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Tempe adds 20 speed & red light cameras

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Tempe adds 20 speed & red light cameras

Old 11-09-07, 12:44 AM
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Tempe adds 20 speed & red light cameras

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/100959
locations
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/ima...1/najzcapd.jpg


Tempe adds 20 new speed cameras

Garin Groff, Tribune
Drivers will find 10 new places to get photo-enforcement tickets in Tempe starting today. The city is launching a massive expansion of its photo-enforcement effort by boosting permanent cameras from two to 20.

GRAPHIC: See the location of the new cameras

Just two intersections had the equipment for a decade, with one camera at each place. But the city now has a pair of cameras in each of the 10 locations, snapping photos of drivers in two directions.

The new digital equipment replaces film-based technology that was a decade old. The quality was so bad that only 24 percent of violations resulted in a photo good enough to issue a citation.

“It was not accomplishing what it needed to,” Tempe police Sgt. Mike Horn said.

Cities typically break even on the cost of photo enforcement, but the poor quality resulted in an annual loss of $285,000 in Tempe.

Tempe hasn’t calculated how much revenue the new equipment will generate, but Horn said the city’s goal is to implement a program that’s revenue-neutral while trying to slow down drivers and reduce traffic crashes.

Drivers will get warnings for the first 30 days while operators fine-tune the technology. After that, drivers will get citations in the mail.

The equipment allows Tempe to do two new things.

First, the city can now issue citations to drivers who speed through green signals at intersections. And second, the city has midblock locations to detect speeders.

Police chose the locations after reviewing collision data, talking with city traffic engineers and working with Redflex, a Scottsdale-based company that will administer the service.

Each location will be marked with a sign warning drivers, but Horn said some already have spotted the pole-mounted cameras.

“We’ve received some calls from several people who have noticed them going up,” Horn said. “It’s clearly not anything that should be a surprise to most.”

The city abandoned two intersections that had the old equipment: McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue, and Rural and Broadway roads.

Tempe will continue to use two radar-equipped vans around the city that cite speeders, though the vehicles were recently replaced. The vans have issued only warnings recently but will issue citations beginning today.



Discuss .....
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Old 11-09-07, 07:09 AM
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1.I predict photo-obscuring license plate cover sales to go up 1000%.
2. It is probably a good thing for bicyclists.
3. Too bad they can't ticket red-light running bicyclists with this system.
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Old 11-09-07, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
1.I predict photo-obscuring license plate cover sales to go up 1000%.
2. It is probably a good thing for bicyclists.
3. Too bad they can't ticket red-light running bicyclists with this system.
On Mythbusters they showed that the photo-obscuring plates don't work. At best a letter or number may be blurred, but it was still visible enough to cite.
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Old 11-09-07, 08:55 AM
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When I cycle on the 35mph school zones* when mobile photo enforcement is in effect the slower more subdued traffic is readily apparent.

Today riding south on Rural in south Tempe (45mph zone) there was a mobile photo enforcement. In the period I passed it I saw it flash three different times.

One disappointment with photo enforcement is that it will only ticket for 11mph and above. So 55mph in a 45mph zone will not ticket, 56mph will. That has been widely publicized and sets the 'default' speed that everyone travels without concern of enforcement at 10mph over. I've recently read letters to the editor that say that anyone traveling less than 11mph over the SL is impeding traffic if they are not in the far right lane.

A few co-workers were discussing photo speed enforcement at lunch a few days ago. They felt that it was very unfair to put both a red light camera and a speed camera at an intersection as they all said they and most people speed up to avoid running red lights. Now this 'forces' them with the choice to get a red light ticket or a speed ticket which is unfair - a 'trap' in their words. I guess they didn't consider traveling at the SL and stopping for red. I do that and have never once had a situation where I could not easily stop on red. They looked at me like I was crazy for suggesting going the SL.

(*wheel, this has been observed on Guadelupe and Southern thru the two 35mph zones)
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Old 11-09-07, 09:10 AM
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Sigh... I suppose going less than the speed limit is really out of the question... it is amazing that people feel so "entitled" to speed.

In the recent Reader's Digest, there is a story in a feature column called "That's Outrageous" about a woman speeding 57 in a 35MPH zone... under new Virginia law, she is fined $1050, and the magazine finds that the "outrageous offense," not the speeding.

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Old 11-09-07, 09:13 AM
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Speed cameras are a bad idea.

They represent another incremental loss of personal, individual rights.

They encourage the encroachment of surveillance society.

I do not like the idea of a precedent for automatic law enforcement without an officer present and making value judgements.

I did not read about any kind of citizen oversight or accountability in this program which could examine revenue generated by the cameras against cost to validate that it is only self-funding and not an additional source of revenue/tax collection.

Also, citizen review of police caught speeding/blowing red lights by these cameras. You can bet that if the cameras were being used to enforce laws against cops, there is no way the union would have allowed them.
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Old 11-09-07, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Speed cameras are a bad idea.

They represent another incremental loss of personal, individual rights.
With rights come responsibilities... when motorists start responsibly driving below the LIMIT, then they have no problem with "loss of rights."
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Old 11-09-07, 09:43 AM
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Funny too that the same motorists who find issue with 'privacy' due to speed cameras, welcome the cameras set up along Arizona freeways as part of the FMS which then reports to them where the slow traffic is at any given time.

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Old 11-09-07, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Speed cameras are a bad idea.

They represent another incremental loss of personal, individual rights.
.

1. You have no right to drive a car
2. You have no right to break the speed limit
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Old 11-09-07, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Speed cameras are a bad idea.



I did not read about any kind of citizen oversight or accountability in this program which could examine revenue generated by the cameras against cost to validate that it is only self-funding and not an additional source of revenue/tax collection.
.
read a little closer it states that program lost money and they don't care it is about enforcement.

I like the program taking on the speeders who speed through a light to make it which also tackles our red light running problem.
I too have problems with 11 miles over. it should be the speed limit like duh or maybe one or two over.
*NB yea I saw the one on Southern been there for a couple weeks.
Just passed Guadlupe didn't see that one.
Scottsdale also has vans out and about not sure the speed barrier on them.
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Old 11-09-07, 03:02 PM
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Best thing since sliced bread. I LOVE those things as they keep the 10 idiots from still going after it's turned red.
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Old 11-09-07, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by wheel View Post
read a little closer it states that program lost money and they don't care it is about enforcement.

I like the program taking on the speeders who speed through a light to make it which also tackles our red light running problem.
I too have problems with 11 miles over. it should be the speed limit like duh or maybe one or two over.
*NB yea I saw the one on Southern been there for a couple weeks.
Just passed Guadlupe didn't see that one.
Scottsdale also has vans out and about not sure the speed barrier on them.
I don't understand how they could lose money, with fixed cost. I remember they did a test run of van/camera at school zones in my area and they increased traffic fines by 400% using 5mph over.... they estimated it would be positive revenue generator, since the cost was paid by the company and the city split the money 50/50 with the company running the program.

I don't have a problem with it per se, if they eliminate head count in the police department... it's clearly marked so it's not a trap etc...

I remember it was shot down locally because too many people were getting ticketed in school zones, they all complained to their city council and several lawyers who got ticked filed lawsuits.
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Old 11-09-07, 04:00 PM
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It is interesting that adults can discourse sincerely on the legitimacy of violating and enforcing the law. Absent often from the chatter is the word responsibility.
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Old 11-09-07, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by webist View Post
It is interesting that adults can discourse sincerely on the legitimacy of violating and enforcing the law. Absent often from the chatter is the word responsibility.
Back up there in post 7, I used the word... just after someone flew the "violates my rights" flag...
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Old 11-09-07, 04:26 PM
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These things don't really do anything other than generate revenue for the city, and some of them seem to be unfairly placed, as the speed limit may not be clearly posted near them. And on principle, I don't like them because private companies shouldn't be part of law enforcement in this manner.
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Old 11-09-07, 04:32 PM
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Two speeding tickets should equal a permanent loss of of your DL.
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Old 11-09-07, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Speed cameras are a bad idea.

They represent another incremental loss of personal, individual rights.

They encourage the encroachment of surveillance society.

I do not like the idea of a precedent for automatic law enforcement without an officer present and making value judgements.

I did not read about any kind of citizen oversight or accountability in this program which could examine revenue generated by the cameras against cost to validate that it is only self-funding and not an additional source of revenue/tax collection.

Also, citizen review of police caught speeding/blowing red lights by these cameras. You can bet that if the cameras were being used to enforce laws against cops, there is no way the union would have allowed them.
They're used on public roads to catch law breakers... what personal right is being lost?
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Old 11-09-07, 05:09 PM
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Please, oh PLEASE bring these to Florida !!!
I'll help pay for the shipping on as many as you can bring !!!!!!

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Old 11-09-07, 05:13 PM
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Arizona law requires all speed camera enforcement points to be clearly signed at two places prior to the enforcement zone:
"1. At least two signs shall be placed in a location before a photo enforcement system. One sign shall be in a location that is approximately three hundred feet before the photo enforcement system. Placement of additional signs shall be more than three hundred feet before a photo enforcement system to provide reasonable notice to a person that a photo enforcement system is present and operational.
2. Signs indicating a photo enforcement system shall be removed or covered when the photo enforcement system is no longer present or not operating."


In several metro-Phx cities, such as Chandler (adjacent to Tempe) the city has installed speed reader boards prior to all speed enforcement zones that warm drivers that they are above trigger speed 300ft before the enforcement zone. The sign reads your speed and flashes to warn the driver if you are 11mph or over.
See this article about them: http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/92924

"most recently, the City Council voted to spend nearly $300,000 on 66 speed-reader signs that tell drivers how fast they’re going. About one-third of the speed-reader signs are already up and working.
“I wanted to make sure people have ample warning,” City Councilman Jeff Weninger said of the speed-reader signs. “If people slow down and don’t get a ticket, that’s a good thing no matter what prompted them to do it.”
Many of the speed-reader signs, which are not precise enough to be used for speed enforcement, are being installed near 11 intersections that will soon have cameras snapping speeders and red-light runners."



Again don't forget these systems allow 11mph over before a ticket is issued. As explained by AZ law enforcement:
"Why are speeders allowed an 11 mph buffer?

The 10 MPH margin is intended to address language in the Arizona Revised Statutes related to speed offenses that defines, "...reasonable and prudent..." speed. It also provides a reasonable margin of error/grace for inaccurate vehicle speedometers and short-term lapses of attention by otherwise law-abiding and generally cautious drivers.

Our primary focus is on intentional, aggressive and negligent drivers. Statistics tell us that at 10 MPH over the posted speed limit, the probability of being involved in a crash doubles. However, at 20 MPH over, the probability increases to 11 times greater. We are trying to change the driving behavior of those persons who are most likely to cause crashes."


Also note that in Arizona red light running at high speed is a more significant problem vs. the rest of the US. At 7.1 fatalities/100k Arizona has nearly 2x the number of red light collisions and fatalities relative to the next worst state (3.9/10k). Phoenix has a rate of 10.8/100k the highest in the US. 3 of the four top worst intersection fatality rates are in Arizona cities.

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Old 11-09-07, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete ***erlin View Post
I love those things.
My best so far is 31mph on flat road, windless day. Most often however my attempts gets ruined by a faster larger vehicle approaching from behind.

One thing I've noted is they are accurate, match my perfectly calibrated speedometer and am impressed how well they do at picking up even a bicycle from a decent distance.

I wonder if teenagers in motor vehicles try see what happens if they go over 99.

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Old 11-09-07, 05:33 PM
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Another thing about the revenue generator complaint. Several AZ cities have made it a requirement that any money that is generated by automated systems must go into a fund that can only be used to hire additional law enforcement officers beyond the current staffing levels. So far no AZ city has made any money though.

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Old 11-09-07, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete ***erlin View Post
Which makes the "Many of the speed-reader signs, which are not precise enough to be used for speed enforcement," bit curious.
I think that was said to quell any fears from the public that the reader signs would be someday turned into enforcement units.

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Old 11-09-07, 06:17 PM
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I've come close to being hit by a red light running truck when driving. So deterring red light runners is good. But some cities install the red light cameras on short duration yellow lights and issue tickets within the first quarter second of turning red. Story here..

Changing the yellow to 4 seconds from 3 seconds reduced red light citations.
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Old 11-09-07, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wheel View Post
Discuss .....
This one traffic signal has a sign, "signal will turn red at speeds over 25 mph" (or something like that, you get the idea.) And it does what it says it will do.

I always slow down, it's faster than stopping. But I'm not sure everyone is as smart as I am.
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Old 11-09-07, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
I've come close to being hit by a red light running truck when driving. So deterring red light runners is good. But some cities install the red light cameras on short duration yellow lights and issue tickets within the first quarter second of turning red. Story here..

Changing the yellow to 4 seconds from 3 seconds reduced red light citations.
Wow... don't run lights in San Diego.

It is interesting that
Confidential San Diego documents obtained in a 2001 court trial prove that the city and its vendor, now ACS, only installed red light cameras at intersections with high volumes and an "Amber (yellow) phase less than 4 seconds." The short yellow and short grace periods have the same effect on revenue.
So much for the "safety aspects" for those lights here... The report indicated there was no change in accidents...

San Diego has long history with local politicians making sweetheart deals... the current ongoing scam that has drained the coffers concerns a retirement program that is quite lucrative for retired politicians... no doubt the city needed revenue to continue such things as "run the police department."

Slow down or pay the man...
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