Friday, July 16, 2010

Great news, Arizona Speed cameras turned off

Arizona turns off speed cameras

Arizona has turned off every speed camera on its highways after complaints that they violated privacy and were designed to generate revenue rather than promote road safety.

A spokesman for Jan Brewer, the state's Republican governor, said she "was uncomfortable with the intrusive nature of the system", which was inherited from her Democratic predecessor.

Opening in October 2008, the scheme was first in the United States to use speed cameras across a whole state. Amid objections of Big Brother-ism, numerous cameras were vandalised, while the operator of a van carrying a mobile camera was shot dead in a lay-by in April 2009

The 76 cameras took 2.7 million photographs, but only 16 per cent of drivers who received a speeding ticket paid up.

The scheme generated $76 million (£50 million) for a state which has struggled to balance its budget, while the Department of Public safety reported a 19 per cent drop in fatal collisions on highways. But campaigners argued that safety could be improved by more police patrols.

Speed cameras introduced by the authorities in several Arizonan cities are unaffected by the decision.

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