April 12, 2005
The state House of Representatives barely approved a bill Monday that would limit any possible use of photo radar on freeways to a oneyear pilot program on Loop 101 through Scottsdale.
The 31-27 vote for SB1164 reflected widespread uncertainly about the bill’s future. As originally written, SB1164 would have permanently banned photo radar from freeways, interfering with Scottsdale’s negotiations with the state.
Rep. Michele Reagan, RScottsdale, maneuvered last week to change the bill so it would allow Scottsdale to test the technology on Loop 101, where a series of fatal accidents has been blamed on excessive speeding.
But Reagan was among those who voted against SB1164 during a roll call because the bill’s sponsors intend to take the measure to conference committee with the Senate to remove Reagan’s proposal. The main sponsors are Sen. Thayer Verschoor and Rep. Andy Biggs, both Gilbert Republicans.
Legislative tradition will allow Verschoor and Biggs to pick the majority of lawmakers assigned to the conference committee, thereby controlling the outcome.
Supporters of the bill say freeway driving is different than traffic on city streets, and photo radar will cause more problems than it might solve.
"I don’t know anybody would want photo radar on the freeways if you are looking at it purely from a safety factor," House Speaker Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix, said Monday. "This, itself, would cause accidents and would imperil people’s lives."