Star Valley Camera Catches State Rep

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When State Representative Ray Barnes drove through Star Valley on May 3, he never thought two weeks later he would receive a ticket in the mail citing him for speeding.

But that is exactly what happened, and only weeks after the 2009 state budget was approved, calling for an increase in the number of photo-enforcement cameras along state highways.

Barnes did not have to pay the $187 fine initially because he is a member of the legislature and he received the ticket while the legislature was in session.

In Arizona, any member of the legislature is exempt from arrest or citation while the legislature is in session, said Barrett Marson, a spokesman for the House Republicans.

"This is in place so a legislator could not be held up on the way to and from the capitol and their legislative duties," Marson said.

Barnes said if he was voting on something and a town wanted to lock him up to prevent him from voting, this law prohibits that from happening.

Now that the legislature is no longer in session, Barnes can be re-served with the citation, Marson said.

Photo enforcement officer Dick Baranzini said he did not know if Barnes would be reissued the ticket, and would have to talk to town attorney Tim Grier to find out.

Although photo-enforcement cameras may begin popping up more on state highways, Barnes does not agree that they should be used at all.

"The state is trying to put them everywhere, and using them to make money," he said. "I think the cameras are unconstitutional because a person has a right to face their accuser, but you can't face a camera in court."

The cameras are the same thing as big brother watching over you, and where does it stop, Barnes said

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