As test period ends, Arizona traffic cameras get backing of governor

| Wednesday, September 20, 2006

With the shutter at least temporarily closing on the city of Scottsdale’s use of cameras to monitor speeding along Loop 101, Gov. Janet Napolitano said more communities in Arizona should consider adopting camera enforcement.

“At least anecdotally, it has been a successful complement to officers on patrol,” Napolitano told The Arizona Republic about the cameras that have dotted a 7.8-mile stretch of the highway from Scottsdale Road to Shea Boulevard since January.

Napolitano said the cameras appear to be altering the behavior of drivers. She suggested that the cameras not be removed Oct. 23 when they are turned off for an evaluation by transportation and public-safety officials.

The nine-month test period so far has netted 72,300 citations for drivers who were driving at least 11 mph faster than the posted 65 mph limit. More than 190,000 speeders have had their photos snapped, The Republic reported.

A decision whether to extend the program might not come until December.

The review process will include looking into fatalities, collision rates, average speeds and the frequency of speeding citations to determine the effectives of the cameras.

Since tickets began being issued Feb. 22, they have generated about $2 million, The Republic reported. The expenses involved to run the program and pay court costs total about $1.4 million.

The program has been met with stiff opposition since its unveiling a year ago.

More than a dozen efforts were introduced this year in the Arizona Legislature to rein in use of cameras. None of the bills were approved.

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