Beginning in July, motorists in the state of Wyoming :!: could find speeding tickets in their mailbox demanding payment of up to $800. On Wednesday, the Wyoming state House of Representatives voted 38-22 to approve a bill authorizing not only speed cameras, but also red light cameras and any other device that issues automated tickets for traffic infractions. A House committee recommended adoption of the legislation with an 8-0 vote last week.

As primary sponsor of the legislation, House Speaker Roy Cohee (R-Casper) provided the momentum for final passage. Senator Bob Fecht (R-Cheyenne) serves as the upper chamber's primary sponsor.

Their proposed legislation sets the the second-highest photo ticketing expenses in the nation. Wyoming would charge $400 for a basic speeding offense which is comparable to the $375 that Illinois charges for a first offense. Speeding in a school or "work zone", however, would bring Wyoming's fine to $800, topped only by the $1000 second-offense ticket in Illinois. Red light camera fines under the proposal would run $250.

The legislation, HB 203, also requires that municipalities using photo ticketing capture the face of the driver. Once a ticket is issued to an accused driver, that motorist will be compelled to appear in court if he fails or refuses to pay the ticket -- although no arrest warrant may be issued. If a challenge is filed in court, motorists will be presumed guilty as "administrative procedures" will be used