Busted: City's photo-radar system catches 13,500 drivers in 20 months
Police credit system with forcing drivers to obey speed limits
BY TREVOR HUGHES
If you’re one of the approximately 13,500 drivers who’s been snapped by one of the city’s speed cameras in the past 20 months, spare a thought for Mahli Peregoy: She’s gotten eight speeding tickets in about half that time.
“I’ve literally gone broke paying these stupid things,” said Peregoy, a Colorado State University student and employee at the downtown Ace Hardware. “It’s my own fault for getting so many.”
All of Peregoy’s tickets have come in the 2600 block of Dunbar Avenue, and all have come within the last 12 months. She got her first two on the same day, Sept. 26, 2006. Her most recent one came about two weeks ago.
"The first time I got it, it was a shock. I didn’t even see it,” Peregoy said. “It just didn’t sink that they would be parked in the same spot again.”
Had Peregoy gotten eight speeding tickets from a police officer, she would likely have lost her license.
However, the city’s mobile photo-radar system is intended to address overall traffic speeds without requiring significant investment from uniformed police officers. The tradeoff is that the law specifies lower fines.
Under the program, a pair of mobile photo-radar vans rented from the company Redflex park around Fort Collins, snapping pictures of drivers who are traveling at least 10 mph above the posted speed limit.
Police credit the system with forcing more drivers to obey the posted speed limits, through both increased awareness and financial penalties.
Under the law, tickets are mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner, and don’t count for “points” on a driver’s record unless the vehicle was traveling 25 mph or more above the posted limit.
Renting the vans costs the city about $9,000 a month, or about $181,000 for 20 months. In that time, the city collected at least $485,064 in ticket revenues.
See Sunday's Coloradoan and Coloradoan.com for more, including a link to a searchable database of tickets issued over the last 20 months.