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COMMITTEE CUTS RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF PHOTO RADAR

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A House committee has reported out a bill to impose restrictions on photo radar, but it took out the provisions PhotoCop supporters said could kill the anti-speeding system.

The House Transportation and Public Safety Committee voted 7 to 5 against restricting PhotoCop to school zones and areas with speed limits of 30 mph or less.The debate now heads to the House floor, where opponents of photo radar will attempt to restore Senate Bill 8's original restrictions.

Rep. Ron Bigelow, R-West Valley City, won enough votes Monday to replace the contents of SB8 with a version that allows cities, not state officials, to decide on using the photo-radar system, which photographs speeders, then sends tickets by mail.

"The issue isn't whether people who receive tickets have broken the law. They have," said Bigelow. "The issue is how we cite them and whether that process is fair. . . . I believe it is."

Also deleted from the bill Monday was a provision that would have given the state half of all ticket revenues generated by such systems. Opponents of the bill said that provision could make it too expensive for local governments to use photo radar.

The House committee kept SB8 provisions that prevent photo-radar tickets from affecting driver-license points or insurance rates, and a requirement that photos must be sent with all tickets.