By on November 21, 2008

Arizona’s ambitious statewide speed camera program faces increasing resistance both from the public and from state and local officials. At least half a dozen speed cameras have been temporarily taken out of service by ordinary citizens using nothing more Post-It Notes and silly string. A video released yesterday documented a speed camera having its lens covered with silly string. Vigilantes then labeled with signs variously reading, “scamera,” “scamera: ka-ching!” and scamera: smile.” Over the past month other cameras have had their lenses covered with multiple yellow notes with the phrase “honest mistake” written on them. This is a subtle dig at camera operator Redflex which had argued that the importation, marketing and use of certain radar equipment in violation of federal law was an honest oversight. The Post-It Notes refer to a July incident where Redflex angered the office of Secretary of State Jan Brewer (R) which had been investigating a citizen’s complaint against the company. According to Brewer’s office, a Redflex employee “wrote a short response to the complaint on a post it note,” making light of an official inquiry into the company’s falsification of legal documents.

Angering Brewer may turn out to be a serious mistake for the Australian ticketing company. Current Governor Janet Napolitano (D) was responsible for pushing the freeway speed camera program through the legislature to help deal with a mounting budget deficit. Early next year, Napolitano is expected to resign and head the US Department of Homeland Security for the Obama administration. Brewer would then assume the role of governor for the remaining two years of Napolitano’s term.

Napolitano’s lobbying effort was the only thing stopping state Senate lawmakers from putting the question of photo radar before voters as a ballot initiative. Lawmakers have also noticed that voters sent a strong message against the speed camera program by electing Paul Babeu as Pinal County Sheriff. Babeau’s campaign signs bore the message “End Photo Radar.” Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen on Wednesday called for the removal of cameras. As more motorists are hit by the photo tickets, the number of angry phone calls to local politicians has increased.

Much of the grassroots political opposition has been organized by the group which holds regular protests to encourage fellow citizens to get involved and call not just lawmakers to express their opinion, but to call Redflex spokesman Shoba Vaitheeswaran, 33, as well. Post-It Note image courtesy of

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14 Comments on “Arizona Speed Cameras Under Attack...”

  • avatar

    To me, the most frustrating part of all this is that even if every speed camera in the country were legislated out of service today, the executives of Redflex would still walk away from the whole ordeal having pocketed millions of dollars that were neither deserved nor earned from already financially stretched and, arguably, innocent Americans.

  • avatar

    A few hundred years ago, it was taxation on tea, which was the final straw for a revolution. Will it be speed cameras during our time?

  • avatar


    Actually it was drop of taxation on tea that started Boston tea party. Just as now, “fathers” of society were making themselves better off by using their public image. Hancock was a tea smuggler: Adams his defense lawyer. Tea smugglers were avoiding crown taxes. Once taxes were lifted, their livelihood was in jeopardy: hence a party.

  • avatar

    AllStingNoBling :

    A few hundred years ago, it was taxation on tea, which was the final straw for a revolution. Will it be speed cameras during our time?


    We’re too DF&H, sitting in front of our monitors, internet browsers, XBoxes, and American Idol episodes.

    We hate our elected officials, given recent approval ratings, but in some stroke of insanity, we’re perfectly happy to keep re-electing the same incompetent politicians over and over again.

    We’re mostly happy to send our children to inferior government schools for their daily indoctrination. And indoctrinated they get.

    We’ve signed on to the Global Warming Religion lock, stock, and barrel, even in the face of evidence that runs contrary to the preachings of the religion’s high priests.

    A numerical minority actually pays the great majority of taxes; while more than 50% of the population benefits from wealth transfers. It can be argued that this money is just stolen from the “voluntarily enslaved class”.

    Like all of the other working citizens who actually pay taxes, I could “choose” to escape my enslavement, but only if I am willing to give up all that I am. It’s not just my career that I’d have to give up, it’s also my principles, goals, and dreams…and, I might say, my soul.

    Nope. On the whole, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that we’re pretty happy with the way things are.

    I will continue my enslavement, while others continue to cash my payments to them before returning to their “un” reality television show or “Wii Music” game.

    I think it’s irrefutably obvious: We’re NOT willing to enact real “change.”

  • avatar

    Well, now that our favorite governor (not) is going to join Comrade Obama’s cabinet, the ill-conceived camera project will probably be stopped. It was always a revenue-generator which we needed because that woman spent money like it was going out of style. And on illegal aliens no less. Her replacement HATES Redflex, and I’ll bet that she’ll kick them out of the state faster than you can say “thanks but no thanks”.

    To whomever is doing this beautiful work : KEEP IT UP!! YEAH!

  • avatar

    Thanks! Now that project will be taken nationally. Remember your governor will become the chief of Homeland Security (which will evolve into gestapo): perfect place to adopt road surveillance.

  • avatar

    @ ZoomZoom

    Amen, brother. At least we’ll always have “Hope”.

  • avatar

    The cameras in Phoenix are out of control. I drive by 8 of them on my way to work. Thing is, traffic is always heavy enough that speeding is really uncomfortable/inconvenient/unsafe, yet still I constantly see the cameras flashing.

    There’s one right next to the metered onramp I get to sit on for a good 10 minutes waiting to get on the highway in the evening, and in that time I usually see it flash 5-10 times. What a huge money maker if it can give that many tickets during the evening rush hour when most lanes on that highway are stop and go!

    I’m pretty sick of the traffic jams caused by installation of the cameras and news reporters causing traffic jams standing next to the camera to do a news story on them.

    For being a “wild west” state, Arizona sure is a bit too much of a police state.

  • avatar

    ZoomZoom> Well said!

  • avatar

    I’m sure defacing a speed camera is a crime, but what about just putting a cardboard barrier between it and the highway?

  • avatar


    To your list I’d add:

    Impoverish industrial states with taxes that enrich government employees in the DC suburbs.

  • avatar

    autonut, yeah, you’re probably right. She probably WILL try to have national cameras. However, I’m not sure it’s within the realm of the Feds to be able to do so. Although, with Obamas swarms of lawyers, I’m sure they’ll find a way. Oh, and there will be a 55mph speed limit too.

    Thats the other thing around here: The speed limit varies from mile to mile it seems, and it’s REAL easy to get caught off guard. Kansei, do you ever notice that?

  • avatar

    Here is the address of the Embassy of Australia. Those who are sick of redflex and its cameras might complain to the embassy. Ask for media relations if you call.

    1601 Massachusetts Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20036
    (202) 797-3000

  • avatar

    Speed seldom causes an accident. With the exception of single car accidents, inattention, distraction and and any combination thereof causes accidents.

    The speed cameras in Arizona are all about revenue… Wouldn’t it be interesting to ‘follow the money trail’ as the expression goes.

    If DHS was serious about reducing accidents, they would enforce the existing laws regarding tailgating, lane speed discipline and those factors that DO cause accidents.

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