by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
arizona, speed cameras

Arizona Considers Ditching Speed Cameras

from the big-waste-of-money dept

We've highlighted the significant problems with speed cameras over the years, but it hasn't stopped their continued spread. Arizona was actually one of the more aggressive deployers of such speed cameras, which were immediately effective in delivering speeding tickets to thousands of supposed speeders. However, it looks like the anger at the automated ticket-giving machines has caught the attention of at least one local Senator who is trying to kill the program, noting that the cameras are: "annoying, unfair, intrusive and even dangerous because of backups as motorists abruptly slow down near cameras." Indeed. Of course, anyone who looked at other areas that installed such cameras would have found out the same thing without spending millions of taxpayer dollars installing them first.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2009 @ 9:37am

    I live in the Phoenix area and I drive long stretches of the 202, 101 and 60 every day, professionally (i.e. if I get a ticket I lose my job).

    I have mixed feelings about those cameras... Sure it's annoying that you have to slow down for them; no-one wants to get a ticket from a machine. But on the other hand, they give you ample warning (at 1/2 mile and 300ft, even at the mobile cameras) and plenty of leeway: 10 miles over the limit is okay, what the beep!

    Where I come from (Europe), the cameras are always hidden in some way (behind a tree or whatever), there are no warning signs and if you go 3 kilometers per hour (less than 2mph) over the speed limit, they take a picture of your license plate only - it doesn't even matter if you're actually the driver. Fines are higher there, although I have to say there was no system of "points on your license" when I was there.

    I like driving and I admit, I like speeding too. I don't like speed cameras but I think if you're whining about how the cameras make traffic unsafe and how the state gets rich from them, you're a hypocrite. You just don't like that you got flashed when you weren't paying attention and missed the 4-foot "PHOTO ENFORCEMENT ZONE" signs while you were doing 80 in a 65, and there's no cop that stops you and believes your story that you were just getting past that truck that was doing 75 and lets you get away with it.

    Just be happy that you can still drive 10mph faster than the speed limit and get away with it, and that they don't start doing stuff like what they're starting to do elsewhere now, where they put cameras on both ends of a long freeway and send you a ticket if it took you less than x minutes to get from one end to another.

    Pay a little attention and you will know exactly what the speed limit is and where the cameras are, even the mobile ones. If you don't know what the speed limit is, try going along with the rest of traffic or (if there is none) feel free to slow down to 60 or less just to be on the safe side. If you're in a hurry, you can even be a moron and speed up again and continue your way weaving through traffic after you pass the camera and maybe realize how much worse life could be.

    Just don't be naive and think that the cops have something better to do now -- just this week I saw a cop on a bike with a laser gun on the 60 near the Mill Ave exit where the speed limit is down to 55 for construction. I had to get off the freeway there and when I got back on, he had pulled someone over.

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