Arizona Finally Dumps Speed Cameras

from the thanks-for-the-memories dept

While there have been serious political efforts for quite some time to have Arizona get rid of its hated highway speed cameras that generated automatic tickets for drivers going more than 10 mph over the speed limit, it looks like it finally has succeeded. Aaron Martin-Colby alerts us to the news that the state has officially informed Redflex, the provider of the cameras, that it will not be renewing its contract. This would be the same Redflex that the state just happened to give an innovation award to just a few months ago. Mixed messages there. Of course, it sounds like this is just for the speed cameras, not necessarily redlight cameras... (which Redflex also makes).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    Finally! Although, one mistake in the article...

    The cameras, paired with radar devices, photograph vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph or more

    They actually use sensors in the road to detect speed, not radar. If you were on a motorcycle, or you made lane chanes at opportune times, you could weave around them. Just saying...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 2:45pm

    Re:

    Also, I think the red-light cameras are operated by the cities they are installed in, not the state. At least, I've been told that by people in the know, but they were politicians, so that could very well be wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    What was it that someone was saying (I believe it was TAM) about everyone accepting the speed laws even though they are too slow and hence asserting they will accept ridiculous copy restriction laws despite the fact that they are unreasonable?

    The only reason why people accept the broken speed laws is because they aren't adequately enforced. You start to enforce them and people rebel to the point of either making the government change the speed laws or making them alleviate their enforcement.

    The same thing is true with copy restriction laws. You can't force broken laws down our throats, we will either break them or force the government to change them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), May 7th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    The company will change the name to "Speedy Gonzales cameras" and Arizona will order as many as they can get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    Re:

    and I am not encouraging people to break the laws either. I am encouraging people to make the government change them. but we must be aggressive, non violent, but very aggressive, organized, and we need huge amounts of people to participate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    zellamayzao, May 7th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re:

    At least here in Delaware they are operated by the state. They made the change a year or so ago. They were controlled by the cities they were placed in but the state picked up the "burden" of controlling all the cameras

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    minijedimaster (profile), May 7th, 2010 @ 3:25pm

    Can someone please tell me why they make cars that go in excess of 150mph if the highest speed limit in the USA is around 75mph?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    TW Burger, May 7th, 2010 @ 3:26pm

    They're Just Setting Prioroties

    The Arizona police can't be enforcing traffic laws and making an effort in detaining any non-Caucasian person at the same time. Being brown in Arizona - dangerous at any speed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    net625 (profile), May 7th, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    >P

    I am so happy about this, those speed cameras just caused people to slam on their breaks and then all the idiots on their cell phones would then freak out at the last minute and then slam on their breaks and then once passed the danger we would all floor it. Now if they would stop using the stupid vans or at least put a sign out things would be perfect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), May 7th, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re:

    I have a plan ... big Ole GRIN

    It relies on ACTA becoming law.

    It is so simple most people will ask "why didn't I think of that" or sue me because its similar to an overly broad patent.

    It deals with NewsPapers, Music Labels, TV and Movie Studios in a very fun community based "shall we play a game" way.

    It uses internet standards.

    It is all community and social networking based.

    The 8-12 web sites for it are going to be opened to the public before ACTA is signed by the president.

    Yeah I know I suck at promotion ... Thinking outside the box thats another story.

    David

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), May 7th, 2010 @ 5:02pm

    Re: >P

    Man I hate those Vans and the "speed camera in 1000 feet" signs. Especially on the I 10 between Phoenix and Tucson they added 10 minutes to every trip.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Indy, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    sad

    Guess I'm the very odd man out that goes the speed limit, likes them, and never has a reason to rush, ever. You would think people would be for uniform limits, as 100,000 cars going the same speed are going to get to that location on average faster than if you have patterns of cars going faster/slower.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:12pm

    Re:

    "More than 10" equals 11 or more...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:14pm

    Re:

    because to get to 75 mph REALLY fast means that your potential top speed is much greater than the speed limit :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Freedom, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:16pm

    Re:

    >> Can someone please tell me why they make cars that go in excess of 150mph if the highest speed limit in the USA is around 75mph?

    Can someone tell me where you left your man card???

    Why do I have a computer with striped SATA 2 SSDs on SAS 6Gb/sec controller that does over 1500MB/sec throughput where your system probably has a hard drive that can barely do 75MB/sec - one reason and one reason only - because I CAN! That I can now decode porn in uncompressed 1080p formats, but that is another story :)

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Freedom, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Re: sad

    The problem with highway speed cameras though is that they induce some pretty bad externalities into the equation. We now have traffic literally yo-yo'ing their speed around the cameras. We have folks that are generally low risk/accidental speeders that get caught up and ticketed for what are pretty minor mishaps. We introduce profit motive into an enforcement agency. We reduce the amount of highway patrols which in turn allows the worst offenders less risk of getting caught and the presence of police is reduced which generally increases crime.

    In short, while the goal of speed camera might be good, the externalities from it are probably worse than the cure.

    Freedom

    P.S. In general, the safest speed is the one which a driver feels comfortable at - for some that is 30 miles above the speed limit for some it is 10 miles below it. Trying to shoehorn a driver into their non-native speed either stresses them or bores them and in both cases makes them less safe/less focused/etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:33pm

    Re:

    No, the police will have to ask the cameras for their papers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2010 @ 5:36pm

    Re: They're Just Setting Prioroties

    DWM - Driving While Mexican

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, May 7th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    Re: Re:

    And if you'd read the comment, you'd know that wasn't what they were correcting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Mr. Oizo, May 8th, 2010 @ 12:24am

    Re: Re:

    No it's not. How fast you go from one speed to another is called acceleration. It has no bearing on the maximum speed you attained. You talk about an average which can only be achieved
    a- by continuously driving the same speed
    b- or sometimes you drive faster than your average speed

    If you talk about the power your engine produces to generate the acceleration: ok, but that is something else than the maximum speed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Jake, May 8th, 2010 @ 2:03am

    The worst of it is, speed cameras are a good tool for enforcing the speed limit provided they're not abused as a revenue source or treated as a substitute for sworn officers rather than a supplement. So are red-light cameras, for that matter.
    You people really need to introduce laws restricting exactly what fines can be spent on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Big Al, May 8th, 2010 @ 5:46am

    Re:

    Because in other countries the limits are higher / non existant (eg Germany). Think Global

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Cipher-0, May 8th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Re:

    The worst of it is, speed cameras are a good tool for enforcing the speed limit provided they're not abused as a revenue source or treated as a substitute for sworn officers rather than a supplement. So are red-light cameras, for that matter.
    Is there any evidence that either of those suppositions are true - or better, that enforcing the existing regulations in this manner makes driving any safer?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Also one has to make a distinction between horsepower and torque.

    For instance, on a bike you have various gears. Some gears are designed to help you accelerate faster before you start moving. But once you reach the point where those gears can no longer help you move faster you have to switch gears to gears that will make it easier to accelerate to higher speeds. You don't initially start out in higher gears because those gears are not good for acceleration, but the lower gears aren't good for top speed. So you have to adjust your gears accordingly. The "horsepower" is based on the physical strength of the bikers legs.

    Cars are kinda the same thing, more complicated, but the physics are the same. Horsepower is determined by the engine. but top speed and acceleration are influenced by engine power and gear ratio. In fact, some cars could be designed for acceleration while others could be designed for top speed. The two are often conflicting deliverables.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2010 @ 10:26pm

    Re:

    Different states have different speed limit and not all cars are sold to the U.S.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2010 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Stop being silly, of course there is little to no evidence of it. Heck, various sections of the autobahn has no speed limits and their accident rates are lower than those of California and many U.S. states despite the many cars that go well over 100 mph

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Henry, May 8th, 2010 @ 11:48pm

    Politicians are effectively exempt from these tickets

    AZ has dumped them, but CA is so desparate for money that it may set up the same thing! But much bigger. (On the bright side, it will be green as it will recycle the equipment no longer needed in Arizona.) If you are in CA and don't want speed cams, call your state legislators, and the govinator. Real soon. It could all be decided in June.

    Of course, legislators (in most states) don't have to worry much about camera tickets. Here's the dirty little secret: An April 2008 Orange County Register (Santa Ana, California) article pointed out that in California there are nearly one million private vehicles having "confidential" license plate numbers that are protected from easy or efficient look up, thus are effectively invisible to agencies attempting to process parking, toll, and red light camera violations. These exempt vehicles belong to politicians, bureaucrats, "government insiders," and their families. In 2009 the Register reported that the legislature was extending the "confidential" treatment to even more people! Such "protected plate" lists exist in most states, and in many of those will be inflated, like in California. In each state having cameras, some reporter should check it out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2010 @ 2:13am

    Re: Politicians are effectively exempt from these tickets

    Why should politicians and industry lobbyists be forced to follow the ridiculous laws they pass? Absurd!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, May 9th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Governator masks

    If California starts using these things, everyone should start wearing governator masks. "Your honor, you can clearly see this is the governator driving the vehicle, not me. If you don't give him a ticket I will start a class action lawsuit against the state."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Chris Maresca (profile), May 9th, 2010 @ 1:57pm

    Re:

    Actually, for a while the highest speed limit was in Montana and was defined as "reasonable and prudent" - basically there was no speed limit.

    Of course, congress critters go PO'd and forced Montana to adopt a 75mph speed limit in 2000. However - the fines for exceeding the limit are extremely low and only enforced above 90mph. Also, Utah has recently voted to increase speeds on interstates above 75mph. There's a good summary table of laws here: http://www.mit.edu/~jfc/laws.html

    All in all, it's not unusual to see people driving 85+mph in Western states. Accelerating to that speed safely in traffic requires quite a lot of power, a side effect of which is higher top speeds (yes, depending on gearing, etc, but it is a side effect).

    Finally, almost all mainstream production cars are limited by manufacturers to 155mph, even if a car's power and gearing would allow for a higher theoretical top speed. There are a few sports cars which are not, but they are the exception.

    The fact is most people will drive a the speed at which they are comfortable. Speed limits rarely reflect this speed, particularly since technology evolves faster than speed limits.

    Chris.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This