Pinal County gives photo radar enforcement the boot

By Shelley Shelton
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 01.21.2009

New Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu scored a victory with county supervisors Wednesday when he convinced them to cancel the county’s contract for photo radar enforcement to ticket speeders.
The cancellation will be effective Feb. 20, giving the camera operator 30 days’ notice.
Babeu stopped deploying the mobile camera vans, operated by Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., as soon as he took office Jan. 1.
Babeu said he felt the cameras weren’t doing enough to promote public safety and that he could use the money the county was paying Redflex to set up a more thorough traffic-safety team.
However, the contract enabling Redflex to operate the vans was a joint contract between Redflex, Pinal County and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department, so Babeu was required to get approval from the Board of Supervisors to cancel it.
Redflex collects part of the money from the tickets its vans generate, on a sliding scale of $25 to $45 from each paid citation, depending on how many tickets are issued in a month. The county covers any court fees and administrative costs associated with processing and mailing the tickets.
From September 2007 through December 2008, there were 7,290 cases filed in Apache Junction Justice Court, with 3,711 of them paid, Babeu said.
The Apache Junction court handled all the tickets because the radar cameras were part of a pilot program only in District 2, which includes Apache Junction.
The board passed the motion to cancel the contract in a 3-0 vote.
Read more in tomorrow's Arizona Daily Star