Phoenix, AZ – When then Gov. Janet Napolitano ordered the system put in place
in 2008 she said it would save lives. But Napolitano conceded an
ulterior motive: She said it would net the state $90 million a
year, even after the company running the system took its cut. The
report by the Auditor General's Office found the actual take was
just $37 million. Some of that is because notices could not be
sent out on nearly half the violations recorded because the
cameras didn't catch the driver's face or license plate. Others
went unpaid because state law makes the driver and not the
vehicle owner responsible. And there's no requirement on owners
to tell the Department of Public Safety who was behind the wheel.
But DPS Lt. Jeff King said collisions on state roads decreased
because of the deterrent effect of the cameras, all of which are
marked with at least two signs to warn approaching motorists.
(We put it out in the open. We don't hide these things, we don't
put them behind poles, we don't paint them camouflage colors. We
give the driver every opportunity we can think of.)
All that may be irrelevant. Gov. Jan Brewer said last week she
will let the two-year contract with Redflex Traffic Systems lapse
when it ends this summer. And the governor said the only way she
will agree to let it come back is if voters decide otherwise,
something that cannot happen before November. For Arizona Public
Radio this is Howard Fischer.