November 4, 2007 - 6:43AM
Out-of-staters don’t elude 101 cameras
Garin Groff, Tribune
Nora McNatt has watched out-of-state speeders zip past the photo enforcement cameras on Loop 101, and it makes her wonder. Do those drivers get a ticket? Or do they dodge a citation because they’re not from Arizona?

GRAPHIC: East Valley road work update
The short answer is yes to the first question. And a qualified yes to the second.

The longer answer:

Vendors who operate photo enforcement programs send citations to a vehicles’s registered owner no matter where they’re from.

Anyone who gets a ticket has 90 days to pay the fine or fight the ticket in court.

Of course, drivers can have the citation erased from their record by going to traffic school — at least for most violations.

Then there are drivers who ignore the ticket.

In those cases, agencies often send process servers, because courts can’t make people pay a fine if there’s no proof they were notified of a possible violation.

Vendors typically send process servers to Arizona residents.

And while out-of-state drivers have the same legal responsibility, the reality is that they can dodge the ticket by ignoring it for 90 days.

“It’s the honor system,” Scottsdale spokesman Mike Phillips said. “There’s no penalty for an out-of-state resident if they decide not to pay the ticket.”

That applies to photo enforcement for speeding.

But Phillips emphasized that Scottsdale might not be so lenient with drivers like the one recently photographed going 131 mph on Loop 101 through Scottsdale.

The city will consider working with law enforcement agencies in other states to arrest drivers for criminal offenses, such as driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit.

When first questioned by the Tribune, several officials weren’t quite sure what happens to out-of-state drivers.

Once they found the answer, they hoped drivers would think of safety instead of how easy it is to avoid a ticket.

“Our message is drive the speed limit wherever you’re from,” Phillips said.

In Tempe, police had this slant on non-Arizona speeders:

“We’re hoping not a lot of out-of-state people are reading the Tribune,” Sgt. Mike Horn said.
Reader comments (1)

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Another trap for out-of-staters that's not mentioned in this article applies to red light camera tickets and could affect Arizona residents as well.

Other states, and the Uniform Vehicle Code, define the Limit Line (the place where you're supposed to stop or it's a violation) as the first line of the crosswalk.

But Arizona law does not agree. It places the Limit Line well beyond the crosswalk, at the "prolongation of the curb line."

By doing so, Arizona law sets up a 15 foot No Man's Zone where you shouldn't stop (you'd be stopped in the crosswalk) and you can't continue moving, either, if the signal has just gone red.

Read more about it on the Mesa page at the non-commercial website (Look at Set # 4 of Mesa documents.)