10/1/2006Arizona: Speed Cameras Rigged for a Comeback
Scottsdale, Arizona officials have already decided to bring back the Loop 101 speed cameras before the test is officially complete.
The test of the Loop 101 freeway speed cameras in Scottsdale, Arizona will not conclude until October 23, but already city officials are preparing to declare the program a success and re-introduce ticketing as early as January. Although the city claims that it will not make the final decision whether to continue the program until a committee evaluates the program, city staff are already working on a contract renewal with Redflex, the Australian vendor that operates the program. The current contract expires June 30, 2007.
As of August 31, the camera system had issued 110,962 tickets worth at least $17,421,034. The funds processed to date have paid the Australian vendor that operates the program, covered the initial investment in equipment and generated a significant profit. The state also takes a 47.4 percent cut of the revenue.
During an "evaluation" period that will result in a report on January 1, 2007, the city council will pay Redflex $2761 a month at each camera location to keep the pavement sensors functional while the cameras are idle. The city will also pay $75,000 for the report document which is compiled solely from information provided from the camera vendor and the police.
Accidents had already been on a sharp decline months before speed cameras were activated. There were 403 collisions on the Scottsdale portion of Loop 101 in 2004, a number which dropped to 297 the following year.