Police Think Cameras Reducing Traffic Tickets

The number of speeding tickets issued this year seems to be on the decline. And Tempe police say the city’s speed cameras may be part of the reason.

Tempe contracted with Redflex Traffic Systems to set up 17 cameras and two speed vans throughout the city in September 2007.

From January through March of this year, Tempe had 34,293 violations that resulted in citations or notices. From April through June of this year, there were 26,223.

Sgt. Steve Carbajal, the media-relations sergeant for Tempe Police Department, said cameras are placed in high-collision intersections. He said the cameras were installed because Tempe police “want people to drive reasonably and safely at all times.”

He said that while the citations seem to show the cameras have lowered speeding violations, some drivers simply tend to “slow down and then speed up” around the cameras.

“It’s hard to say what the effect of the program is,” he said.

Tempe residents seem to have mixed emotions about the cameras.

“They are important at some intersections, and they greatly reduce the number of accidents/fatalities,” Arizona State University student Aleksander Robinson said. “I sometimes question the intentions of the state when they place cameras at some intersections. They should only place the cameras in areas where accident rates are high, or where many people get pulled over for speeding.”

Arizona State University student Jason Rivera said he believes such cameras should monitor different driving dangers.

“The cameras don’t catch cars weaving in and out of lanes,” he said.

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