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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 21, 2010

ARIZONA SPEED CAMERAS INSPIRE MAJOR PROTEST

LA TIMES - Arizona speed cameras incite a mini revolt A masked man, a citizens group, a judge and other motorists are behind the fight against photo enforcement. The statewide program started in October 2008 and was expected to bring in more than $90 million in the first fiscal year of operation.

Since the Grand Canyon State began enforcing speed limits with roadside cameras, motorists are raging against the machines: They have blocked out the lenses with Post-it notes or Silly String. During the Christmas holidays, they covered the cameras with boxes, complete with wrapping paper.

One dissenting citizen went after a camera with a pick ax.

Arizona is the only state to implement "photo enforcement," as it's known, on major highways and is one of 12 states and 52 communities, plus the District of Columbia, with speed cameras, according to the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The cameras, paired with radar devices, photograph vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph or more. A notice of violation -- carrying a fine of $181.50 -- is then sent to the address of the vehicle's registered owner.

. . . But from October 2008, when the program began, to October 2009, the cameras generated about $19 million for the state's cash-strapped general fund, according to a report on photo radar released by the Arizona Office of the Auditor General last month. As of September, only 38% of issued violations were paid, the report said.

This doesn't mean the program lacks defenders. The number of fatal collisions investigated on state highways in 2009 was the lowest in 15 years, a figure that Lt. Jeff King of the Arizona Department of Public Safety attributes to tough drunk driving laws and photo enforcement.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

England has similar problems with their traffic cameras. Frequently the cameras are set on fire, insuring that if they are to be replaced, it will be at maximum cost.

Personally I don't recommend setting fires in arid Arizona, but the guy with a pick ax has found a safer dry region solution.

February 22, 2010 1:43 PM  

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