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Scottsdale Photo Radar Insured for $5 Million
Worried about lawsuits, Scottsdale, Arizona wants a multi-million dollar insurance policy to protect its new speed camera proposal.

Insurance policy
Scottsdale, Arizona's proposed digital speed camera network will be covered by a liability insurance policy as a condition of state approval. Australian camera vendor Redflex has suggested a policy worth $5 million would be sufficient, but city officials told the East Valley Tribune that they didn't think it would be enough. Scottsdale would be left paying the remainder of judgments exceeding the insurance amount.

"We really shouldn't be taking on extra liability," said Councilman Bob Littlefield.

If adopted on October 25, Redflex will make $8.4 million off its new contract with the city. Redflex will install and operate the photo radar devices on the Loop 101 freeway and continue to operate its red light and speed camera program on behalf of Scottsdale.

The insurance makes sense if one considers that camera problems have cost jurisdictions around the world millions in the past twelve months:
  • In September, Union City, California refunded $1 million in red light camera tickets.
  • In September, South Australian lawmakers fearing a potential $10 million in speed camera refunds have proposed a retroactive reduction in the speed limit.
  • In June, a number of UK speed camera errors led to refunds worth over $900,000.
  • In May, Cape Town, South Africa refunded $2.3 million in tickets.
  • In March, Devon, Canada refunded $700,000 in photo radar tickets because the operator was not qualified.
  • In December 2004, Victoria, Australian officials refunded $21 million in speed camera tickets after a 1975 Datsun was sent a ticket for driving an impossible speed.

Source: Freeway photo radar could breed lawsuits (East Valley Tribune (AZ), 10/13/2005)

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