One More Way to Beat Photo Radar... Most of the Time

By John Dickerson

Governor Janet Napolitano expects Arizona’s new photo-enforcement cameras (which will be strung from Flagstaff to Tucson) to suck at least $165 million in fines out of Arizona taxpayers' pockets.

If you want to keep your money (who doesn't?), and you have a penchant for getting from point A to point B as quickly possible, then it helps to know exactly where these cameras are.

Well, Scottish entrepreneur Al Smith is here to help. His company Cheetah USA is all about cheatin’ the system, and his new “GPS detector” can be had for $249 (about the cost of 1.4 photo radar tickets).

The GPS detector is pretty much a replacement rearview mirror that comes with a national database of photo-enforcement locations. The GPS uploads with no monthly charge and tracks your movement in Arizona–warning you whenever a photo cop is nearby.

The only theoretical flaw in the system is mobile photo vans.

Cheetah updates its database daily. You can plug your GPS detector into your USB every few weeks and get the newest photo-detection locations. Also, the GPS detector allows you to set reminders for yourself at any location (like that photo radar van you often observe near your work).

“If you see a photo van, you can mark your own personal locations. Every time you come back to that point, you get a reminder. It’s absolutely accurate. It uses the leading-edge GPS from Garmin that is dead-on accurate,” Smith says.

“There are no monthly usage, subscription or surcharge fees. We currently have a rebate system, where folks get $50 off the product if you add a new photo location to our database,” he adds.

The GPS detector was designed in the UK and developed locally in Scottsdale, Smith says. Its database covers all of North America.

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