County to charge $20 for photo-radar challenges

Sun Staff Reporter
Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Drivers busted by photo-enforcement cameras posted along state highways in Coconino County will soon be charged an extra $20 when challenging or ignoring the speeding tickets they receive.

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in January to allow the Coconino County Justice Courts to charge $20 extra for photo speeding tickets, to cover the costs of processing them. The Arizona Legislature enacted laws last year establishing a statewide photo enforcement system that sends ticket revenues to the state, including to an election fund, but lawmakers allocated no money to county court administrators do the related administrative work to process the citations, said Joy Dillehay, deputy court administrator for Coconino County Justice Courts.

First, drivers receive a notice in the mail. If they pay it, they don't get the extra $20 fee.

But if they ignore it or opt to challenge it in court, that'll be $20 more, Dillehay said.

So far, the court has yet to process any citations, but two mobile speed-enforcement cameras are being placed on such highways as Interstate 40, Highway 89 and Interstate 17.

Last year, the court saw 12,300 traffic-related tickets in Coconino County.

This comes as state lawmakers weigh whether to toss out photo speed enforcement, and Pinal County's sheriff ends a contract to use mobile traffic cameras in his county, calling it a revenue- generating scheme that pairs law enforcement with revenue- generating private businesses.