Arizona Photo Radar ? Power Hungry Police with Large Ego?s

June 24, 2010

An exposed photo radar manual shows details on how to steal, use, operate, and maintain the cameras. In an article released by KFYI, Dow says that the Redflex operations manual, which was supplied to CameraFRAUD by a “confidential source,” states that “judges, city workers and other city government workers cannot get tickets.” The manual also provides a flow chart, easy enough to analyze by your typical bureaucrat, how to distribute tickets—and bring in the take—to Arizona citizens. DPS appears to have all but pulled the plug on its usage of Redflex mobile photo radar units on Arizona state highways.   In many cases, red light and photo radar cameras actually lead to more accidents because local governments shorten the yellows to increase the number of red light runners, while other folks slam on their brakes to beat the speed cameras, only to increase their speed again once they pass the speed cameras.

Look at the Statistics! During a study session of the City Council on Tuesday, the city manager told council members that data gathered in the year since the cameras were installed could be used to make “different interpretations.” “In effect, the jury is out on whether these cameras are making these intersections safer,” said City Manager Carl Swenson. “And that’s what we’re ultimately about. We don’t want to just give people tickets.” According to numbers from the Police Department, collisions at the four intersections have doubled since a private company finished installing red light cameras in June 2008. During the 2007 fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30, there were 36 collisions at the intersections. In fiscal 2008, there were 73. The numbers over doubled after placing photo radar on this corner. Councilman Ron Aames from the Palo Verde District said the increase suggests that the cameras might actually be making intersections more dangerous. Aames replied, “I’m thinking if these numbers were reversed . . . I probably wouldn’t hear these other ways of explaining it. “I don’t want this to be a situation where we’re just giving tickets to people and not really making the roads safer.”

Story from a friend traveling across Arizona: Thirty miles outside Flagstaff on Interstate 40, an RV broke down while they were traveling across the country this summer. They desperately tried to contact their towing company, but due to limited cell service they could not reach them. We were able to get 911, who said they would call towing. They also informed us that since it was Sunday, we’d have to wait for some time. That was the last we ever spoke to the police. The temperature was well over 90 degrees and storm clouds were swirling above. In the hours we waited outside in the heat, not one car stopped to inquire if they needed help. Better yet, not one state trooper or patrol car came by to check to see if they were OK. Where is our state highway patrol? Are we running a Department of Public Safety or a Department of Public Photo Enforcement? What they did see frequently as they traveled our roads were police cruisers taking pictures of people speeding. What about people who have the misfortune of breaking down on your highways — are there no police available to lend a hand because they are out there taking pictures?  Keeping the public safe from aggressive drivers is important, but coming to the aid of stranded motorists is just as important if not more so.

From listening to both sides of the photo radar controversy for some time now, I’ve yet to find an educated opinion when it comes to supporting photo radar.  Not only is this state driving vacationers away, but it’s driving its own home grown citizens out. Police officers pretending to be the kings of law on every corner, it’s scarier than downtown phoenix. Performing unlawful searches and falsifying breathalyzer reports, it’s hard to support such a government. One wonders if the statistics were available, which would make more money, the combination of dui and photo radar revenue, or the high priced taxed goods purchased by wealthy visitors. Instead of pissing off the entire state, why not set up a healthier process.  While we all know photo radar is just another “play on taxes” (Tax given a safety spin to get citizens to pay) we should be thinking of real solutions to Arizona’s debt issue. Power hungry politicians and law enforcement will only drive out what’s left of such a beautiful state.

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