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Big Brother comes to Prescott Valley....

 
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Cynhikr





Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1197
Location: Tempe, AZ.

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 12:33 pm    Post subject: Big Brother comes to Prescott Valley.... Reply to topic Reply with quote

PRESCOTT VALLEY
In a flash, speeding motorists face a $157 fine, all without ever seeing a police officer. It sounds like a cash machine for city governments, but the truth about photo radar is not that simple.

Throughout recent months The Daily Courier has received several letters about photo radar, many complaining that Prescott Valley is looking only for more taxpayer money.

To uncover the truth about one of law enforcement's most controversial traffic-controlling strategies, the Courier contacted each of the six Arizona municipalities currently using photo radar and discovered one common truth: from Scottsdale to Paradise Valley, they all are losing money every year.

Combined, they drained city coffers of nearly $1 million in fiscal year 2004-05.

"We're in the red," said Matthew Christensen of the Chandler Police Department, who has overseen his town's program since its inception five years ago.

"It's not a moneymaker for us," he said, "but there's a perception that we're making money on it."

During the 2004-05 fiscal year, Chandler spent $46,105 more than it took in on its program, which is simple compared to most cities and issues citations only for the running of red lights at eight of the city's busiest intersections.

In Paradise Valley, which made national headlines in 1987 when it became the first city in the nation to use photo radar, the news is the same.

During the 2004-05 fiscal year, it was in the red $20,380. Paradise Valley Police Chief John Wintersteen noted that starting Jan. 1, 2007, the town is increasing red light violation fines to $200.

"This coming year might be the first one where we'll have more revenue than cost," he said.

In fact, the only Arizona municipality using photo radar that won't lose money this year also won't have a working program for at least a couple of months.

On July 27, the Prescott Valley Town Council approved a photo enforcement contract with international vendor Redflex Traffic Systems that is unique to Arizona.

The town does not have to pay for photo radar, but it also cannot profit from the system, except for a small annual sum for the salaries of new judicial clerks and a police sergeant who must sign off on all citations.

Prescott Valley Police Commander P.J. Janik was the primary contract architect on the town's side.

"We have made this very clear from the beginning this initiative will be neutral profit," he stated in an e-mail recently. "It will pay for only the resources used to administer the contract."

Redflex's director of government affairs, Jay Heiler, who is no stranger to controversy, has seen opposing sides argue with equal fervor on the virtues and faults of photographic enforcement.

"People are all over the map," he said. "The overarching point is that automated enforcement is a public safety device."

He declined comment on whether an abundance of Prescott Valley speeders and the revenue they could generate factored into Redflex's contract agreement.

"You can't predict driver behavior in the face of automated enforcement," he said.

Instead of focusing on revenue gain or, as is often the case, revenue loss, cities using photo radar focus on increased safety.

Scottsdale reports that collisions at locations with speed cameras fell 20 percent from 1996 to 1997.

Mesa reports similar numbers, noting a 15 percent decrease in total collisions from 1995 to 1999.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Thankfully, there is hope that logic will somehow enter this equation.......

Camera Foe to Become Arizona Senate Majority Leader

A foe of photo enforcement is set to become the next Arizona Senate majority leader.

Republican state senators in Arizona have chosen Thayer Verschoor to become the state's next Senate majority leader, replacing Timothy S. Bee. Verschoor, who represents the city of Gilbert, has introduced a number of legislative initiatives that would prove fatal to the foreign companies that operate photo enforcement within the state.

Verschoor introduced SB1001, a bill designed to increase intersection safety by mandating a minimum of 4 seconds of yellow warning time at stoplights. Verschoor cited a Texas Transportation Institute study that showed an extra second of yellow reduced accidents by 40 percent -- without the need for red light cameras. This has earned Verschoor the ire of Redflex, the Australian company that makes millions installing cameras throughout the state.

Verschoor also introduced legislation that would ban photo radar from freeways in the state. It passed 17-11 in the Senate and although a majority favored it 29-26 in the House, the bill required two additional votes for final passage.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Author note:
Why, with all the millions of dollars of research done on this subject, have they not tried CELL-PHONE JAMMING through problem areas (101 in $-dale has GOT to be the worst local culprit) as a means to reduce accidents?

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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
---Benjamin Franklin

"I wonder what ole' Ben would've thought of the TSA and photo-radar?" -- cynhikr
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Tom Treks
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Joined: 12 Jan 2003
Posts: 3347

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 12:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Big Brother comes to Prescott valley.... Reply to topic Reply with quote

Cynhikr wrote:
Author note:
Why, with all the research done on this subject, have they not tried CELL-PHONE JAMMING as a means to reduce accidents?


LOL. Has anyone ever really taken a look around when driving, at how many people are on cell phones? It's pretty dang hilarious.
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PageRob





Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Page, Az.

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Big Brother comes to Prescott valley.... Reply to topic Reply with quote

HIG wrote:
Cynhikr wrote:
Author note:
Why, with all the research done on this subject, have they not tried CELL-PHONE JAMMING as a means to reduce accidents?


LOL. Has anyone ever really taken a look around when driving, at how many people are on cell phones? It's pretty dang hilarious.

And scary at the same time...
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chihiggs





Joined: 03 Jan 2003
Posts: 565
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 2:55 pm    Post subject: cell phones Reply to topic Reply with quote

I jokingly refer to it as a state law when talking to people from outside Phoenix.

ONE MUST HAVE A CELL PHONE AND BE DIALING/TALKING WHILE DRIVING.

Doubt that law--to piggy back on Tom--look around when driving--it's spooky!! Especially when you are on a bike and realize that all those phone conversations are far more important than my life..... Rolling Eyes
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Tom Treks
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Joined: 12 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: cell phones Reply to topic Reply with quote

chihiggs wrote:
Especially when you are on a bike and realize that all those phone conversations are far more important than my life...


No doubt dude. I even had to pull out the nasty and kick the side of a car a few months ago. I didn't even have a chance to swerve. It was heading into my lane at a quick pace. I was exactly along side of it too. The lady swerved and slowed waaay down after that, and probably hung up too.
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chihiggs





Joined: 03 Jan 2003
Posts: 565
Location: Gilbert, AZ

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Glad you are still here to type!! Yes

Kurt, Thanks for posting that information. I always thought those photo things would be cash cows....I just knew that was their purpose...Oh well--I've been wrong once or twice before--not suprised today Wink
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Cynhikr





Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1197
Location: Tempe, AZ.

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

chihiggs wrote:
Glad you are still here to type!! Yes

Kurt, Thanks for posting that information. I always thought those photo things would be cash cows....I just knew that was their purpose...Oh well--I've been wrong once or twice before--not suprised today Wink


Higgs,
Don't be too sure...... these reports of a "loss" would need to be verified and authenticated as to what is in the "expense" column. I've not seen where a P&L has been published by any of the mentioned municipalities.
For example, what is the capital depreciation schedule of any of the city-paid infastructure? (ie. special readers for the photos, lines/camera poles, street painting, etc) How many "junkets" are charged as an expense to the program? Out-of-town seminars?
Plus, there's that one time a few years ago where it cost Chandler, I believe, 1.5M (plus a human life) because the red light camera caught one of their own speeding through an intersection against the red light at twice the limit WITHOUT police lights OR siren. Was THAT an expense associated with red light cameras?
My dad had a saying.... "Just because you say it, doesn't make it so".
What he meant (being an electrical engineer) was "if you cannot PROVE it, it's merely your opinion.
I, for one, think that these cities have the opinion that they are losing money.

PS - new bicycling accesssory(also useful in restaurants, supermarkets, post office, department stores, movies, ball games... the list goes on.>>>> http://www.cellular.co.za/accessories/phone_blockers/CELL-PHONE-JAMMER-SH066PL2A.htm

Or, try this analog approach>>>> http://www.coudal.com/shhhcards.pdf
_________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
---Benjamin Franklin

"I wonder what ole' Ben would've thought of the TSA and photo-radar?" -- cynhikr
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PageRob





Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Page, Az.

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Quote:
Exceptions for shipment into and operation within the United States of America and Canada are limited to authorized agencies of the Federal Government and Tribal Administrators of the sovereign territory and reservations belonging to Native American Indians. Written evidence of such qualification is required prior to order placement.

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Cynhikr





Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1197
Location: Tempe, AZ.

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

PageRob wrote:
Quote:
Exceptions for shipment into and operation within the United States of America and Canada are limited to authorized agencies of the Federal Government and Tribal Administrators of the sovereign territory and reservations belonging to Native American Indians. Written evidence of such qualification is required prior to order placement.


Well, of course......but I'm sure that Tom & Higgs would be putting them on JAPANESE bicycles....so repeat after me, guys..... " Officer... It CAME with that, I thought that it was a GPS"


More on FCC BS here > http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1544185

From a user in the US ..."It's not great for preventing calls, because the range is realistically only a few meters, but shutting off cell phones is as easy as pie. Click the "on" switch, and ten seconds later every line within about thirty feet goes dead.

It's not hard to discriminate between important calls and wastes of air, either - you don't leave the porridge thing on, you just on-for-a-few-seconds, then off. No need to block people from calling."
_________________
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
---Benjamin Franklin

"I wonder what ole' Ben would've thought of the TSA and photo-radar?" -- cynhikr
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azhiker96





Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 1419

PostPosted: 11/20/2006, 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply to topic Reply with quote

Wow, it's fun to think about it but I don't think I'd use one. Now if you converted it to police bands you'd have something! Laughing
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