Faced with one of the tightest budget crunches in its history, the state of Arizona is wasting no time in deploying its newly authorized freeway speed cameras. Redflex Traffic Systems runs the photo radar program in return for an expected cut of $20,361,300. In Phoenix, the Australian company has activated a number of fixed camera systems in the past week. Seven cameras are now active on Interstate 10, seven on the 101 and three on 51. In Mesa, three cameras are ready to begin ticketing on 60. In total, Redflex expects to deploy 100 fixed and mobile cameras. Each camera can generate thousands of $181 tickets for the state’s general fund. The state estimates that fiscal 2009 will see 428,839 citations worth $77.6 million. In the following year, the number will grow to 571,785 tickets worth $103,493,085. The state’s contract with Redflex provides an option to double the revenue by increasing the total number of cameras to 200.
Video taken by a local activist shows an entire fleet of mobile camera SUVs being prepared in the Australian company’s parking lot, all painted in the colors of an official highway patrol vehicle. The employee section of the Redflex parking lot showed no signs of a budget crunch. Vehicles included an $80k BMW 7-series and BMW Z4 convertible. As Redflex has the first choice of deciding who is and is not guilty of speeding under the new freeway program, employees have the technical ability to exempt themselves from automated speeding tickets. This may be a side benefit to the Redflex worker with a personalized license plate reading: REVHEAD.