That’s a headline you’d never see in New South Wales, but it’s the state of affairs in Arizona where the whole implementation seems to be so badly botched that the speed camera program may very well be axed .
PHOENIX (AP) — More than a year after Arizona became the first state in the country to deploy dozens of speed cameras on highways statewide, threats to the groundbreaking program abound.
Profits are far below expectations, a citizen effort to ban the cameras is gaining steam, the governor has said she does not like the program, and more and more drivers are ignoring the tickets they get in the mail after hearing from fellow speeders that there are often no consequences to doing so.
“I see all the cameras in Arizona completely coming down ” in 2010, said Shawn Dow, chairman of Arizona Citizens Against Photo Radar, which is trying to get a measure banning the cameras on the November ballot. “The citizens of Arizona took away the cash cow of Arizona by refusing to pay.”
The Arizona Department of Public Safety introduced the cameras in September 2008 and slowly added more until all 76 were up and running by January.
Supporters say the cameras slow down drivers and reduce accidents, but opponents argue that they are intrusive and are more about making money than safety.
The cameras led to more than 700,000 tickets to drivers going 11 miles per hour or more over the speed limit from September 2008 to September 2009, the most recent data available, according to the Department of Public Safety. The mandated fines and surcharges on all those tickets would total more than $127 million, but they had generated just $36.8 million through September, Lieutenant [Jeff] King [photo enforcement district commander for the Department of Public Safety] said.
Some of the people who got those tickets are contesting them in court and could end up having to pay the fine, but many of them have gone unpaid because drivers know they have a good shot at getting away with ignoring them. When people get tickets, they can pay without question, request a court date and fight the ticket, or simply ignore the ticket because law enforcement cannot prove they received it. The ticket becomes invalid if a violator who ignores it is not served in person within three months. It is nearly impossible to say how many people have ignored their tickets because courts do not track the figure.
Yeesh. Over here the authorities just assume that you receive the notice and suspend your licence if you don’t pay. It seems to me that this is the main cause of the apparent failure of the speed camera program. If the tickets were enforced, people would be paying them.
Somebody really stuffed the implementation of this program…I wonder who it could be?
While certain to increase, that $36.8 million in revenue through September will still fall far below the $120 million a year that former Gov. Janet Napolitano hoped to put in the state’s coffers when she ordered up the program in early 2007.
Oh…well that explains it. Janet Napolitano, the Obama administration’s National Security Nit-Wit (as Mark Levin so accurately put it yesterday)…the woman who said “the system worked”  after a terrorist managed to get explosives on-board an aeroplane and use them on a flight in to Detroit  on Christmas Day. The only reason many people didn’t die on that day is the heroic actions of other passengers.
Clearly Janet Napolitano’s definition of “work/worked/working” in the case of national security and for speed camera programs differs from the definition which can be found in English dictionaries.