By on November 26, 2008

Another top elected official in Arizona has spoken out against photo radar in response to increasingly vocal resistance from the driving public. State Treasurer Dean Martin (R) on Monday wrote to the state’s solicitor general instructing her to side with the League of Cities and Towns — and against himself — in a lawsuit brought against the state budget. As custodian of the state’s monies, Martin is a defendant in the suit which argues that several of the revenue-raising provisions in the $9.9 billion budget adopted in June were unconstitutional. “The governor and legislature cannot raise taxes or ‘log-roll’ provisions into the budget that violate the constitution,” Martin explained in a statement. “These laws are unconstitutional since they did not receive the 2/3 majority vote of the legislature which is required to raise taxes.”

At the direction of Governor Janet Napolitano (D), the budget included an amendment creating a $165 “civil penalty” that would apply to tickets issued by up to 200 speed cameras deployed on freeways throughout the state. The program was designed to generate $165 million in annual revenue and help bring the state’s books into balance. Martin singled out this provision, which was adopted without debate in the legislature, as “a tax increase without a 2/3 vote” (view text of photo radar law). Article 9, Section 22 of the state constitution requires a super-majority vote on legislation that creates a net increase in state revenue from “any new state fee or assessment” or tax.

Napolitano has wasted no time in getting her photo radar plan operational. She ordered the first 42 mobile ticketing units stationed every twenty miles on Interstates 10 and 40 over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. This means that an out-of-state family, unaware of the new program, could be hit with a total of twenty tickets while traveling with the flow of traffic between California and New Mexico. With court fees, the total cost of the citations would $3700.

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4 Comments on “Arizona Treasurer Calls Speed Cameras Unconstitutional...”


  • avatar
    AllStingNoBling

    I have nothing nice to say about photo radar. I would rather have slightly higher taxes, than this bullshit.

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    Unless there are signs posted before every camera that speed limits are enforced by camera, then this is nothing more than an illegal revenue generator. Placing mobile units every 10-20 miles does absolutley nothing to decrease speeding. Boycott AZ tourism….I have been doing it for years.

  • avatar
    AG

    What tha!?! That flash came from the speed camera! THAT THING’S OPERATIONAL!!!

  • avatar
    Wolven

    I’m glad to see some politicians beginning to fight against this B.S. We need to ban ALL cameras and radars in America, and throw out by whatever means necessary any elected official that supports these things.

    A cop with a radar is nothing more than a manually operated speed camera (SCAM)… and a bushwhacking thief.

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