If ~ $250 sounds like a lot of money for a civil traffic infractions — learn where all that money goes. Most of it does NOT inure to the city which issues the ticket. Cities only get a small fraction of the ~ $250. The rest of the money goes to state-levied “surcharges” that fund all sort of law-enforcement-related programs. This give lie to the myth that cities are getting fat off of enforcement in AZ; see revenue-from-traffic-fines for some examples, e.g. city of Phoenix generates about 1% of it’s budget from traffic fines. Continue reading 35% drop in AZ traffic tickets
After a decade (or more?), Arizona lawmakers have finally banned photo-enforcement; but only on roads which are part of the State Highway System. Lest you be confused, the state highway system includes not only the interstates and other “controlled-access”/ freeways, but many miles of country highway, and also includes some what would appear to be normal city streets.
The state of arizona did used to have photo enforcement years ago on some freeways; but were removed by executive, not legislative, action.
Anyway, there are two. I mean two camera locations, in the entire state, that are affected by the ban. (I am unclear as to whether these were only speed, or red-light, or both, or just what). Continue reading AZ Legislators finally ban (some) photo enforcement
So there’s this meme (or maybe: myth, urban legend, commonly held belief, or whatever) that governments generate lavish amounts from traffic ticket fines, and that’s the “real” reason why the need to ticket their citizens — nothing to do with safety of course; and probably particularly the case when mentioning photo-enforcement. Continue reading Revenue from Traffic Fines
In what has become an annual ritual, a certain cadre of Republican state legislators bring forth numerous bills designed to limit / curtail / eliminate photo enforcement. This posting covers the 52nd Legislature, 1st Regular session’s activities, that is the Spring of 2015. Continue reading Legislation to ban Photo Enforcement
bear with me here…
Senate OKs bill to allow sawed-off shotguns, silencers
Arizona’s Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill that would end the state’s ban on sawed-off shotguns and silencers on weapons… The proposal, contained in a surprise amendment to Senate Bill 1460, passed with Republican support and Democratic opposition… The amendment, introduced by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, was tacked onto her bill to restore gun rights to those with felony convictions after certain waiting periods or after the convictions are legally set aside. Ward said her amendment was “constituent driven” and about “making certain things legal that are illegal,” a vague description that drew hushed snickers from some in the Senate.
“My own view,” Ward said during a break in the session, “is we have the right to keep and bear arms, and really, that right shouldn’t be infringed. The government putting any kind of regulations on that is wrong.” — azcentral.com
Meanwhile, the full senate voted down Rep. Ward’s bill to end all photo-enforcement anywhere in Arizona:
Senate slams brakes on photo-enforcement ban
Mind your speed: Photo enforcement will continue to be a tool local governments can use to control traffic, as the state Senate on Monday rejected a bill that would have banned red-light cameras and other technologies.
The issue drew bipartisan opposition, despite the argument from Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, that photo enforcement is unconstitutional and infringes on individual privacy… Safety, and an acknowledgment that local government is better able to gauge its traffic needs, prevailed as four GOP senators joined with the Democrats to kill Senate Bill 1167. Cities and towns lobbied against Ward’s bill, pointing to statistics that they say show the cameras, especially when used for red-light enforcement, cut accidents. … Ward, however, disputed many of the statistics and said the greater issue is what she perceives as the unconstitutionality of photo enforcement in the first place. Such devices, she said, collect information without the consent of the driver that can be stored by private companies and governments for later use, and they infringe on privacy rights. “You have no right to face your accuser,” when photo enforcement is used, she said. — azcentral.com
“Police Chief Michael Frazier said the program brought in about $150,900 for the city since it began in May 2010. However, it cost the city $340,700 to run the program over that same period — a $189,800 deficit” Surprise won’t renew contract with photo-enforcement company
When photo-enforcement makes money; detractors say that that proves that “it’s only about the money”. When it costs money and the program gets canceled we are told by the detractors that this just double proves that it’s only about money.
Hit and runs are always awful. This one from Tucson May 20, 2011 seems especially so. Police arrested a young woman four days after the crash, Abigail A. Allin, 21. There is a lot more info supplied by Sam Abate’s father over on tucsonvelo.com. Continue reading [Driver Sentenced] Arrest made in hit-and-run of Tucson cyclist
In what is an annual ritual, HB2579 (51st regular session) a group of Republican Arizona legislators would ban city’s and town’s use of photo enforcement. See here for last session’s go-rounds…. photo enforcement seems to be a pre-occupation with some handful of legislators.
Arizona’s legislators have often voiced frustration over being “told what to do” by, say, the Feds. Proponents of such bills, however, don’t appear to have any qualms about telling cities what they can and can’t do. Certainly, not all Republican lawmakers are on board, and cooler heads ultimately (this time, anyway) prevailed, as the bill failed to pass committee; azcentral.com
“I am not in favor of these things, but as a City Council member I will listen to my chief of police,” said Rep. Sonny Borrelli, a Republican from Lake Havasu City and a former City Council member there. “I can’t buy this that nobody knows about them and are being targeted — it’s no surprise.
As I’ve mentioned before… Completely aside from safety issues, cameras can, and do, provide evidence that has been used to solve crimes; including (that I know of) catching a hit-and-run driver who seriously injured a cyclist in Tucson, a hit-and-run-driver who killed a cyclist in Tempe, and a assault-robbery-murderer in Tempe.
And Another One
HB2477 (51st regular session) is yet another attempt to get rid of photo enforcement. This one harkens back to something i mentioned over a year ago; the legislature is aghast to find the the ARIZONA department of transportation is allowing photo enforcement to be placed along state roads, at the request of local juridictions. Azcentral.com noted in a story about the bill passing the house: “Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix, said he really wants photo enforcement eliminated, because in his view it is unconstitutional. But with measures outlawing it failing again this year, he said the bills that are advancing at least make it harder for cities and towns to set them up.”
[update 4/3/2013: hb2477 passed full senate along party lines, i presume, and moves back to house for what is assured final approval]
Is Photo enforcement Unconstitutional?
I would like to hear Rep. Seel’s reasoning. I’ve never really seen, other than vague claims, that photo enforcement is itself “unconstitutional”. For example, one Arizona legislator told me that was so because of a “constitutional right to face one’s accusers. With PE, the camera machine cannot be cross examined; it is therefore unconstitutional”. Really. He said that. Apparently according to his theory surveillance video, say in a bank robbery, is unconstitutional as well.
Googling around; I see a county court ruling in Florida, that has been set aside; awaiting review. In any event, there is apparently zero case law in Arizona holding PE to be unconstitutional. And after over 7 years (the loop 101 demonstration project began in the fall of 2005), and untold thousands of cases; I think it’s safe to say that photo enforcement is constitutional in Arizona.
handy link with all Arizona’s Rules for Civil Procedure [which lawyers cite as Ariz.R.Civ.P.] that are of interest to process servers. (e.g. rule 4.1 and 4.2)….
The *statutory* rules about how a ticket gets served is in 28-1593. Service of uniform traffic ticket and complaint,see also 28-1592. Commencement of action. Continue reading Process Servers and Arizona’s Rules of Civil Procedure
[Marquez was sentenced in December 2012 after being convicted of first degree murder]
An unexpected benefit of photo-enforcement? Or maybe it should be obvious that bad guys have a tendency to be bad drivers?
Police reported Wednesday that they have solved two savage and infamous Valley crimes: one a 21-year-old Arizona State University student dragged to death in May…
Sifting through 500 leads, using photo enforcement, advanced computers and the U.S. Marshals Service, Tempe police Tuesday booked Joseluis Marquez, 20, on first-degree murder in the death of Kyleigh Sousa, 21.
A photo-enforcement picture of Marquez driving a golden 2008 Dodge Charger, snapped May 8 in Tempe, was key to the arrest, said Tempe Police Cmdr. Kim Hale. The car, a rental, was traced to the Los Angeles area.
Finding the car, detectives worked backward to identify the driver, who traveled between California and Arizona, police said.
It was 18 days after the photo was snapped that Sousa was fatally dragged outside an International House of Pancakes at 225 E. Apache Blvd. Marquez, driving the Dodge, snatched her purse and drove off, police say. Sousa, her hands entangled in the purse straps, was dragged 30 feet before falling to the asphalt parking lot, suffering a skull fracture and detached artery.
I don’t quite follow the timeline, or the exact role the picture played.