A gaggle of lawmakers
in the Arizona Legislature is trying to work out differences on an effort to
ban law enforcement from digitally patrolling freeways.
The House approved a
bill April 11 after voting 27-21 to add a provision offered by Rep. Michele
Reagan, R-Scottsdale, to exempt her hometown from the proposed ban. The
exclusion would allow Scottsdale to move forward with a yearlong pilot study on
how cameras affect collision rates and speed on Loop 101. The bill – minus
Reagan’s change – passed the Senate in March.
“This isn’t that I
support photo radar on the freeways,” Reagan told The Arizona Republic. “I support my city making that decision for our residents.”
become the only city in the country to use cameras to monitor speeding and
If approved, the city
would put cameras in each direction of travel on a 16-mile stretch of the
freeway between 90th Street to the south and the Phoenix border to the west.
Signs would be posted to warn drivers of the cameras.
Although that portion of freeway isn’t its deadliest
segment, the newspaper reports the city wants to study how photo enforcement
would affect the estimated 120,000 to 170,000 vehicles that pass through the
Another amendment was
added to the bill in an effort to undermine Reagan’s proposal. Offered by Rep.
Colette Rosati, R-Scottsdale, it would have allowed the Arizona Department of
Public Safety to shift troopers from other parts of the state to step up patrols
on Loop 101.
passed with one vote to spare.
The bill’s original sponsors, Republicans Sen. Thayer
Verschoor and Rep. Andy Biggs, both of Gilbert, are against the Scottsdale
plan, saying municipalities shouldn’t be allowed to monitor state-controlled
highways. They have appointed lawmakers from each chamber to reach an agreement
on the bill – SB1164.