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10/12/2008
Arizona Activists Zoom in On Speed Camera Van
Activists train their own high-powered cameras on a Scottsdale, Arizona speed camera van.

Daniel P. Coon
Activists in Scottsdale, Arizona trained their own telephoto lenses on a speed camera operator at around 5pm in the afternoon on Thursday. Members of the group Camerafraud.com wanted to give the public a rare glimpse inside an active speed trap -- the same view that the photo radar van's own photographic equipment has while peering through the windows of passing vehicles.

"If only there were some sort of law preventing high-powered cameras from taking photographs of unsuspecting people inside their vehicles," the group wrote on its website.

Although Scottsdale's speed camera vans bear the markings of police vehicles, they are owned and operated by American Traffic Solutions (ATS). A paid ATS employee, Daniel P. Coon in this case, is responsible for driving the vehicle to ticketing locations and ensuring the vehicle is not vandalized. The group's photographs showed Coon at a laptop adjusting the Axsis software that powers the lucrative enforcement program. The screen also showed that drivers at the East Chaparral Boulevard location had slammed on their brakes while passing the van, slowing to an average of just 18 MPH to avoid receiving a citation. View full photograph.

After noticing the photographer, Coon quickly blocked the van's windows to protect his privacy.



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