Speeding drops on Loop 101 since photo radar starts
by Shea Drefs
published on Tuesday, March 28, 2006
The number of vehicles caught speeding by cameras on Loop 101 has decreased by 31 percent since Scottsdale began mailing citations, according to data from the city.
Scottsdale began mailing citations to the owners of vehicles caught traveling more than 10 mph over the 65-mph limit Feb. 22, said Mike Phillips, city spokesman.
Between Jan. 22 and Feb. 21, the period when Scottsdale was only mailing out warnings to speeders, cameras recorded 29,368 motorists traveling at speeds of 76 mph or more.
Over the next 27 days, when Scottsdale began mailing out citations, the number of motorists traveling fast enough to activate the cameras dropped to 20,008.
The cameras have resulted in 5,200 speeding citations so far, said Cathy Nemecek, deputy court manager for the Scottsdale Municipal Court.
About three-fourths of the vehicles that have activated the cameras since Feb. 22 have not received citations, according to the court.
Not all the photos result in citations, Phillips said.
"[Many photos] will have obscured license plates or no license plates, or the driver's face will be obscured by the sun," he said.
Problems such as these can keep a camera activation from becoming a citation, Phillips said.
But in some cases, the citations have yet to be mailed, due to a two-week processing period, Phillips said.
The Loop 101 photo-enforcement program is expected to continue for another eight months, although the Scottsdale City Council could end it at any time, Phillips said.
Whenever the program ends, a committee made up of city and state officials will analyze the effectiveness of the cameras and decide whether or not use should continue, he added.
"Our hope was that we would affect the driving habits of people who are chronic speeders," Phillips said. "But ... it's too early to tell."
Six cameras are installed along a 7.8-mile stretch of Loop 101, from 90th Street to Shea Boulevard, according to the Scottsdale Police Department's Web site.
The cameras take two photos of vehicles going more than 76 mph - one of the driver's face and one of the license plate, Phillips said. The cameras also capture up to a 12-second video clip, he added.
Tickets start at $157 for people driving 76 mph to 81 mph, Phillips said. Motorists traveling between 81 mph and 85 mph receive $177 tickets, and those traveling at higher speeds are charged $201.
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