Avondale Arizona Shuts Down Red Light Cameras

The Arizona Republic, David Madrid - Feb. 10, 2010

To save money, the city is terminating its contract with Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions, which operates traffic-enforcement cameras. The two intersections with red-light cameras are at Dysart Road and Van Buren Street and at Dysart and McDowell roads. The city uses a photo-speed-enforcement van throughout the city.

The cameras began snapping red-light runners in February 2006. In June 2007, the city began a speed-enforcement-van trial, which led to the van contract. In February 2009, the council approved expanding the program to include two more photo-red-light intersections. All four intersections were to be modified to enforce both red-light and speed violations. The project was to be completed in March.  That isn't happening.

The camera program was popular with the council, but it costs $425,000. That includes contractor fees, officer overtime, a traffic program coordinator, and court staff. By ending the program, the net savings to the city is $106,390. The council has always maintained that the cameras weren't there to raise revenue but for safety.

Police Chief Kevin Kotsur said there has been a drop in traffic accidents, but he believes the bad economy means fewer people driving. And the costs of the program are rising every year.  "Looking at the stats, there's no significant correlation between the number of accidents and the impact photo enforcement has been having on those wrecks," he said. "It's down all over the city. It's down all over the state."

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