The speed photo enforcement program that created a stir along the state's highways is sputtering away, along with the memories of those who made the cameras famous.
A Hyundai Sonata was clocked at 147 mph on Scottsdale's portion of the Loop 101 - and its driver found guilty despite certified Hyundai technicians insisting the car would not travel that fast or its tires would have flown apart.
Chandler resident Francesca Cisneros was caught speeding more than 70 times in five months along the 101 that same year - and threw the tickets away because she thought no one would ever come after her. She later spent five days in jail and had to pay $11,000 in fines for the offenses.
There also was Dave VonTesmar, who amassed nearly $7,000 in fines from 37 tickets - while wearing a monkey or giraffe mask.
But as the state prepares to end its photo enforcement program this week, East Valley cities still hope to keep their cameras in place to catch the faces of speeding drivers and red-light runners.
The Arizona Department of Public safety ends its two-year contract with Phoenix-based Redflex Traffic Systems on Thursday, a program the state contracted with to catch speeders. During the first year, there were nearly 5,000 fewer collisions along the state's highways than the previous year, according to Shoba Vaitheeswaran, a Redflex spokeswoman
Redflex generates about $250 million a year in revenue, according to its website, but the state wasn't making nearly that much.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety, which began overseeing the speed photo enforcement program in 2008 and snapped photos of speeders going 11 mph or faster over the speed limit, didn't reach half of its projections of generating $90 million through 76 cameras installed along its highways on posts and vans. More than 700,000 speeders were caught during the time DPS oversaw the program. But over time, more people dodged the process servers for so long their citations were dismissed by the courts, according to information from DPS.
While the state's cameras are going way, Tempe, Chandler and Mesa plan to keep theirs in place, according to city representatives. At this time, none of those cities plan to increase photo enforcement cameras, which take pictures of both red light and speed violators, or install cameras along the highways.
On July 1, Tempe City Council voted to renew its contract with Redflex and keep its 10 speed photo enforcement cameras at least until July 18, 2011, according to information from the city. Although it is hard to completely credit the speed cameras for reducing accidents, the city cited that they were responsible for a 16 percent decrease in crashes at the intersections since their installations.
Mesa, which has a contract with American Traffic Solutions until 2012, will keep its six stationary speed photo enforcement cameras, two each at three locations, and 26 red light enforcement cameras, according to Sgt. Ed Wessing, a Mesa police spokesman. The speed enforcement cameras are located near Rhodes, Brimhall and Fremont junior high schools in zones that are 45 mph during non-school hours.
There are 12 intersections with photo enforcement cameras in Chandler. At each, there are cameras to cover speed and red light violations.
"We definitely plan to continue using the red light violation and speed cameras in all of the existing locations throughout the city," said Detective Frank Mendoza, a Chandler police spokesman. "We have no plans to increase our photo enforcement program."
The Town of Gilbert does not use speed photo enforcement cameras.
Though the state is removing speed enforcement cameras from Arizona highways, cities can still keep red light photo and speed enforcement cameras in place.
These are the locations of photo enforcement in East Valley cities:
Alma School and Guadalupe roads
Alma School Road and Southern Avenue
Broadway and Dobson roads
Broadway Road and Stapley Drive
Brown and Higley Roads
Broadway and Extension roads
Country Club Drive and Southern
Country Club and University drives
Val Vista Drive and Southern
Gilbert and Baseline roads
Gilbert and McKellips roads
Gilbert and Southern
Greenfield Road and Main Street
Stapley and Southern
Higley and Southern
Lindsay Road and University
Mesa Drive and Broadway
Mesa and Southern
University and Mesa
Power Road and Broadway
Power and Hampton
Power and Main
Power and McKellips
Power and Southern
Southern and Dobson
Stapley and Main
Information: City of Mesa and Mesa Police Department
600 South Priest Road
200 South Rural Road
500 South Rural Road
Mill and Southern avenues
Rural Road and University Drive
McClintock Drive and Guadalupe Road
McClintock Drive and Rio Salado Parkway
48th Street and Broadway Road
Rural and Warner roads
Rural Road and Southern Avenue
Information: City of Tempe
56th Street and Chandler Boulevard
Rural Road and Ray Road
Dobson Road and Warner Road
Alma School Road and Warner Road
Alma School Road Ray Road
Alma School Road and Queen Creek Road
Arizona Avenue and Elliot Road
Arizona Avenue and Warner Road
Arizona Avenue and Ray Road
Arizona Avenue and Ocotillo Road
McQueen Road and Chandler Boulevard
Gilbert Road and Riggs Road
Information: City of Chandler