Senators gave preliminary approval to a bill that would restrict the use of photo-radar to school zones and other streets where there's a record of repeated speeding.
But before the measure passed a number of senators objected to the basic operation of photo-radar - unattended machines giving any number of tickets to unsuspecting drivers."This is justice for a profit," said Sen. Craig Peterson, R-Orem. "This is just a money machine," said Sen. Glade Nielsen, R-Roy. "It's used to bring income into local government."
As now used in only a few small Utah cities, the expensive photo-radar machines are leased from private firms to local law enforcement agencies. The firm makes $16 to $20 per ticket issued, said senators, giving the rest of the fine to the local governments.
Under the new law, police could only use photo-radar machines if their local government body first approves the use, the use is only in school zones during the hours that children are present and if a sign warning of such use is placed down the highway so drivers are alerted.