Article: Arizona Group Launches Statewide Referendum to Ban Photo Enforcement
Prominent lawmakers and law enforcement officials are expected to be among the first to sign a petition later today that would, if approved, give Arizona voters the power to decide whether photo enforcement should continue in the state. The grassroots activist group CameraFraud.com
has scheduled a rally at the state capitol building in Phoenix at 3pm on the legislatures first day of the 2009 session to unveil the measure.
"No traffic complaint... shall be issued or filed in the State of Arizona for an alleged violation... if the alleged violation was detected through the use of a Photo Enforcement System," the initiative states.
Expected speakers at the referendum effort's launch include Arizona state Treasurer Dean Martin
(R); state House Appropriations Committee Chairman Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), who is also a former chief deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff's office; newly elected Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu
; and Barry M. Goldwater Jr., a former member of Congress and son of the 1964 presidential candidate.
To qualify for the ballot, the petition must contain 153,364 verified signatures. CameraFraud organizers suggest that more than 200,000 signatures can be secured thanks to what they call the overreach of outgoing Governor Janet Napolitano (D) in ordering up to 200 photo radar vans on Arizona freeways to help balance the growing state budget deficit. Opposition to the freeway ticketing helped the Phoenix-area group grow from a handful of members to more than 800 in just six months. It has also spawned affiliate groups in Tuscon
and Washington, DC
, with more on the way.
"This initiative measure keeps the enforcement of our laws in the hands of trained law enforcement officers who are authorized by the people of Arizona, protects the citizens of Arizona from the abuses that accompany the outsourcing of law enforcement to private, for-profit corporations and ensures that the purpose of law enforcement remains to serve and protect and not to generate revenue for governments," the initiative's summary explains.
No photo enforcement program has ever survived a vote by the public. Cincinnati
, Ohio recently voted to ban photo ticketing. Between 1991 and 1997, voters also turned out in Batavia, Illinois; Peoria, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska to reject photo radar. Source