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).

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Comments on “Arizona Finally Dumps Speed Cameras”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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…

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: 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.


Mr. Oizo says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Freedom says:

Re: 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 🙂


Chris Maresca (profile) says:

Re: 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:

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.


net625 (profile) says:


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.

Indy says:


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.

Freedom says:

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.


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.

Cipher-0 says:

Re: 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?

Henry (profile) says:

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.

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