Arizona cities are dropping their so-called “photo enforcement” traffic cameras in a flurry in 2011.
The latest is Peoria, where camera intersections such as 83rd Ave and Thunderbird (above picture) saw tremendous increases in accidents. City officials are now claiming that overall there was a 29% increase over the three year life span of the program, but much larger increases (300-500%) were recorded initially.
The vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, lost their contract with Tempe earlier in the summer over a legal dispute. Not only was Redflex suing Tempe for a larger share of the ticket fines, but they, along with many city officials had also been the target of a RICO lawsuit related to the red light cameras.
Redflex also serves Paradise Valley, where an initiative to put the speed and red light cameras to a vote has been circulating for about a year now. Only about 1,200 signatures are needed to put the measure on the ballot.
Considering that a statewide initiative which ran from 2009-2010 collected close to 140,000 signatures, that much smaller number seems within reach in Paradise Valley.
After a push for PV town council to get rid of the system in2010 by Arizona Campaign For Liberty, there was discussion and a very public debate, but the measure was eventually tabled by mayor Scott LeMarr.
Former mayor Vernon Parker adamantly pushed for an end to the photo ticketing systems, pointing out that there been no measurable safety benefit from red light cameras or the mobile radar vans in the town.
Campaign for Liberty will continue to push for an end to the 20 year old ticket camera program in Paradise Valley and have now set their sites on the city of Scottsdale as well.
Scottsdale residents are just as fed up with the abuses of their constitutional rights and have seen signal timing tinkered with, just as Paradise Valley and Peoria have. Their program is run by American Traffic Solutions, who has been just as scandal-ridden as their competitor, Redflex.
Will Scottsdale finally do the right thing and rid themselves of the corrupt operation of American Traffic Solutions, following the lead Los Angeles and Houston who gave ATS the boot this summer? The pressure is on Jim Lane to examine the safety hazard that these ticket cameras pose to his city’s motorists.
More on the upcoming removal of red light cameras in Peoria from ABC 15.