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Photo Radar

andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
Like most states, Arizona is desperately seeking additional revenue. They have recently begun installing photo-radar units (mobile and fixed) on highways throughout the state and it has had the effect of generating additional revenue.

Those who don't like it have taken matters into their own hands, vandalizing cameras, pushing for special initiatives to ban the cameras and/or putting polarized covers over their plates.

Some restrictions apply to camera enforcement:

-Fines are levied only on the registered owner of the vehicle, no license points are accrued and insurance companies are not notified. $165 for less than 20mph over, 250 for more than 20mph over.
-Cameras are set to record only cars traveling at 11mph over the limit (55 or lower zones) or 10mph over (65mph or higher zones).

What do you think?


  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I have "longtime" been an advocate of getting people to slow the heck down.

    Speeding is dangerous, illegal, wasteful, and unfortunately, WIDESPREAD.

    There have already been articles in the Phoenix newspaper about how people are noticing the slower-moving traffic on the freeways and how people who have always wanted the "flow" to be slower are loving the stress-free drive.

    Even if it "IS" only a money grab, which is fine with me because they are not going to grab any of MY money, I'm all for it.

    Lower speeds mean more survivable accidents, more time to react to problems, less wasted fuel, and less stressed drivers.

    If the speeders want to pay $157 a pop for the right to drive 11 MPH over the limit, then let them.

    I'll not be with them.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    More idiocy from the modern British school of societal management, more politicos who deserve to be introduced to a gallows.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    and find myself in the middle on this subject.

    -IMO Civil Disobedience should stop at the point of vandalism, wrecking speed cameras is never justifiable. OTOH I have no problem w installing a polarized "blocker" cover over the plate.

    -Photo Radar is clearly a revenue enhancement measure with limited safety benefits but since there's no points on the license or insurance surcharge it's actually cheaper to get a ticket from the robot than to incur the insurance surcharges from a ticket issued by a police officer. The State is going to get it's piece whether thru photo radar fines or increased taxes--at least you can avoid fines.

    -Contrary to Laserb, Arizonians do not drive that fast, especially considering the excellent highway network. Average speeds are no higher here than back home in NH.

    -From what I have seen, unlike in many areas, Arizona speed limits are reasonable of the most roads. They are often close to the 85th Percentile Speed which is where most traffic engineers say it should be.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    They issued 40,000 tickets in a 60-day span.

    That seems like a lot of speeding to me.

    Maybe not for some areas of the country I'm sure. If they put them in SoCal, they might get 40,000 tickets in an HOUR !!!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    Aren't these revenue creation masquerading as safety infractions easy to fight? Something along the lines of signing an affidavit stating you weren't the driver?

    "Uh yeah my friend Bob was driving the car that day...I can't remember his last name...he lives three towns over" :shades:
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    Rules of process and evidence vary from state to state. What might get you off scot free in one jurisdiction could be of no importance in another so I would argue against taking those article points too seriously.

    Having said that, I once got a photo ticket for running a red light in Boston. Since I go to court on every summons (sometimes even parking tickets) I appeared in Boston District Court.
    The magistrate came in and asked those who had gotten a photo ticket to raise their hand and about 6 of us did so. Then and there she dismissed all of them. Apparently she felt that at least some of the points in the Business Week article where applicable to Massachusetts law.

    BTW- in 45 years of driving that's the only time I've ever been cited for running a light or a sign.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    My wife got a ticket years ago for going 25 in a 20 zone. The ticket was easy to beat because the speed limit sign visible in the photo said 30 mph. D'oh.

    The guy running the mobile camera got fired and the city ended the photo radar contract early.

    On the other hand, my elderly mother got a ticket a few months ago for going about 45 in a 30 mph zone - she was just trying to "keep up with traffic." She paid it and then sold her car. :shades:
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    -Fines are levied only on the registered owner of the vehicle, no license points are accrued and insurance companies are not notified.

    My buddy tells me that if it is 85mph or over in Az., it is a criminal vehicular offense and therefore license points are levied.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    Let's see, the photo company gets a rake each time a ticket is issued - tell me these cameras aren't rigged with a short yellow light, or a few extra mph to increase the photo company commisions. If a city uses the cameras, the city should run them and there should be no cut to the photo company to insure it is honest. Face it, how frequently do you read about crooked business deals any more.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    ..We've all heard the phrase 'speed kills', and it's been widely applied to situations both apt and not. A recent study conducted by the NHTSA examining over 5,400 crashes across a nearly three-year period presents some evidence that excessive speed, while it may cause more serious injuries, is not a leading cause of accidents.

    Adopting a simplified linear model of an accident's timeline, the most frequent 'critical pre-crash event' cause is driver inattention. The 'critical pre-crash event' is defined as the action or event that puts the vehicle on an inevitable collision course - the point of no return.

    Got that, driver inattention, not speed causes most accidents.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Higher speed crashes due to driver inattention are more serious, dangerous, and costly to insurance companies than lower-speed crashes.

    Slowing down is good for EVERYONE.

    Except the states trying to drum up income from the speed cameras.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    So then we should all go no more than 40 or so :sick: :lemon:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I will if you will...............;)
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,919
    "A speed camera is located out in front of Wootton High School, providing a convenient location for generating the false tickets. Instead of purchasing license plates, students have ready access to laser printers that can create duplicate license plates using glossy paper using readily available fonts. For example, the state name of "Maryland" appears on plates in a font similar to Garamond Number 5 Swash Italic. Once the camera flashes, the driver can quickly pull over and remove the fake paper plate. The victim will receive a $40 ticket in the mail weeks later."

    Maryland Students Use Speed Cameras for Revenge (
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    What ever happened to police actually patrolling the roads???? One well placed police officer can slow traffic down very easily.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    One well placed surplus car with a mannequin behind the wheel can slow traffic too.

    Just more to show these cameras are for moneymaking - for desperate municipalities and well-connected crony capitalist camera operators.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379

    I've stated before that I do not go along with destroying enforcement cameras but this strikes me as a creative, amusing and relatively harmless method of civil disobedience.

    Tempe Police are investigating, may prosecute.

    Tempe is the home of Arizona State University, and residents are no doubt used to student hi-jinks. Investigating and prosecuting this prank will cost the taxpayers much more than simply removing the boxes.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    What is important is that the enforcement tool be used to catch Red light runners and any other law breaker especially those who think they can drive too fast and safe at the same time.

    The big brother argument is bogus. "Catch em if you can and any way you can, but catch em."

    Force discipline back into driving any way that is effective.
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