Arizona motorists who ignore speed limits could soon be getting pictures of themselves in the mail — along with a nasty financial surprise.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety has signed a contract with a Scottsdale firm to put two roving photo radar vans on state roads. DPS Lt. Bob Ticer said the vans will be operational within 60 days.
He said DPS commanders will place the units not only along freeways but also on various two-lane roads throughout the state. In both cases, the primary decision of where to put them will be based on the number of crashes.
But Ticer said there also will be a focus on construction zones.
This new contract is just the beginning of what eventually will be a more comprehensive system of photo enforcement: DPS plans to award additional contracts, for more roving vans as well as fixed photo enforcement units like the ones already in place along Loop 101 in Scottsdale.
The contract with Redflex Traffic Systems comes seven months after Gov. Janet Napolitano directed DPS to begin using photo radar to enforce the state’s speeding laws.
Napolitano said she was convinced by a nine-month project along Loop 101 — operated by Redflex for Scottsdale — that photo enforcement cameras cut how fast motorists were driving.
Several legislators subsequently attempted to block photo radar on state roads until the plan could be reviewed by voters, but were unable to gain the necessary votes for approval.
The idea of photo enforcement is not new. Several communities already have or are considering photo radar to cut speeds.
But this contract is different in one key respect: Ticer said Redflex will get a flat amount of $3,940 a month for each of the vans.
By contrast, most of the other contracts cities have negotiated, including the one Redflex had with Scottsdale, give the company a share of each citation paid.
Ticer said the goal is not to raise money, either for the state or the contractor.