Arizona Insurers Want To Know When Cameras Catch Speeding

February 5, 2009

The Arizona Legislature is debating a bill that would prohibit a state or local authority from using photo enforcement systems to detect speeding violations on state highways. If passed, the bill, HB 2106, also would repeal the state photo enforcement system and the photo enforcement fund established in 2008. However, if the bill is defeated and photo enforcement systems remain in place, insurers say they want to know when drivers are ticketed for speeding.

According to bill text, Arizona has implemented a statewide photo enforcement system that currently provides automated speed enforcement on the state’s highways. Previous legislation also created the Photo Enforcement Fund (PEF), into which revenues from state highway photo enforcement Notices of Violation (NOVs) and citations are deposited. NOVs and citations issued under the program carry a penalty of $165 and a 10 percent clean elections surcharge (for a total penalty of $181.50). The law prohibits NOVs and citations detected by the state photo enforcement from being reported by the court to the state Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and further prohibits the MVD from using these offenses for sanctioning drivers and assessing points. This prohibition has created a conflict with federal laws governing violations by Commercial Motor Vehicle operators and masks the violations for the purpose of rating drivers by insurance companies.

Currently, a bill has been proposed to eliminate the photo enforcement system. However, if the bill is defeated and the cameras remain in place, insurers say they should know if their insureds are violating the law.

People with a higher risk in their driving risk should pay more for their insurance coverages, according to the Arizona Insurance Council. A spokesman for State Farm Insurance told local television station KPNX 12 News that the job of an insurer is to match the price of insurance to risk, and that the current law prohibits that.

For more information, visit http://www.azleg.state.az.us/search/oop/qfullhit.asp?CiWebHitsFile=/legtext/49leg/1r/summary/h.hb2106_01-22-08_ti.doc.htm&CiRestriction=%22speed+cameras%22.

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