More taxation on speeding ahead: AZ's first to OK statewide photo-radar enforcement

By John Dickerson

No point in even attempting to keep a mental tally of photo-radar locations anymore.

This morning, Redflex Traffic Systems won a contract with the state of Arizona to install 60 photo-enforcement cameras on the state’s freeways and to build another 40 mobile photo-radar vans. The total 100 new photo enforcers will dot Arizona’s highways from Flagstaff down to Tucson.

By one estimate, Redflex, which operates the cameras, will make about $34 million during the first year of operation. Of course, the same company that’s making money off your lead foot is also the key-witness against you, if you try to contest one of its tickets (which qualifies as a conflict of interest, though Legislators don't seem to care.).

Governor Janet Napolitano expects the state to make about $90 million during the first year of the expanded statewide photo enforcement, meaning this “public safety” feature could also be seen as a creative new form of taxation.

Redflex is one the biggest photo enforcement companies in the world, with its North American headquarters in Scottsdale. It was expected to win the contract from state, which is the first in the country to authorize state-wide speed enforcement on its highways.

Flaws with Redflex’s automated system (which has led to a license suspension of a driver who wasn't even in the car photographed) were noted in this December, 2006 article. Municipalities have been quick to defend photo-rader despite the flaws noted in Redflex's system.

Now, during a tight budget year, Governor Napolitano has followed suit.

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