Bill barring mailed speeding tickets becomes law

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Gov. Nikki Haley has signed into law a bill designed to stop a South Carolina town from using a traffic camera to send speeders a ticket in the mail.

      The law bars towns from mailing traffic tickets. It requires officers to hand-deliver them along the roadside.

      The Jasper County town of Ridgeland has used speed cameras since August along a seven-mile stretch of Interstate 95 that's inside town limits.

      Haley signed the bill Friday.

      Lawmakers have accused Ridgeland officials of flouting state law that already barred tickets based only on photographic evidence. Town officials argued their radar and camera system was legal because it's monitored by an officer.

      Ridgeland's mayor Gary Hodges says he believes the system saves lives. He says roughly 10,000 tickets were mailed in nine months.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)