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State camera program ends as safety advocates warn of increase in Phoenix car accidents caused by speeding

Arizona motorists no longer have to worry about getting a ticket via one of the state’s radar cameras, after the program nabbed its last speeder on Thursday, the Yuma Sun reported. As we previously reported on our Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, the state has chosen to eliminate the cameras even as proponents warn of an increase in Phoenix car accidents and traffic accidents elsewhere in Arizona.The company that operated the cameras contends that more speeders will lead to more accidents. A study of a photo-enforced stretch of Loop 101 in Scottsdale found that speeding dropped significantly after installation of the cameras. “We know from past experiences, and what we have learned, is when government agencies have opted to deactivate road safety camera systems, that speeds will spike to dangerous levels,” said Shoba Vaitheeswaran, spokeswoman for Redflex Traffic Systems, which had operated the system.

Speeds fell by an average of 9 mph after the cameras were installed on Loop 101 in 2007, according to a report from the Arizona Department of Transportation. Total crashes declined by more than half, while injury crashes fell by 48 percent. When the cameras were shut down — a move that was publicly announced — ten times more motorists drove at least 11 mph over the limit.

Gov. Jan Brewer ordered the Department of Public Safety not to renew the two-year contract with the company, which expired at the end of last week. The program had 36 permanent monitoring locations and 40 mobile vans. While advocates for ending the program cited privacy concerns, the media has reported that many motorists simply ignored tickets that came in the mail, which drastically reduced the amount of revenue the state had anticipated collecting from the program.

Only about one-third (432,376) of the 1.2 million violations mailed to motorists were actually paid.

While the state has canceled its program, the move does not impact camera programs operated by cities or counties. An increasing number of municipalities are relying upon the cameras to generate revenue and reduce the number of traffic infractions, especially red-light runners at intersections.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact the Phoenix car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (602) 819-5191 today.

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