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Author Topic: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!  (Read 6390 times)


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Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« on: March 02, 2009, 01:49:04 PM »

Well, big brother's watchin...

Arizona became the first state to authorize speed cameras statewide.  There are other places that use speed cameras as well.  I've seen comments on why car accidents are being called such nowadays :|


AAA alerts drivers to Arizona speed cameras
By Jeff Martin, USA TODAY

Drivers have long expected things such as road construction alerts, alternate routes and information about hotels and restaurants when they sign up with AAA.

Now, they're getting something else: warnings about speed cameras.

AAA announced in February that it will include alerts to its members about a new statewide system of speed cameras in Arizona in online and printed trip maps. The Arizona speed camera system, authorized by the state Legislature last June, is the latest example of the rapid growth of the technology used to nab both speeders and red-light runners nationwide.

Though AAA has included information about places it deems "strict enforcement areas," where traffic laws are aggressively enforced, in places such as Washington, D.C., and stretches of Interstate 75 in Georgia, this is the first time the group has issued such a warning about an entire state, says Mark Madeja, a spokesman for AAA.

More than 300 communities across the USA use cameras to catch red-light runners, says Russ Rader, media relations director for the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That's up from about 150 communities in 2006, he says.

At the start of this year, 26 states plus the District of Columbia were using or were in the process of installing red-light cameras or speed cameras, Rader says.

Cameras statewide

Arizona's speed camera contract with Phoenix-based Redflex Traffic Systems is "the first of its kind in the entire country" because it's a statewide contract for cameras on highways throughout Arizona, says Bart Graves, media relations coordinator with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

A state law approved last year in Arizona provided about $20 million in state funding for Redflex to implement the system. The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued about 150,000 tickets from the time the program began last fall through Jan. 21 and received payments on nearly 25,000 citations, according to the latest DPS statistics.

Those numbers translate to about $435,000 in fees for Redflex and more than $4 million in revenue for the Photo Enforcement Fund, money subject to legislative appropriation, according to the DPS.

Arizona aims to have 60 stationary cameras and 40 mobile cameras in vehicles on the state's roads this year, Graves says.

Some officials are not pleased with that. There have been 14 bills filed on the topic in the state Legislature this year, most aiming to eliminate the system or make tickets less punitive. Opponents say they're gathering signatures every day.

"We can't print the petitions fast enough," said D.T. Arneson, a volunteer with camerafraud.com, which opposes photo enforcement of traffic violations. "The response is explosive."

Awareness, not opposition

Heather Hunter, national manager of public relations for AAA, says warnings about speed cameras do not signal opposition to them. Rather, they are intended to inform motorists about traffic safety and "make them aware that in this area, there will be strict enforcement," Hunter says.

Robert Musco, police chief in Green Cove Springs, Fla., a Jacksonville suburb aiming to have red-light cameras installed at intersections within the next three months, says the use of cameras "is the future of traffic enforcement."

"I send an officer out there for two hours, and he may catch one or two red-light runners," Musco says. "The camera is there 24/7, 365 days a year."

Though speed cameras are a more recent tool, the debate on the safety of red-light cameras has raged for years. Musco says cameras that prevent red-light runners help prevent killer crashes known as "T-bone collisions," in which one vehicle rams head-on into the driver or passenger side of a car.

Aaron Quinn, a spokesman with the Wisconsin-based National Motorists Association, contends that red-light cameras can actually lead to more wrecks because some cars stop abruptly before intersections with cameras, leading to rear-end collisions.

The use of cameras to catch motorists who violate traffic laws has grown rapidly in recent years. In 2005, Redflex had 70 contracts in 14 states for red-light enforcement, spokeswoman Shoba Vaitheeswaran says. Today, the company has 220 contracts in 22 states, including large cities such as Chicago and smaller ones such as Sioux Falls, S.D., she says.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions has cameras in more than 135 communities, including major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Houston, St. Louis and Washington, says company spokesman Josh Weiss says.

Martin reports for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. Contributing: Casey Newton, J.J. Hensley and Megan Boehnke, The Arizona Republic.
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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 03:04:43 PM »

Considering how inaccurate some of the "your speed" signs can get, I have to wonder about the accuracy of those speed cameras.


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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 03:12:17 PM »

Red light cameras aren't a good idea, neither are speed cameras. Just have the police be a little more vigilant is all. Although they can't be omnipresent, more vigilance is good.

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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2009, 03:20:28 PM »

In the UK devices used for the issuing of speeding tickets must be approved by the government which consists of rigorous tests to ensure their accuracy. "Your speed" and other electronic signs which display the speed limit when you're going too fast aren't used for enforcement so they don't need testing/calibrating. In any case, these signs telling you to slow down etc activate even when you're actually doing the limit whereas the real speed cameras allow a tolerance, usually the trigger speed is 10%+2mph, so in a 30 it would be 35, in a 40 it would be 46.

Considering how people have moaned about the fixed cameras on the freeways of Arizona, I find the 11mph tolerance far more generous than that over here. I wish we could do 80mph on our 70mph freeways without being ticketed by these things.
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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2009, 04:14:02 PM »

It's still a matter of personal responsibility.

The use of red-light and speed cameras signifies that the government (i.e., people at large) don't trust each other in the least.

The problem isn't lack of enforcement by patrolmen. The problem is the lack of a significant penalty. If speeding or running a red light is a cheap fine (if caught), there's little incentive to not do it, sadly.

The cameras are an easy excuse to increase revenue. Steubenville, Ohio (my hometown) tried that and the law on the books was overturned when a local lawyer's own wife had gotten one of these speeding tickets. Since then, a ballot issue was passed outlawing the use of any camera to catch speeders, regardless of how the new law may be written.

Want to stop speeding or redlight running, increase the fines. The argument that the paying cops to stake out intersections or patrol for speeders would be offset by the fact the fine would far exceed the cost of the officer.

But, that's not what the camera's ticket revenue is for, it's for gross revenue to the state, city, county, etc.

It has nothing to do with the safety or concern of the citizens. It has everything to do with the profit of the endeavor.



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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009, 04:22:35 PM »

I think it's a good idea.  In NY, "your speed" signs are usually 2 mph below your actual speed.  And if implemented the police could be enforcing laws that have nothing to do with traffic (I know, it's a radical concept).  People don't have a right to speed or run a red light.  The fines should be increased as well.  By a lot.  If one of these things catches you going 20 mph over the limit (the norm here in Rochester) you should get a $10,000 fine.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.


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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 05:02:29 PM »

I'll post later about the issues I have with automated enforcement.

But for now I'll say, I'd rather have the govt. entities would set up tolling facilities rather than the defacto and sometimes arbitrary "toll" of traffic fines!   :-P
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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009, 05:05:37 PM »

I maintain that red light cameras are inherently dangerous. They had installed them fairly extensively in Tacoma and I found people started driving like idiots- slamming their brakes at yellow lights for fear of going through the intersection after the light turned red, causing the line of traffic behind them to have to jam on their brakes. In the past, they'd cruise through, maybe go through the light less than half a second after it turned red, and the cars behind them would be able to come to a safe stop.

If you're sitting at a red light and you decide to go, yeah, that should be illegal. If I were in charge of red light cameras I'd design them so that they only activate after 2 or 3 seconds of the light being red.

Running red lights is illegal and should be, but cameras just scare the tomatoes out of people and cause them to act like idiots.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 05:10:43 PM by corco »


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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 06:10:55 PM »

Then you have places like Beaverton, Oregon, that have purposely rigged their traffic signals that have red-light cams so the yellow-light phase is shorter.  They got busted for it by one of the news channels, too.

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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 11:51:40 AM »

Social control at work.


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Re: Don't speed in Arizona, you're being watched!!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 01:58:20 PM »

One nation, under surveillance.  :-/
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