AZ Central had this news to report in May: the speed camera contract was not being renewed; the Cameras will not run after July 15. That WAS good news. The contract was not renewed with Redflex, the Australian-based owners of the cameras and the biggest dealer of speed cameras in the world. Really, this was good news. It meant that, even though less than 30% of all photo tickets were paid, the ridiculous sums of money that speeding now costs in this state due to 60% or more going to fund the contract will not be leaving the country and enriching a foreign nation. I don’t know how many are aware that the reason the fines have become so expensive is that the camera contracts stipulate that the company will receive a certain amount of money from the cameras, which means that if people aren’t paying their fines the money comes directly from the state, unless they raise the fees to cover the costs of those who don’t respond and pay. The state still wants to use traffic laws (and the breaking of them) as a source of income, hence the most recent figure I heard for a speeding ticket: $470. This was the sum quoted by one of our local Hams at Field Day; he received a camera ticket outside of Prescott Valley on Hwy 69 and was supposedly doing 85 in a 55. Now, he DID admit to speeding, but he was shocked at both the rate of speed he was supposedly going (this is a guy in his mid 70’s, mind you) and the cost of the ticket.
Then This story came out. It seems that the reason the contract is not being renewed is that DPS wants to take over the entire thing themselves, thus keeping all the money for themselves. Now, I have been robbed on more than one occasion. I have had an attempted breakin while I was home with my children, and had to threaten them with my rifle to make them go away, and to go outside with my rifle to make sure they both knew I was serious and to make sure they DID go away (they did). On none of these occasions have the police EVER found a suspect, found my stuff, or even attempted to do an investigation. So why would I care if they get more money or not? They only seem to ever want to prosecute the easy money stuff….like traffic violations. And hey, why even do that when they can just put up cameras every two miles on the interstate to do that work for them as well?
What is with the cameras every two miles, and how do I know that, you ask? Well, I drive 60 miles one way to work, and about 50 miles of that is freeway. There are always at least two of the (now) unmanned photo radar SUV’s parked along the side of the interstate, and I have noticed that there are now, from New River south to I think it’s Dixileta Dr. the sensors in the newly upgraded road, every two miles. There is one stretch, where they could not conveniently mount a camera, where it goes to three, and another where it’s just over a mile, but pretty much it’s every two miles.
I predicted in previous posts that there would be more of this, because of the lack of money and the strain on the system. I also predict here and now, that the stresses of people just trying to get to work, and home, and live on less money than ever, on being inundated with these cameras and their attendant usurious fines, will push many over the edge;. In fact, I predict that vandalism of these cameras, should they go live by DPS and in the numbers I seem to see, will become the past time of many young and/or unemployed groups of people. Frankly, I wish them luck in their endeavors.