Pima County planning 13 more speed cameras
Reporter: Craig Smith
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - You could see more blinding bright flashes that have nothing to do with lightning. We're talking about being flashed by speed enforcement cameras.
Pima County already has ten of them. Now the county is considering adding thirteen more.
Stomp on the gas just a little too hard, and the strobe will flash, the camera will click, a ticket may arrive and you're on the hook for a nasty, expensive fine.
Now Pima county's proposed thirteen new camera sites...on top of the ten sites it already had.
Drivers we asked are not smiling for these cameras.
Lee Sesler says:"I think it's a revenue thing myself. It's just a speed trap."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "They swear up and down that no, no, no it's a safety provision. To that you say...?"
Sesler: "They slow down when they come through that area and they speed right back up after they get out so I don't think it solves any problems."
Assistant County Manager Lindy Funkhouser says the county's widening the roads at most of the potential camera sites. It's cheaper to install the camera wiring when the road's being built, and the new wider roads may encourage drivers to speed.
We asked him about the frequent charge that the cameras are just to raise money.
Funkhouser says, "As long as people speed when the camera is up, yes the county will make money, there will be revenue on that but the experience has been that the revenue goes down over time because the non compliance goes down over time."
Funkhouser contends the cameras do reduce speed and when accidents happen they're often less severe.
If you get a robo-cam ticket, Pima County only gets part of the money. State government gets a share, and so does ATS, the company that installs and runs the cameras.
But drivers, especially ones who've gotten a ticket, like Maria Silva, still believe the cameras are simply money machines.
"It's about money. It's all about money. And I could tell you that because I paid my ticket, and what if I hadn't paid it? They'd come after me and I'd have to pay it more and more, no it's all about money."
If the camera sites are approved, they'll phase in through the first half of next year.