Pinal County’s Sheriff-Elect Babeu on Photo Radar

With Sheriff-Elect Paul Babeu’s permission, I am posting an article he wrote referencing Photo Radar. Paul is an honest hardworking individual and I was honored to campaign for him. He will do great things for Pinal County and the State of Arizona. For those of you who don’t know Paul, he was recently elected as Pinal County’s Sheriff, the first Republican Sheriff in the history of Pinal County. -Bill Conley

END Photo Radar!sheriffpaul61
by Paul Babeu
October 13, 2008.

Queen Creek, AZ – Photo Radar is used to create money for the government and has little to do with improving traffic safety. Read the news articles below, which show traffic wrecks have actually increased. Drivers slam on their brakes and get rear-ended. Many drivers slow their speed when they see the van and immediately speed up again once they drive past, proving little to no effect on speed.

As Sheriff, I will eliminate Photo Radar vans in Pinal County and replace them with a traffic unit of highly trained Deputies. Photo Radar tries to replace Deputies and Police Officers. You can not replace a Police Officer or Deputy with machines or cameras, as the current Sheriff tries. A Deputy can check for car insurance, vehicle registration, DUI offenders, warrant check or simply provide a verbal warning.

I live locally in Johnson Ranch, where we are already paying the highest property tax rates in Arizona. Don’t be fooled, Photo Radar is yet another TAX and trick to get more money from hard working citizens. We have suffered from substandard roads and lack of other government services, after moving to a “Master Planned Community.” We need more Deputies and not more cameras and Photo Radar vans, which current Sheriff Chris Vasquez plans for Pinal County.

Our traffic Unit will free up regular patrol Deputies to respond to 911 emergency calls. The traffic Unit will target DUI drivers and perform traffic enforcement. This will make our roads and streets safer, unlike the Photo Radar Vans.

I ask you to join me in sending a message to Pinal County Government. We expect and demand improved law enforcement service, with faster emergency response times, improved training and use of available technology to better protect and serve our families.


Sheriff Chris Vasquez Caught Fudging Photo Radar Stats

June 6, 2008. source:

Pinal County, Arizona claim from December that photo radar reduced accidents on the Hunt Highway turns out to be false.

A pair of photo radar vans have been mailing automated citations to vehicle owners in Pinal County, Arizona since August 8, 2007. In just four months, 4500 citations were issued generating significant revenue, especially on the Hunt Highway. In December, a Sheriff’s office press release made the astonishing claim that accidents had fallen on this heavily traveled two-lane route by 53 percent as a result of the enforcement effort. “It’s very effective,” Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Paul Compton said at the time. “It’s slowing people down and ultimately saving lives.”

This claim turned out to be false. Instead of being down 53 percent, accidents increased 16 percent during the period speed cameras were used, as compared to the same period in 2006 without cameras. The Sheriff’s office had issued its statement based on preliminary data that failed to account for 55 crashes that were not immediately entered into the accident database.

Hunt Highway crash figures double those reported

Jun 2, 2008. East Valley Tribune News

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release in December with positive news about Hunt Highway crashes: They were cut in half after the photo radar program began.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t true. Not even close. Crashes actually increased on the road, updated statistics show. And the number of collisions was more than double the figure previously cited by the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Vanessa White said they released the news with preliminary data based on the number of reports in the system at the time. That information was missing dozens of crashes.

Hunt Highway is a two-lane artery that serves nearly 50,000 people in the Santan area. The highway, which runs from Queen Creek to Florence, has become a perilous stretch of road in the past few years. In 2007, there were 203 crashes – more than a 650 percent increase since 2003. County officials have worked to improve safety by making road improvements and adjusting speed limits. But the results have been spotty. And the sheriff’s office hoped to get a handle on the problem by implementing a photo radar program.

On July 9, two radar vans were placed on Hunt Highway. They began issuing citations a month later. Sheriff’s officials quickly touted the vans as a success, attributing to them a 53 percent decrease in crashes months after their inception. But there was no decrease, and the drop the sheriff’s office cited did not account for 55 crashes.


9 Responses to Pinal County’s Sheriff-Elect Babeu on Photo Radar

  1. RPr says:

    Cops not Cameras!

  2. AzKenpo says:

    Have both, they both serve the same purpose don’t they ?

  3. phemmert says:

    AzKenpo, just a couple of questions. How does a defendant cross-examine a camera if that person decided to contest a citation in court? Secondly, do you find it problematic that the “tool” being used to process/issue citations gets a cut of the resultant fine? I’m not aware of any law enforcement organization that gives a cash cut to law enforcement officers when they issue citations to proven law breakers.

  4. Bill Conley says:

    AzKempo (AKA dgpjr 777),

    Government is not capable of doing both. Look how far they went in deploying photo radar. If they would have left it with just the 101 or maybe an intersection or two, I don’t think you would have heard much. What happened? They saw the dollars coming in and went camera crazy!!
    This is what happens when the people allow their government to run-amuck.

  5. j says:

    watch anybody that benefits from these cameras they will make up any lie or change any statistics to sell these things to the public

  6. dgpjr777 says:

    Bill they have slowed speed down, I really cannot believe you cannot see that. It totally frees up Officers from sitting on the side of the road so they can do Police work. You would rather have them running the radar guns instead of fighting crime? Wouldn’t you rather see money coming into the state coming from people who violate the law?
    PS- Oh this is me, not my son today (AzKenpo) just for info since you are tracking people that register.

  7. Bill Conley says:

    Let’s put full disclosure on the table, who do you work for?
    It pretty obvious where we stand and why we are against these cameras. But typically people that are for or against a respective point, make it and move on..why are you so adamant? What’s your interest in keeping the cameras up? …and please, don’t tell me its freeing up police officers or safety, those talking points are getting old..

  8. dgpjr777 says:

    I am retired from a local PD. Yes, I am for the cameras because of what you said at the end of your statement-it does free up Officers. I see you do not want to argue the facts about who it frees up, since it is getting old to you.

  9. that must be under investigation…we don’t have yet know the truth.

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