Tucson City Council Approves Photo Radar Enforcement - Tucson News Now

Tucson City Council Approves Photo Radar Enforcement

Suleika Acosta KOLD News 13 Reporter

Another reason to think twice before speeding - you could be caught on camera. Tucson City Council leaders approved a photo radar system Tuesday, which would use mobile vans and red light cameras to catch speeders and red light runners.  

We could see the start of the one year pilot program this Spring. Two to four red light cameras will be placed at large intersections and a photo radar enforcement van will monitor different school zones and construction zones. But not everyone is happy about the program.

"It seems like just yet another waste of tax payer's money," says Tucson resident Rich McKnight.

He believes red light cameras at intersections will cause even more crashes.  

"I think that somebody is going to be driving down the road. They're going to see a red light camera there and they're going to slam on the brakes and then someone not paying as close attention is going to rear end them," says McKnight.

But authorities disagree. Lieutenant Mike Pryor,with Tucson Police Department, says both the red light cameras and photo enforcement van will reduce accidents and traffic deaths in Tucson.

"This is not about cost, this is about public safety and saving lives through a reduction in traffic crashes," says Pryor.

 Photo radar enforcement works like this: a speeder will activate the van's radar and cameras snap a picture of the driver and license plate. The same goes for red light cameras mounted on intersections. Keep in mind, only violators are photographed. Police review each photo and mail a notice of violation to the offender.  

"The digital technology and the ability it has makes the picture readable and if they're not, the citation is not issued," explains Pryor.

Scottsdale is among 100 cities who already use this technology. This enforcement will cost Tucson Police about $10,000 a month. You must be driving 11 miles over the speed limit in regular zones to set off photo radar and only five over the limit in a school zone. Six months after the start of the pilot program, TPD will present results to city council.


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