Group pushes to eliminate all photo enforcement cameras in Arizona; bill introduced to legislature

PHOENIX - Lobbying group Campaign for Liberty is fighting to get rid of photo enforcement cameras in Arizona. A bill was filed with the state legislature Tuesday.

"It's about time that local jurisdictions and foreign companies stop taking away money from Arizonans, especially in these hard economic times," Shawn Dow, Campaign for Liberty spokesman, said.

If passed, the bill would ban all cameras in our state that issue tickets, according to Dow. 

Dow said sworn officers should issue tickets and not automated machines. "Cops, not cameras," he said.

Frank Hinds, a founder from Red Means Stop, is against the bill. Hinds' daughter died at the hand of a red light runner.

Hinds said studies show that photo enforcement cameras improve safety. It depends where you look though.

Several studies show different results and may largely depend on factors that are not applicable to all situations.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 2011 report, there was a 24 percent drop in deadly red light running crashes at intersections with cameras. The study looked at statistics from several large cities.

The Federal Highway Administration's report in 2005 showed that right angle crashes decreased, but rear end crashes increased in areas with red light cameras.

According to the Peoria Police Department, collisions went up 29 percent at intersections with red light cameras during the city's test run. The city's cameras were deactivated in 2011.

The bill would have to pass in the House, Senate and be signed by the Governor to become law.

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