10/22/2005Mesa Lowers Speed Limits as City Adds More Speed Cameras
Simultaneously lowering speed limits and adding speed cameras will boost ticket profits for Mesa, Arizona.
Faced with declining revenue, Mesa, Arizona is about to deliver a one-two punch to motorists by lowering speed limits on most streets as it more than doubles the number of speed cameras in the city. Mesa already operates five photo radar vans, but the city council adopted a plan on October 11 to boost the number of red light cameras from 13 to 30 and equip a number of the new cameras with "speed on green" technology that allows the device to issue both speeding and red light tickets.
In 2000, the speed limit on 37 miles of Mesa roads was 50 MPH. The city has subsequently lowered the limit on all of those roads. With only two exceptions, the top limit is now 45 MPH. Under the current city plans, those two exceptions will disappear. Two weeks ago, for example, the limit on Recker Road between Thomas Road and Red Mountain Freeway dropped from 45 to 40 MPH. More speed limits are expected to drop in anticipation of the new speed enforcement devices.
In 2001, Mesa experienced a significant drop in revenue when it broke its contract with Lockheed Martin (now ACS) by raising yellow signal time at several intersections. The increased yellow resulted in a permanent safety improvement and 73 percent reduction in red light violations. American Traffic Systems, which was purchased by Australian vendor Redflex in 1999 will run the new program and split the profit with the city.