- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - The House passed a bill Tuesday that would let speeders in Arizona off the hook with a $15 fine for going up to 10 mph above the posted limit.

Rep. David Stevens’ proposal expands a law written after the 1970s Arab oil embargo that classifies traveling up to 65 mph in a 55 mph zone as a civil violation called “waste of a finite resource.”

House Bill 2662 applies the $15 fine plus surcharges to any street or highway, with exceptions for protected areas such as school and construction zones. The citations wouldn’t be reported to insurance companies and wouldn’t add points to a person’s driving record.

“This bill as amended would make any posted speed limit, 10 over, just a penalty,” said Stevens, R-Sierra Vista. “It broadens when law enforcement can use this tool,” he said.

The proposal passed on a 40-20 vote and now moves to the Senate.

Rep. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson, voted against the measure, saying it’s an issue that should be left up to local governments.

“On the face of it, this looks like, ‘Woo hoo, I can speed and I can only get charged $15, it doesn’t affect my points, it doesn’t affect my insurance. Wow, I get a free ticket so to speak,’” Steele said. “This is going to have an enormous impact on our cities and towns.”

Ordinarily, a ticket for going up to 10 mph over the limit is classified as driving “at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances.” Citations vary in cost depending on the court that has jurisdiction.

For example, a speeding ticket from Maricopa County Justice Courts costs $170 plus surcharges.

AAA said it has concerns that the bill would let drivers with multiple violations off the hook.

“Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors in a car crash,” said Linda Gorman, director of communications and public affairs. “As a safety leader, AAA believes HB 2662 will allow people who already have multiple moving violations to further jeopardize others’ safety on Arizona roadways.”

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