The city of Montgomery is doubling-down on its use four unmanned police cars that are equipped with speeding cameras despite a new state law that bans them.
The law, signed in April by Gov. Robert Bentley was borne out of public resentment for the Montgomery police practice, which essentially establishes decoy cars throughout the city and issues tickets via mail.
But Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says Montgomery is currently exempt from the law because it is protected under a section in the constitution that states legislators can’t enact a statute that would impair pre-existing contracts.
“With all due respect to the legislature, Section 22 will tell you that they cannot do anything, pass a law, that would impair the existing contracts,” Strange told WSFA 12 News. “And the existing contract that we have is a three-year contract that we actually extended in March of this year.”
Mayor Strange, a proponent of the speed cameras has previously said the cameras are “a tremendous force multiplier that supplement manned enforcement by our traffic officers while allowing other police personnel to fight crime, protect and serve,” explaining “our neighborhoods, our schools and our children” would stand to lose the most.
His the law’s passage, Strange has amended the use of the car cameras saying they will no longer be used in construction zones, but will remain in neighborhoods and school zones where requested. Strange said the city received an average of three requests a week to deploy the cars.