top-four markets, including California, Illinois and Texas.

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