Tag Archives: photo enforcement

AZ Legislators busy on photo-enforcement again

(Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic)

A new year, a new session. This year, like every year, some Arizona Republican legislators were busy a work on their top priority — to finally rid Arizona of photo red enforcement once and for all. News Story.

Last year, they banned it from the “State highway system” It had been in use in exactly two places, on ‘city’/’town’ streets, not freeways.  Many years ago it was expelled from freeways. Continue reading AZ Legislators busy on photo-enforcement again

No more covering your license plate

Illegal in AZ

After years of wrangling and haggling over the meaning of “A person shall maintain each license plate so it is clearly legible”. Any and all coverings, including wax according to one wag, are now banned. SB1073 has passed and was signed by the governor; the effective date is something like 90 days after the session closes; perhaps August(?).  Here’s the new section: Continue reading No more covering your license plate

35% drop in AZ traffic tickets

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

AZ Legislators finally ban (some) photo enforcement

(Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic)
(Photo: Mark Henle/The Republic)

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

What do sawed off shotguns have to do with 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

The gov’t is watching you Kelli Ward’s privacy nightmare?

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


Continue reading What do sawed off shotguns have to do with photo enforcement?

Photo enforcement is all about making money?

“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.


Bill would ban city’s use of photo enforcement

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.