Ariz. House panel OKs ban on speed cams
by Casey Newton - Jan. 22, 2009 12:35 PM
The Arizona Republic
An effort to ban photo speed enforcement on Arizona highways advanced Thursday when lawmakers passed a bill out of committee.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 5-2 to recommend approval of House Bill 2106, which would force the removal of the cameras now installed on Interstate 10, Loop 101 and other highways.
"This was done in the name of revenue," said Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, who voted for the ban. "It is a speed tax, and it is being done to fund social programs."
Biggs said the bright camera flashes pose a danger to motorists.
Other lawmakers voted against the bill, saying the real danger would come in removing the cameras from highways.
The cameras "dramatically reduce the number of accidents and increase the safety of our freeways," said Rep. Eric Meyer, D-Phoenix, citing data provided by the Department of Public Safety.
Meyer said that the cameras save the state money by reducing the number of trips to the emergency room generated by accidents.
The bill now moves to the full House for a vote. Given the House's current focus on resolving the state's budget crisis, it was unclear Thursday when that vote might take place.
HB 2106 is one of several efforts this session to eliminate or restrict the use of speed cameras.