Photo Enforcement – It’s All About The Benjamins

If you believe that photo enforcement devices, also referred to as photo radar devices, are for safety, you would be mistaken.  Photo enforcement exists to generate revenue for the government and for private companies who are in bed with the government.  Here are some examples.

Star Valley – A Town Created Just To Generate Photo Enforcement Revenue

Star Valley, AZ, is a tiny town that sits on about 4 miles of Highway 260 in Northern Arizona.   Yet, there are two photo enforcement cameras in Star Valley just a few hundred feet apart.  Star Valley was only incorporated in 2005.  Shortly thereafter came the photo enforcement.  The town attorney who prosecutes the photo enforcement tickets is also the town manager.  He also drives a car paid for by the town.  He also testifies at the photo radar hearings, which is surprising seeing as how he technically cannot be the town’s attorney and also act as a witness.  The judge in Star Valley Municipal court probably would have little to occupy his time in a town of barely 2,000 people if it weren’t for the copious number of photo enforcement tickets that came through the court.

Paradise Valley Shortens Yellow Light Timing To Trap More Motorists

Paradise Valley, another tiny town nestled against Phoenix and Scottsdale, is notorious for the volume of photo enforcement tickets it generates.  It is clear the speed limits are artificially low as they drop 10 mph as soon as you enter Paradise Valley.  What you might not know is that Paradise Valley was shortening the yellow light at Tatum Blvd. and McDonald Drive so that more red light violations would issue.  Nevermind that this made the intersection much MORE dangerous-it generated more money and that’s what matters to Paradise Valley.  Paradise Valley ended up refunding over 1,000 tickets that were issued as a result of the shortened yellow light. The day after Camerafraud.com confronted Paradise Valley about the shortened yellow light, the town increased the yellow light duration from 3 seconds to 4.3, a very significant change.

Tempe Police Break The Law to Trap Motorists

It’s like an old movie where the cop installs a ridiculously low speed limit sign at the bottom of a hill and waits hidden behind a billboard to catch unsuspecting motorists.  Camerafraud.com activists caught Tempe Police violating the law with respect to photo enforcement signage placement.  Arizona law requires that when using a mobile photo enforcement unit, a warning sign must be placed approximately 300 feet before the mobile unit.  Tempe Police were placing the warning signs nearly 800 feet before the mobile unit.  Why? So that drivers would see the warning sign, and not see a photo enforcement unit where they expected it and then continue driving on and get flashed.  This worked very well for the Tempe Police because speed limits have nothing to do with what is SAFE or REASONABLE. I know that may be hard to believe, but I have had conversations with engineers who design roads and the final road design and speed limits are not based on what is safe and reasonable from an engineering stand point, but instead are based on politics.

El Mirage Withholds Unfavorable Photo Enforcement Data Until After Elections

El Mirage is another small town west of Phoenix that is also notorious for its photo enforcement… lets call them “irregularities.”  In 2012, the Phoenix New Times reported on how El Mirage refused to answer requests for traffic accident statistics for intersections equipped with red light photo enforcement until after elections.  Now if the assertions of the elected officials in El Mirage are true, and photo enforcement is really for safety and to reduce accidents, and not actually a form of taxation on unwitting motorists, why would they withhold that information?  The smart money says it is because the data does not support the safety claim.  After all, there are many examples of the number of accidents increasing after photo enforcement systems are installed.  Maybe it is the shortened yellow light timing?

75% of Scottsdale City Court Cases Are For Traffic Violations

Scottsdale Police issue an unbelievable number of traffic citations, many of which are photo enforcement.  We should know-sometimes it seems like we are in that court every day.  Scottsdale even proudly proclaims on their website: “Every year over 80,000 cases are heard in the Scottsdale City Court. More than 75% of those cases are civil traffic violations.”  Ask yourself, do the judges, prosecutors and police who are involved in those tickets “doing it for your safety,” or do they have an incentive to take your money?

I could go on about how photo enforcement companies ATS and Redflex have been caught bribing public officials to install photo enforcement systems, or how the judges that handle these cases care less about administering the law than about generating revenue, but hopefully you get the picture by now: These devices do not exist to keep you safe – they exist to part you from your money.