DPS plans state photo enforcement in September - East Valley Tribune: News

DPS plans state photo enforcement in September

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:36 pm | Updated: 9:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety hopes to begin a statewide photo enforcement program in September that would include 100 systems with 60 stationary speed cameras and 40 mobile speed units.

DPS wants to have 50 cameras working by the end of September when legislation expanding the statewide program takes effect. The rest would be ready by January.

Drivers will be cited for going 10 miles over the speed limit. Cameras on an eight-mile stretch of Loop 101 in Scottsdale nab drivers at 11 mph over the limit.

About $20 million will be allocated to Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix to implement the program. About $2.1 million will go to DPS to administer the program, and $4 million will go to the state Supreme Court administrative office of the courts. Whether that cash will be shared with city and justice courts that handle contested citations remains unclear.

Initial stationary systems will be based on serious injury and fatal collision data in partnership with the Arizona Department of Transportation. The stationary systems are expected to be placed on major freeway stretches including the junction of Interstates 10 and 17, and the mini-stack at I-10, Loop 202 and state Route 51. Those are spots where DPS officials say collision rates are exceptionally high.

“From what we’ve seen in the test area, there have been tremendous results,” said DPS Lt. Jim Warriner.

“We’re never going to stop speeding, but we hope to get speeds down to lessen injuries or stop collisions.”

Scottsdale ended its one-year agreement with DPS for photo radar on Loop 101 in June, citing construction on the freeway that has deactivated most of the cameras. That program was administered by Redflex. DPS officials said it has not been decided yet whether to put cameras back on Loop 101 as part of the new statewide program.

There are also plans for some fixed cameras along state roads to catch motorists who run red lights. Officials said likely priorities include Apache Junction, Sierra Vista and Bullhead City.

The contract pays the successful bidder based on the number of people who pay their tickets.

The deal gives Redflex Traffic Systems $28.75 of every $165 paid to the state for speeding. The state actually could get a bigger chunk: One provision of the contract provides a volume discount, with Redflex taking only $16.95 per citation.

More tickets issued by Redflex also means more money for the state: A special law approved by lawmakers at the behest of Gov. Janet Napolitano put all the net revenue into the state’s General Fund. Proceeds from all other traffic citations normally go to the city or county where the ticket is issued.

Napolitano, in some early projections, figured Arizona would net $90 million by June 30.

Violators captured by the state’s photo enforcement will get no points. And the law also prohibits the state from reporting photo violations to insurance companies who could use that information to boost premiums.

The actual fine for errant motorists will be $181.50. That includes a 10 percent surcharge that helps to fund Arizona’s voluntary system of public financing of candidates for statewide and legislative office.

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