Photo radar

Those cameras that catch speeders and red-light runners are here to stay, at least for the time being.

The state House late Thursday refused to approve legislation which would have barred state and local governments from using photo enforcement. The measure, HB 2540, came up seven votes short.

Thursday’s vote came despite a plea from Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, who said the industry is tainted.

He cited the fact that Karen Finley, the former chief executive of Phoenix-based Redflex, pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribing Chicago officials to award red-light cameras to her firm. And Petersen said he saw no evidence that it actually reduces accidents or improves safety.

“It’s been used as a fundraiser,” he said, to raise money for communities.

Thursday’s vote comes several days after the Senate defeated a measure which would have required cities that now have photo enforcement to put the question to voters in November. The same bill would have required a public vote before communities without photo radar could erect the cameras.

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