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ENEMIES IN HIGH PLACES PUTTING BRAKE ON PHOTOCOP

SHARE ENEMIES IN HIGH PLACES PUTTING BRAKE ON PHOTOCOP

Anger enough drivers and sooner or later you'll hear about it in the Legislature. And PhotoCop has angered a number of people - apparently too many.

Monday, the House approved SB8, a bill that limits the use of PhotoCop - the automated speeding ticket system. The vote wasn't even close: 52-20. It now goes to the governor for his signature.SB8, which originally would have mandated that all speeding tickets be issued by a police officer, has been controversial from the first days of the 1996 session. As finally amended, it says that the system can only be used on roads with posted speed limits of 30 mph or lower and in school zones.

Also, the ticketing government must send a picture of the speeding car to the registered owner of the vehicle, no points can accrue against your license for the PhotoCop ticket and a police officer must be present when the photo machine is running.

"What happened to the U.S. Constitution?" demanded House Minority Whip Kelly Atkinson. "This is unconstitutional in two areas - the right to confront your accuser - can you confront a machine? - and you don't have to testify against your spouse."

Atkinson, who confessed he's gotten several such tickets, said that when you appear for a hearing on a PhotoCop ticket the official demands that you identify who is driving the car. If that happens to be your wife, you have to peg her as the offender "or you have to pay the ticket - you have no choice, and that is wrong."

Atkinson said that some cities are using PhotoCop just for revenues - that they don't really care about speeding on those roads.

But Rep. Bryan Holladay, R-West Jordan, said he drives slower on the Bangerter Highway (through West Valley City, which uses PhotoCop) because he, his wife and his son have all received speeding tickets via the system.