The current session of the Arizona Legislature is upon us, and as usual, the work that goes on there leaves me scratching my head. This government body has an opportunity to produce traffic safety legislation that would help to keep drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe on our roadways. Instead, most of their efforts are spent on cooking up ways to make it easier for scofflaws to thumb their noses at traffic laws.
Take House Bill 2579 for example. This legislation would ban all use of photo enforcement in Arizona, for both speed and red light running! The Bill was introduced by east valley State Representative Warren Peterson at the urging of none other than Shawn Dow, the infamous traffic camera hater. Dow thinks the cameras violate his constitutional right to privacy and he should be able to speed and/or run red lights without the threat of being caught by this highly effective technology. In my opinion, this is a selfish attempt on the part of a vocal minority, to make speeding and red light running easier to get away with and is an insult to the tens of thousands of victims of these irresponsible acts.
National statistics have shown time and again that photo enforcement technology, when used appropriately, has assisted in reducing crashes and saving lives. Any sensible person realizes it’s simply not possible to station a police officer at every unsafe intersection to ticket violators. Cameras are an added tool for police departments to safely monitor the roadways while allowing for the deployment of officers to crime scenes that require immediate attention. Traffic cameras will never replace the officer on the street, but enhance a police department’s ability to provide citizen safety on our streets and highways.