Scottsdale will turn off freeway cams for now
Study will see if they work to cut speeding
the associated press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 10.22.2006
PHOENIX — The cameras that have snapped photos of speeders on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale for nine months will officially shut down at midnight Monday.
How long they stay off is uncertain.
Since the cameras went online in late February, the city has issued more than $1 million in $157 speeding tickets.
Scottsdale officials approved the program a year ago, saying residents' complaints about speeding and unsafe driving on the 7.8-mile stretch of the freeway passing through the city merited the action.
But the camera program was only a test, and it received approval from the Arizona Department of Transportation in December.
The city contracted with Scottsdale-based Redflex Traffic Systems to install the cameras as a supplement to Department of Public Safety patrols.
Now the city has hired a consultant to review data and see if the cameras were effective. The City Council will review his report in January and decide if the snapshots are started again or shut off permanently.
Simon Washington, an Arizona State University civil engineering professor, will analyze the data to see if the six cameras curbed speeding and collisions.
Washington will review hundreds of accident reports and other data from Scottsdale's stretch of Loop 101 and other area freeways without camera enforcement.
He'll also look at traffic volume and data from before and after the cameras were switched on.
Freeway speeding cameras have been successfully used for years in the United Kingdom and Australia, but this will be their first evaluation in the U.S.
"It's not a silver bullet," said Richard Retting, a senior transportation engineer at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. "But the laws of physics in this country are the same as they are overseas."