TUCSON - Pima County officials want to install 20 speed enforcement cameras to slow traffic, while neighboring Pinal County is pulling them because the new sheriff believes they are primarily used to make money.
Pima County supervisors are expected to vote next week on a proposal to deploy 10 fixed and 10 mobile speed enforcement cameras. They would supplement cameras already used by the city of Tucson and a statewide program being implemented by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Tickets would be processed by county Justice Courts.
Supervisors will consider the $1.5 million one-year contract with American Traffic Solutions, Inc. of Scottsdale on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, new Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu had ended a contract with Scottsdale-based Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. to operate mobile traffic cameras in his county.
"I am against it, not only because I'm a strict constitutionalist, but I believe that the main purpose, is it's driven to create money for the government, in this budget deficit that's what the whole design is" Babeu said in a video shot by a group opposed to photo enforcement called CameraFRAUD and posted on its Web site on Friday. "It's corrupting law enforcement for us to be partnered with a private entity that creates revenue. Purely that's their interest.
"I've never yet seen a photo radar camera arrest a drunk driver or arrest a person with a warrant, see if somebody has insurance, or to just simply give directions to somebody, " Babeu said, adding that he supports red light cameras because they are clearly safety related.
A DPS spokesman told KNXV-TV in Phoenix that Babeu is entitled to his opinion but DPS photo enforcement operations will continue in Pinal County.
Babeu said he's hoping that incoming Gov. Jan Brewer will end the statewide photo enforcement.