Roadside speed camera

Traffic law photo enforcement is still OK in Arizona.

PHOENIX — The days for photo radar on state roads may be numbered.

With little discussion, the state House voted 32-26 on Thursday to make it illegal for the state or local communities to erect speed cameras on any state highway. That covers any road maintained by the state, usually identified by having a route number.

SB 1241 also would ban cameras to catch those who run red lights.

The legislation already has been approved by the Senate. But it needs one more roll-call vote there because the House made a minor change in wording.

And if Sen. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria, can keep supporters of the law on board, the measure will then go to Gov. Doug Ducey.

Gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said his boss wants to take a close look at the issue before deciding what to do.

The change, if signed into law, would most immediately affect two communities.

El Mirage has speed cameras on Grand Avenue, more formally known as U.S. 60. Star Valley has several along the stretch of Arizona 260 that goes through the center of that community.

But it also would block any future efforts by cities and counties to use photo enforcement on any of the state roads going through their towns.

It also would prevent future governors from doing what Janet Napolitano did nearly a decade ago when she had the Department of Public Safety install speed cameras on freeways in the Phoenix area.

Napolitano argued it was all about safety. But the governor conceded she was counting on revenues from speeders to help balance the budget.

Her successor, Jan Brewer, had the cameras removed.