By Daniel Stefanski |
Photo radar has always been a contentious issue in Arizona with regular attempts from state legislators to remove cameras from Arizona streets and highways. This year, one powerful Republican state senator is leading the efforts to prohibit all such operations once and for all.
SB1234, sponsored by Senator Wendy Rogers, “prohibits a local authority from using a photo enforcement system to identify violators of laws or ordinances relating to excessive speed or failure to obey a traffic control device,” according to the Senate’s fact sheet for the legislation. Her bill, which was introduced last month, has twelve co-sponsors (Senators Bennett, Borrelli, Farnsworth, Gowan, Hoffman, Kaiser, Kavanagh, Kern, Kerr, Mesnard, Petersen, and Wadsack).
When asked by AZ Free News why he supported this bill, Senator Borrelli said, “Law enforcement should not be farmed out to third-party private companies.”
This week, the bill cleared the Senate Government Committee, chaired by Hoffman, with a 5-3 party line vote. Senators Rogers (vice-chairman), Farnsworth, Shamp, Wadsack, and Hoffman voted in favor of the photo radar ban; while Democrat Senators Diaz, Mendez, and Sundareshan voted in opposition.
The Arizona chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLCAZ) was in strong support of SB1234. Its Twitter account wrote, “There are many reasons to abolish photo radar, starting with questions about constitutionality….Photo radar traffic enforcement is bad policy & it should come to an end.” RLCAZ then listed multiple concerns with photo radar, including issues of the 6th Amendment, due process, 4th Amendment, and other arguments in a seven-tweet thread.
Stopping photo radar has long been a focus of Senator Rogers, who forecasted her plans to introduce this legislation last summer. Rogers said, “The photo radar industry made its home base in Arizona. And that ends next year. We’re no longer going to allow government to spy on Arizonans for profit and trample due process rights.”
After her vote in the Senate Government Committee, Senator Justine Wadsack tweeted the news, and added, “I am a proud co-sponsor.”
SB1234 was one of the “Top Freedom Bills This Week” from EZAZ. Merissa Hamilton, one of EZAZ’s co-founders, tweeted an “easy as pie” summary sheet, including the photo radar prohibition bill with one of her cheat sheets.
Hundreds signed in to oppose this legislation on the Arizona Legislature’s site. The City of Chandler, Town of Paradise Valley, AZ Chapter National Safety Council, City of Kingman, City of Mesa, League of Arizona Cities & Towns, and City of Scottsdale were among the opposition.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.