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Arizona: Witnesses Blame Accident on Speed Camera
Accident witnesses blame serious injury accident on an Arizona interstate speed camera.

Panic braking in UK
The panicked reaction that some drivers have to the sight of a speed camera may in fact be a significant cause of accidents. The group yesterday released an Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) accident report that describes a July 25 incident in which a gray Chevy Camaro collided with a red 1994 Toyota 4Runner SUV on Interstate 17 in Yavapai County, sending two people to the hospital. Although DPS maintains that it hired an Australian company, Redflex Traffic Systems, to operate speed cameras to improve safety, the department's own report tells a far different story.

"All the witnesses reported seeing the gray passenger car lose control of the vehicle as it passed the photo radar van, and was apparently trying to slow down for the photo radar van," the police report explained.

Scottsdale resident Tracy O. was about 500 feet from the accident. She told the police that, "The Camaro [was] trying to slow down because of speed camera."

Scottsdale resident Helene S. told police that, "I saw the Camaro swerve out of control and hit into the red SUV. It happened after the Camaro passed a speed camera."

Sedona resident Allison S. was about 150 feet away. "[While] driving northbound in rain right near photo radar enforcement vehicle, [we] saw [the] car fishtail ahead of us, spin and hit red SUV which then also spun off the road."

Although no video of the Arizona incident has been released, the same panic-braking reaction was captured on tape by police in Norfolk, England. The government-owned BBC news service inadvertently aired the video clips from two such incidents last year (see below). Shortly after the news program aired, the BBC removed all copies of the footage from its website. The Norfolk Speed Camera Partnership and the UK Information Commissioner cited "technical difficulties" in refusing to release the full videos of each crash. View BBC accident video excerpt:

A copy of the accident report obtained by is available in a 400k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Arizona Traffic Accident Report 2009-038077 (Arizona Department of Public Safety , 7/25/2009)

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