Lawsuits on 'illegal' photo radar mounting

Posted at 10:46 PM, Mar 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 08:04:18-04

No doubt you seen them, maybe you've even been flashed by one. Attorney General Mark Brnovich says photo radar is illegal whether the cameras are tagging drivers for speeding or running a red light. 

When one of those cameras snaps your picture, third-party companies collecting the information accessing your plate number are operating like a private investigator for police. This means they need a license and yet most don't have one.

So when you get a ticket in the mail, the evidence is already tainted according to Arizona Congressman Sonny Borrelli.

He says that legal loophole hasn't stopped insurance companies from raising premiums as a result of the ensuing traffic tickets. It also hasn't kept police from suspending licenses over too many tickets and issuing arrest warrants if you miss court over it.

Representative Borrelli was first to uncover the issue and get the Attorney General to investigate.

He says if police want to use the cameras to fight crime, then they should be only ones who can access the information collected by them.

"Police officer body cameras work just that way. They lease that equipment but the police are in charge, 100% control from start to finish, and that's what needs to be done. Otherwise it's fruit from the poison tree," said Rep. Borrelli.

The AG's finding doesn't mean the cameras will come down, but his opinion does carry a lot of weight in court for the lawsuits challenging any related tickets of which Borelli says there are several in the works.

Borrelli adds anyone who's illegally operated as a private investigator becomes ineligible for a license which means potentially a finding like this could shut down those third party companies entirely.