Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation Wednesday that could curb future photo radar installations on state highways and maybe even force removal of some of them there.
The law eliminates the ability of cities to set up speed and red-light cameras on state roads -- anything with a route number -- with only minimal state oversight. Instead, cities will have to provide statistics to prove that the devices will make a real difference in safety.
Already installed photo enforcement cameras will be allowed to stay through the end of their current permit process. But at that time they will have to come down absent a showing that their presence has reduced speeding and accidents.
Brewer has never been a big fan of photo enforcement.
When she became governor in 2009 she inherited a contract that Janet Napolitano, her predecessor, had signed with Redflex Traffic Systems to place 100 fixed and mobile speed cameras along state roads.
"I hate it,'' Brewer said just a month in office, noting that Napolitano had even built the state budget around estimates that the cameras would generate a net profit.
"I certainly don't support photo radar as a revenue-generating solution to solving our budget,'' Brewer said. "And I believe that's what it initially was put in (the budget) for.''
Brewer killed the Redflex contract in 2010.
The new law in some ways mirrors Brewer's beliefs.
It preserves the right of cities to petition to put photo cameras on state roads if they can justify it from a safety perspective. But it is designed to preclude their placement if the main goal is to raise money from traffic citations.
ADOT has existing agreements with Tucson, Chandler, El Mirage, Globe, Superior, Show Low and Star Valley. Sierra Vista and Casa Grande are working with ADOT to install photo enforcement cameras on state roads in their communities.
Nothing in the legislation precludes cities from erecting red light and speeding cameras on their own local streets that are not part of the state highway system.