Prescott Valley launching photo radar

The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY *Prescott Valley is launching its photo radar program Tuesday morning.

The Police Department says it plans to issue only warnings for the first 30 days, but has indicated it will prosecute motorists speeding excessively.

"If we find someone going 65 in a school zone, they're not getting a warning," Chief Dan Schatz said.

The department is calibrating the system to issue citations to speeders going 11 mph or more than the posted speed limit. In school zones, that number could drop to as little as 5 mph more than the limit.

The average ticket likely will cost at least $157. A sworn Prescott Valley Police officer will sign off on each ticket before the town mails it to the violator's home.

The town cannot use the technology on Highway 69 yet. It needs permission from the Arizona Department of Transportation, which is awaiting results from a nine-month pilot program on Scottsdale's state-controlled Loop 101 before it issues any more permits.

Scottsdale's trial program concludes Oct. 23.

The department plans to deploy a van throughout the rest of the town for at least 60 hours every week. State law requires that police post signs warning motorists of the van only on roads with a speed limit of 40 mph or more.

The town eventually plans to install a series of permanent photo radar systems that issue citations for speeding and running red lights all along its 8.8-mile stretch of Highway 69.

Schatz said the department and its contractor, Redflex Traffic Systems, will launch an educational campaign in the coming months.

Prescott Valley is the seventh municipality in Arizona to approve the use of photo radar. Schatz has said repeatedly that the town will not profit from the program.