12 Tips For Beating Red Light Camera Tickets In Arizona Sending a Speeding Ticket in the Mail From a Speeding Camera

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Sending a Speeding Ticket in the Mail From a Speeding Camera

Speed cameras use radar to measure a vehicle’s speed and are similar to red light cameras in that they take a photo of the speeding vehicle and a ticket is mailed to the vehicle’s owner. Currently speed cameras are operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia using both fixed and mobile cameras. While relatively new to the U.S., they have been used in Europe for almost 30 years.

The controversy

The controversy lies in the opinion, by some, that use of the cameras are only an attempt by state and local governments to raise extra revenue. People have become so angry that they are trying to thwart their use.

  • Drivers are complaining that photo enforcement is a violation of their civil rights and an invasion of their privacy.
  • One man in Arizona has amassed some 37 speeding tickets but claims the state can’t positively identify him as the driver of the vehicle since “the driver” in the photos was wearing a monkey mask at the time. This issue may soon be cleared up since police officers waiting outside his home have observed him donning monkey and giraffe masks before setting out. The case is now in the hands of a justice of the peace.
  • One angry Arizona motorist went so far as to fire several shots at a mobile speed camera trailer not realizing that there was an employee inside who was killed. The man is now facing murder charges.
  • Web sites such as PhotoEnforsement.com have sprung up to warn motorists where speed and red light cameras are placed. Some even provide up to the minute text warnings.

Is speeding that big a problem?

  • According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is a factor in one third of all fatal crashes.
  • While the greatest factor in motor vehicle crashes is driver inattention, higher speeds reduce the time a driver has to react to an emergency situation and increase the collision forces leading to more deaths and serious injuries.
  • Increasing the speed from 30 to 40 mph represents only a 33 percent increase in speed but results in a 77 percent increase in crash forces.
  • Speed limits a driver’s ability to control a vehicle on curves and hills and to stop in time to avoid a collision.

Are speed cameras effective in controlling speed?

According to studies done by Arizona State University for the Arizona Department of Transportation:

  • The program reduced average speeds by approximately 9 mph.
  • Total collisions were reduced by 44% to 54%
  • Total injury crashes were reduced by 28% to 48%
  • Single vehicle crashes were reduced by 59% to 63%
  • Sideswipe collisions were reduced by 33% to 48%
  • Rear end collisions ranged from a 14% increase down to a 23% decrease dependent upon which of the comparison models were used.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety cites a 2006 study by the Cochrane Collaboration that “analyzed data from 21 studies and found reductions ranging from:

  • 14 to 72 percent for all crashes,
  • 8 to 46 percent for injury crashes,
  • 40 to 45 percent for crashes involving fatalities and serious injuries.”

Are these cameras just a way for states and cities to get more money?

The stated goal of every agency using speed cameras is to reduce speeds and the resulting death and injury crashes on the roadways where they have been placed. While they may have resulted in more revenue from traffic violation fines, they have also saved tax payers a lot of money.

  • The NHTSA estimates that the economic cost of speed related collisions is more than 40 billion per year.
  • According to an Arizona Department of Public Safety Spokesman appearing on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation”, the state would need 2,000 to 3,000 extra highway patrolmen to stop and ticket the speeders who have been identified by the speed cameras.
  • Most law enforcement agencies that use speed cameras set the limit for photo enforcement well above the posted speed limit. Arizona states on their website that the cameras are set to take photos and issue tickets only if the vehicle is clocked at 11 mph over the posted speed limit.
  • Most states and municipalities who use speed cameras actually publish the locations of the cameras on their websites. Since the goal is to get motorists to slow down, they have no problem with posting their locations in the hope that motorists will follow the speed limit. For that same reason, they also have no problem with the private web sites that identify speed camera locations.

Motorists who object to the cameras as a government grab for more money have one simple solution to prevent it; drive at the speed limit.

Are these cameras a violation of civil rights and privacy?

The courts have long held that someone who is breaking the law does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Motorists have been used to police use of radar guns for decades; speed cameras are just another form of electronic traffic enforcement.

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