Awhile back, we talked about a Schmuck's view of immigration. Now, we hear from another candidate from District 20, this time taking on the Governor's traffic cameras. Former DPS officer Andy Swann takes a shot at the Governor's plan and the realities of its impact (or lack thereof) on public safety.
You can read the release below:
Contact: For Immediate Release:
Andy Swann July 14, 2008
Swann Attacks Traffic Cam Scam
Candidate for Arizona Legislature and former DPS Officer Targets “Janet Cams”
DISTRICT 20 – Andy Swann, retired DPS officer and candidate for Legislature in District 20, announced his opposition to statewide traffic cams that carry fines, but no points to the driver. He denounced the program as a misguided revenue generator in a time when the state should be looking to live within its means.
“I believe that traffic cameras are a tool that may have their place in helping control speeds and promote public safety,” said Swann, “If they are really to be used for their intended purpose, the revenue generated from the cameras should be put back into public safety instead of the General Fund where it can be used for any number of costly programs.”
As a part of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget plan, Arizona is expected to generate over $120 million in revenue from $165 dollar tickets to speeders. The speeding tickets, like parking tickets, would carry no points against a driver’s record. In a way, these “Janet Cams” encourage those who can afford it to speed so they can continue to fund the Governor’s programs.
“First, it is important to know that these cameras cannot take the place of a police officer,” said Swann, “An officer is sworn to protect and uphold the law, there is a lot more to protecting the safety of the public than just catching speeders. This is not much more than a good old fashion statewide speed trap.”
Swann stated, “We are in tough economic times. The state needs to better prioritize spending and cut costly programs that fall short in priority. When money is tight for a family, they pay the mortgage first and put food on the table. Then if they have any money left over, they may go to the movies. You don’t start charging your neighbors a fee to walk on your sidewalk so you can have enough money to go out.”
“I’m a small businessman with three young children. My family is living and working in the same tough economy and we have to live within our means,” concluded Swann, “Using these traffic cams to generate general fund money, the $2 billion in borrowing, the fund sweeps and other gimmicks could have the potential to negatively impact our economy for many years to come.”
While there doesn't appear to be anything that can be done about the traffic cameras in this current budget, it will be interesting to see if they stick around in subsequent years. And once they are in place, its doubtful that they would ever go away because that would be an even bigger waste of money.