Arizona House bill would prohibit red light, speed cameras

House Representative Kelly Townsend is sponsoring House Bill 2540 which would completely prohibit photo radar enforcement in Arizona. (Photo by Ben Margiott/Cronkite News)

House Representative Kelly Townsend has gotten a photo radar ticket just like the rest of us, but that didn’t stop her from still sponsoring House Bill 2540, which would prohibit the cameras in the state. Similar bills have come close to passing in the past, but Townsend believes this one has a better shot.

Most Arizonans know the sinking feeling of speeding through an intersection and seeing the unmistakable flash of a red light camera.

House Representative Kelly Townsend (R – District 16) knows the feeling too, but said her previous photo radar ticket had nothing to do with her decision to sponsor House Bill 2540, a complete prohibition of photo radar enforcement in Arizona.

“The year prior I had voted against it,” Rep. Townsend said. “I wasn’t ready yet to say let’s get rid of them. But I had given my word that if it could be shown that there was fraud involved, that I would run the bill myself.”

In the legislative offseason, Townsend got the proof she needed when the former CEO for Redflex, a large Phoenix company that manufactures the photo radar systems, pled guilty to bribery.

Rep. Townsend gave her bill a good chance at passing this season given the momentum of the anti-photo radar movement nationally and in Arizona.

“I think the climate’s changing, I think the people are really realizing the issues that come up with it, I think that the indictments and pleading guilty shows that there’s some credibility to the argument that these are not there to protect the public but to generate revenue,” Townsend said.

HB 2540 was scheduled to be addressed Tuesday in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee but that discussion was postponed until further notice.