The photo ticketing system in place in Arizona is no more — just expect car accidents statistics caused by speeding drivers to go up.
A committee of the Arizona state House of Representatives yesterday voted 5-2 to approve legislation banning the use of speed cameras on freeways. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee decided to act in response to a rising tide of public opposition to the largest single deployment of speed cameras ever attempted in the US, which was both supported and opposed by car accident attorneys.
State lawmakers voted to reject the program despite the testimony of state police officials that the automated ticketing machines were improving car accident prevention safety on Arizona’s highways.
Our car accident attorneys support anything that will reduce car accidents because so many injuries and wrongful deaths are a result of a car accident. Unfortunately, American civil liberties must always be championed.
On Thursday, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commander Thomas Woodward appeared before the panel to repeat these widely reported Phoenix metro area freeway car accident statistics. The numbers were based on the first eighty days of freeway ticketing from September 26, 2008 to December 16, 2008 and compared with the same dates in 2007, before the installation of cameras.
Woodward gave credit for the drop in accidents entirely to the use of cameras.
“Arizona Department of Public Safety statistics show on average photo enforcement is saving three lives per month on Valley freeways,” a state police press release from December 28 claimed. “Results show 116 fewer injury crashes.”
The more likely cause for this drop in car accidents, however, is the overall drop in cars on the road due to economic conditions. With the recent drop in the economy, people are driving less to save gas, or not buying new cars; and less cars naturally means less car accidents.
Lawmakers and car accident attorneys, at the hearing were concerned with more than just car accident statistics. State Representative Andy Biggs (R-Gilbert) was also upset to learn that the Redflex freeway cameras have been recording video twenty-four hours a day to track the movements of drivers not accused of any crime. House Bill 2106, endorsed by the committee, would allow such surveillance to continue as long as the cameras used are not deployed on a state highway. Local jurisdictions would remain free to issue tickets and track drivers with these systems.
Our car accident lawyers support any and all means to lower car accident statistics caused by speeding drivers, but any good lawyer will always fight for freedom. Hopefully, both of these ideals are not mutually exclusive.
Please feel free to call us now at 1-800-655-6585 or you can click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish. No fee if no recovery.