Arizona Speed Cameras Under Attack

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
arizona speed cameras under attack

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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  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Nov 21, 2008

    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

  • Kvonmoses Kvonmoses on Dec 08, 2008

    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.

  • Analoggrotto Robocop
  • ToolGuy Nice truck.Thinking out loud on a Monday: So if my next road-trip EV also has the towing capacity to handle a nice big (6'x14') wood-floor utility trailer (900 pound trailer weight plus 2090 pound trailer capacity = 2,990 pounds max) around town (say 10-mile radius typical for me), do I really need a truck anymore? (Probably not.) EV Towing Capacity (e.g., Model X = 5,000 pounds towing) Trailer (nice and low to the ground, see?)I'll miss you, truck. 😉
  • FreedMike Looks sharp. But did they fix the hilariously bad torque steer on the N-Line model? The one I drove brought back memories of the Omni GLH Turbo.
  • Kendahl I might believe that, on a back road in a rural county, one might run into a cop who doesn't know the law he is paid to enforce. However, I-75 is the main route for snowbirds, of whom a sizeable fraction are Canadian, commuting to and from Florida. It was the cop's responsibility to know that Florida honors foreign licenses. Nield should have hired a lawyer to rub that in.
  • Arthur Dailey So they cut the roof off the hatch area of a Dodge Journey?