Bill to ban photo enforcement radars on Arizona roads sits at governor’s desk

A new bill to ban photo enforcement radars in Arizona now sits at the hands of the governor. On Monday, the House passed SB1234, which would remove all traffic photo enforcement cameras from streets.

Photo enforcement radars have been a debate in Arizona for several years. Cameras are placed on streets or at traffic lights to track speeders and red-light runners. If the radar senses a driver is violating the speed limit or law, it would take a photo, and a ticket would be sent, costing drivers hundreds of dollars in fines and fees.

Research from the National Safety Council has found that two-thirds of people approve the photo radars and say it makes roads safer. While others criticize the radars saying the cameras are expensive and intrusive to drivers.

Political consultant and Fountain Hills resident Shawn Dow has been fighting for the ban on photo enforcement radars since 2008 and said through his advocacy and helping write legislation, he’s watched 16 other states ban them since. “Over 700 cities across America have ripped these cameras out,” said Dow.

Dow said the way these cameras work is unconstitutional, and argues they aren’t safe at all. “Every vehicle that drives by those cameras has a background check done on them, violating our 4th amendment. There was no probable cause,” said Dow. “Shining a bright flash in people’s eyes at the most dangerous part of the intersection cannot possibly make the intersection safer.”

black traffic light on red light by Archer Hadland is licensed under Unsplash
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