8/16/2008Arizona Resumes Freeway Speed Camera Use
Arizona state police claim FCC has certified the radars used in the new statewide speed camera program.
The state of Arizona has restarted its mobile speed camera program after the company operating the ticket vans was caught violating federal regulations. Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves confirmed to TheNewspaper that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had certified the British AGD-340 radar component used in the van. Graves declined a request to provide a copy of the certification.
The FCC forbids the importation of any radar device that has not undergone accredited lab testing to show that it meets standards required to prevent interference with air traffic control systems and other critical public safety systems. Redflex, the Australian company that DPS hired to operate the ticket vans, admitted last week that it had violated the law.
"I am writing to reassure the Arizona Department of Public Safety that Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. wants to make things right given our discovery that the radar units we used in the pilot program were not certified by the Federal Communications Commission," Redflex Executive Director Karen Finley said in a letter to DPS Commander Thomas Woodward. "Of course, as soon as we learned that the unit we were using had not yet received certification, we removed the 2 speed enforcement vehicles under this program using this radar."
Finley insisted that the error was an honest oversight and, therefore, the offense lacks the intent required for a criminal violation. The company also offered to refund fines issued using the uncertified radar.
"At worst, Redflex would be subject to a civil penalty by the FCC," Finley wrote. "We respect and will abide by DPS's decision on whether to vacate any citations generated through the use of the radar unit and to refund corresponding fines."
DPS expressed no interest in giving up approximately $750,000 in revenue that the devices generated. Redflex rival American Traffic Solutions (ATS) may now challenge the department because it selected Redflex over ATS for the $20 million contract to run up to two hundred speed cameras across the state. The argument would be that the contract selection process was fundamentally flawed if DPS selected a company that did not have proper certifications over one that did.
A copy of the Redflex letter to DPS is available in a 123k PDF file at the source link below.