By Greg Goulder ’13
In the early morning Friday, July 16, 36 fixed speed cameras and 40 vans on Arizona highways took their last photos.
The Scottsdale-based company Redflex turned off its speed cameras after its two-year contract with the Arizona Department of Public Safety ended in mid July.
The program received much criticism after its conception in 2008 by former Gov. Janet Napolitano.
The cameras on Phoenix highways have been deactivated, but cameras on surface streets remain functional, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety Photo Enforcement Call Center.
All speed vans, however, have been removed from Phoenix.
Some drivers have been relieved or angered with the deactivation of the cameras, but others remain indifferent.
“I haven’t had a problem with the speed cameras because I don’t speed,” said Xavier student Molly Blevin ’11.
The speed cameras were set to flash at drivers traveling 6 miles over the speed limit in school zones and 11 miles over the speed limit elsewhere.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, over the course of the program, 1,105,935 citations were mailed, but only 432,367 were paid.
The main criticism of the program is the idea of “Big Brother” law enforcement and the thought that this program was simply a fundraiser for Arizona government.
The program fell drastically short of its projected revenue of $90 million, as many motorists simply ignored the $188 citations in the mail, according to the online publication HuffingtonPost.com.
However, some motorists believe that the cameras have slowed down drivers and freed police officers to work on more serious crimes.
Some enforcement advocates claim that taking down the cameras will result in a 10-fold increase in speeding and accidents.
Shawn Dow of CameraFraud predicted that there will be no more red light cameras or speed cameras in all of Arizona by November 2011, according to online news website TheNewsPaper.com.
Nonetheless, the Arizona Department of Public Safety claims to have reduced average speeds by 9 MPH and total collisions by 44 to 54 percent.