Top 10 Reasons Tucson’s Red Light Cameras are Rigged.

1. They are placed at intersections close to the city limits, so most of the tickets will go to people who can’t vote for the city council.

2. They use imaginary lines to enforce the law, and not the stop bar or crosswalk.

3. The yellow arrows too short, so they can hand out more tickets.  They do not meet national standards.

4. They record every license plate that goes through, whether any traffic laws are broken or not.

5. The judge who hears the cases is married to the Assistant Police Chief.

6. The camera systems are not calibrated to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards.

7. The pavement markings do not meet TDOT standards.

8. Most crashes at intersections happen when someone turns left into oncoming traffic when the light is green.  These cameras do nothing to prevent that.

9. TPD officers are getting their tickets thrown out as a professional courtesy, even when they are off-duty.

10. Process sever arrested for giving false testimony causing  hundreds of people to get their drivers license suspended for NO reason.

– James Howard


42 Responses to Top 10 Reasons Tucson’s Red Light Cameras are Rigged.

  1. Cathy says:

    On your #5, please don’t call her a “judge.” She’s a “magistrate,” and it’s hard to believe (in my opinion), but magistrates in the state of Arizona are NOT required to have ANY FORMAL LEGAL BACKGROUND. Hi, brainless pawn!

    And on your #8, many also happen MULTIPLE SECONDS AFTER the light has turned red. Yet the VAST MAJORITY of red light photo radar notices (don’t think of them as tickets until they PERSONALLY serve you) in Tucson are issued to people who enter the ill-defined intersection less than a second after the light turns red, which is brought about by a yellow arrow which is 33% shorter than the typical seasoned Tucson driver is accustomed to.

    Otherwise, a great list! Thanks for posting!

  2. billcaz says:

    That’s true, the are not required to know the law…or have any legal background.

  3. Cathy says:

    You know, James, I was thinking about your second reason above. The imaginary line is particularly infuriating because it’s not like the “stop lines” which precede the crosswalks have been painted over. They’ve left them on the pavement–and I guess it’s up to the driver to determine that they, by “law,” should be completely disregarded?

    What the heck are Tucson’s city engineers doing anyway, spending the day playing Tetris? A trained monkey could design an intersection better than Oracle/River intersection is designed.

    Those cameras are so coming down.

  4. James Howard says:

    Thanks, Cathy,

    The traffic engineers, when you talk to them, seem like they are painted into a corner and are doing their best to cover their hineys.

    Red light cameras, in my mind, are so easy to rig. All you have to do is shorten the yellow, and you have instant revenue. In the case of Oracle and River, they found an intersection that already had a yellow that was too short, so they can state they did not shorten it when the cameras were installed.

  5. James Howard says:

    Nice to be ATS. No matter how you blatantly you rig a red-light camera, you can get people to pay and whine that it is for safety. Then, you use your money to hire people to come here and call anyone who doesn’t conform a liar.

  6. Juju says:

    With regard to the fees AZ pays to the private company for each fine collected – isn’t that taxation without representation?

    Taxes are levied to pay for voter approved services. In this case, if the fine were just money paid to the state, it might be legal, but because a portion of each fine is paid to a private, for profit (and foreign) company, it seems this arrangement would be illegal. Thoughts?

  7. AZ Motorist says:

    #5 – what judge are you referring to?
    I want to check if it is the one I was before yesterday.

  8. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    Bulletin …… Bulletin….

    this just in..CF has failed in its objective to gather 153,000 signatures!!! they fell short 34,000….

    Victory is mine sayeth Law A. Bidingcitizen… I win

  9. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    bill…how did that signature drive work out for you guys down in tucson?

  10. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    ooooohhhhh billy boy!!! where are you billy goat?

  11. reygiovanni says:

    LOL…who’s that billy boy goat?

  12. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    billy…. he runs this ghost town !! he is the sheriff and the clown in the circus!!!

  13. Got A Ticket says:

    What are the chances of getting the ticket dropped if I was a millisecond from the “line” when the yellow arrow disappeared? It was also raining and to slam on my breaks would have been dangerous.

  14. Ernest T.Bass says:

    about as slim as getting a response from anyone at this ghost town!!!

    pay the damn ticket and quit making excuses…… after you have killed someone will you say sorry…. your relative was a millisecond too early entering the intersectiona and did not allow me to run the light cause i was in a hurry to my nail & hair appointment?

  15. Ernest T.Bass says:

    wow…. 6 weeks and no posts from anyone but me… good luck camerafraud collecting any signatures in this town!!!

  16. Kevin H. says:

    I agree with most ofyou with this concern about these red light cameras they’re all a fraud becaus thishas happen to me. You go to down load their report on the viloation find out it would not let you see their video of this situation. IT’S A BIG FRAUD!

  17. ernest.t. bass says:

    kevin…. what it means is you got caught violating a traffic law!! take some responsibility!!

  18. Doug Mcdow says:

    I recently received a Ticket for a left turn on the Red light, and would like to send a picture of my vehicle just before the light turned red. This Camera should be removed.The yellow is only 3 seconds and, in heavy traffic it is almost impossible to get in to the intersection before the light turns Red. It is unjust to the people of Tucson. I sincerly hope that I can help get this Camera removed.

  19. New Tucsonian says:

    Just got my “Notice of Violation” in the mail for running a red light. I was in town closing on a house. “Welcome to Tucson”. Being from out of town, I never really got comfortable with the whole “late green arrow” thing the entire week I was there. And, where I come from, the intersetion boundry is the crosswalk. I was well beyond that, and assumed I was in the intersection. I was taught never to stop in the intersection, ever. Marking the intersection boundry well beyond the crosswalk is entraping many non-locals unfamiliar with that strange piece of traffic engineering. I have never run a red light in my 54 years of driving. A trap was disigned and sprung on me, a driver with an impecible driving record. Tucson should be ashamed.

  20. New Tucsonian says:

    By the way, I heard that I you are not personally served with a summons within 120 days, the matter is dismissed. Anyone know for a fact if that is true?

  21. Tucson Resident says:

    I just got flashed for entering the intersection just before the green arrow came on. Ridiculous!

  22. Blaire says:

    Yeah….about the new Tucsonian thing. They got me. I just moved here from VA and back home the line is CLEARLY marked making it so I’ve NEVER in my life ran a red light. Then tonight my husband told me to take a left on Nogales from Valencia and it was green till I was approaching the line then turned yellow then quickly red. BAM! I felt like I got struck by the poparazzi! How embarrassing, then my husband made the comment thanks for the $60 ticket (which is how much a redlight camera ticket was in DC that he ran 2 years ago) and I now find out its $280 WTF?!?! DC is the friggen capital of the country and it’s only $60 so why in the heck should it be $280 here in ghost town AZ where people are poor as crap especially in my side of town. I hate Tucson already and I wanna go back home…Damn that new South Costco that my husband just opened up which brought us here…And no I’m not whining, if I felt I really deserved the ticket I would own up to it but I do sincerely feel it’s rigged.

  23. afrakes says:

    Blair, Feel lucky the same thing happened to me. My ticket was $355 plus $35 and 8 hours of driving school. I don’t know who decides the price of the tickets. I guess its was because the city hadn’t had any money from me for a very long time. The left turn yellow is a nano-second and I am told there is no such thing as clearing the intersection. By the was I was only the fourth car in the left turn lane. Also a short green arrow. So now I go around the block so that won’t happen again as I can’t afford the fines.

  24. Roger Ramjet says:

    Here is something I witnessed myself in person as I was walking into the Village Inn at Tanque Verde and Kolb/Grant about 1 year ago or so. The light flashed (at night) on someone who was running the light and this elderly lady just in front was blinded and hit the middle light pole knocking it down on 3 more cars crushing them and injuring 7 people while knocking her out and trapping her in her car as well. She was not speeding or running the light, but she was blinded because it was VERY bright, I can totally see where in this case where the red light camera actually caused a major accident. Remove these red light cameras before anyone gets killed!!!!

  25. Dereck Drew says:

    Just moved back to Tucson in July after being gone for 4 years. In the short time I have been here, I did my own personal study of the Red light Cameras. I found that these cameras are for generating revenue and have nothing to do with safety. Left hand turns seem to be the biggest problem. It use to be that when the light turned green you proceeded to the intersection to the line and proceeded either when oncomming tragffic was is cleared or when the arrow turned green. (Simple) Now when when the light turns green, cars are proceeding to the intersection and proceed when oncomming traffic has cleared or wait for the arrow. The problem is, prior to the arrow turning green you have a red right for a split second and if you are in the intersection, you get you picture flashed. Not only that if you don’t make it past the curb line before the flashing yellow light turns red, you get picture flashed. That is the scam folks.
    Things you need to do as citizens to avoidl this scam is as follows:
    1. Contact your representatives city and state with your complaint.about this scam.
    2. Take the bus whenever you can.
    3. Avoid all camered intersections when possible by re-routing your daily driving habits.
    4. Avoid left hand turns by-passing your intersection and by making a u-turn further up the road.
    5. When making a left hand turn don’t go into the intersection when the light turns green, WAIT FOR THE GREEN ARROW.
    6 If you get a ticket in the mail, DON’T PAY IT.
    7. Start a petition and follow through with it.
    If you stop the CAMERA REVENUE from comming in, the city will no longer be able to pay for the camera’s and they WILL HAVE TO COME DOWN.

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  27. J. Thompson says:

    (This was at the intersection of 22nd/Kolb) I was the first car in the left turn lane, and am VERY cautious, so didn’t turn until I got the green arrow. I hit my gas instantly, and the arrow turned yellow by the time I entered the crosswalk directly in front of my car! It wasn’t time enough for a full green arrow! I’m sorry, but the first car should be able to pass through an intersection without the arrow turning to yellow. It took my picture when I was halfway through the intersection. This upset me because I am a law abiding citizen. If they are strict about the traffic laws, I will adjust my driving accordingly. I called the Tucson Police Department, was directed to the American Traffic Solution (people in charge of the traffic cameras) who said that the camera is calibrated to go off when any violation occurs according to the light. If there was a problem, the camera would have an 11 second video to show what happened. After giving me all of the information that I needed, they directed me back to the Tucson Police Department to talk to an officer about a problem with the light. How horrible does that sound….it wasn’t me, Sir, it was the light. Nice. I left a message because everyone had left for the start of Christmas vacation, and got a call back this morning. The man was horribly short, and didn’t want to discuss what happened. He said if it happened like I said it happened, then I shouldn’t get a citation, SHOULD I. (With a hint of sarcasm.) When I said that I hadn’t meant for my message to anger anyone, I just wanted to feel better about the situation, he said he wasn’t angry, he was professional. I’m a Veteran, and am used to a life of ‘professional’ speaking, and this man was short with me, not helpful, and clearly annoyed that he had to return my call. The one thing he said that got to me was that the law clearly says nothing about a green or yellow arrow. If I’m in the middle of the intersection, and the light is red, I’m in violation. I feel very wronged, and cannot believe this is how people are treated in Tucson. I was told to call back in 3 weeks so they can review my violation.

  28. Ilex Libertatis says:

    I am almost certain this is unconstitutional in a number of ways… am just researching now, but appreciate all these comments. ~Ilex

  29. Victoria Light says:

    I’ve HAD IT!!!! I just got my second red light camera ticket….The first one cost me $325.00, plus $35.00 for the Traffic School. This time, ended up signing up for the Defensive Driving Class (which you can take if you have not had more than one “red light ticket” in 24 months)…that was less,a mere $220.00…I thought about going to court to fight it, but was told I would most likely lose, and then have to pay even more than the $325 plus…I called my auto insurance representative to see if she could give me some advice if it ever happened again, so that my insurance would not go up, and she said that she got a ticket for turning right on a red light, that next time, God forbid it should happen), don’t respond…..Let ’em try and catch me!!!!

    Is there any way we can get a Petition going to get a ban on “Red Light Camera Tickets” put on the ballot????? I’ll be first in line!!

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  31. HUSNIJA says:


  32. Cops wife says:

    I don’t know where you get your facts, but it is false! My hubby got snapped at river and oracle and got a hefty ticket and paid it! Keep your BS to yourself! Ive gotten a red light ticket and a speeding myself. If you don’t like how things are done, then do something about it, because posting this crap isn’t going to help any! Stop at the lights when they turn yellow instead of gunning it is my lesson!

  33. “8. Most crashes at intersections happen when someone turns left into oncoming traffic when the light is green. These cameras do nothing to prevent that.”

    Proof, please? I challenge this statement, arguing that I bet all my money this is not correct. Most crashes happen because someone is trying to beat a red light. I read statistics that clearly showed a reduction in crashes at camera intersections. And I can say from personal experience that I find myself slowing down and not taking even the slightest chance at these intersections.

    So, without any proof on your part, I have reason to doubt the validity of all the points you make.

  34. Victoria: Getting caught at a red light intersection is ENTIRELY preventable. If you keep getting caught, you should not blame the cameras but evaluate your driving skills. You sound like you’re endangering yourself and others.

  35. @Roger Ramjet: Anyone who gets “blinded” by the flash so that they lose control over their vehicle should not be driving. That said, speed and red-light cameras in Germany for example use red flashes to prevent just that. That would be an easy-to-make fix here in Tucson as well.

  36. Kim says:

    I agree with what you said about the person who keeps getting caught by the cameras. However, what about those of us above, and including me, who have been driving over 30 years and have NEVER had a ticket or violation or warning? Today I went to court to fight my violation because my car was clearly IN THE INTERSECTION (bumper just on the imaginary line) when they took my picture. My video (which as everyone states correctly, you cannot view on-line ahead of time, only when you are in court) shows that tap on my brakes several times as I cross the “stop” line and the crosswalk. As an experienced driver, going only 12 miles per hour on their video in the right turn lane, I determined that if I came to complete stop before turning RIGHT, i would be sticking out in the intersection intp on-coming traffic. But, of course, i was pronounced ‘in violation’ in court and had to pay up, and go to class, and have points on my record. It is embarrassing with all of my violation-free experience and teaching my 2 teenagers how to drive. I talked to an officer afterwards who said that they have never pronounced anyone “not in violation” unless the photo is too blurred and the person fought the case that it was not them.

  37. Lee says:

    Just got a red light citation in the mail today. I was going the speed limit, and the light turned red as my front tires were centered oon the crosswalk (AFTER the stop line, before the revenue-generating line). Ironically, according to, it is also illegal to stop in the middle of a crosswalk:
    “Q: Can I turn right on a red light at a photo red light intersection?
    A: Yes, but only if not specifically prohibited by a sign or traffic control device, and after your vehicle comes to a complete stop. … drivers who stop within the crosswalk itself or do not yield to pedestrians prior to turning right may also be cited.”

    Most cars don’t fit between the second crosswalk line and the revenue line. Thus it’s illegal to pull forward to get out of the crosswalk (obviously) or to back up (also obviously). The stop line should be the stop line, period. If you’re over that line while still green/yellow, you should be legal. The TPD statement about stopping in crosswalks makes the scam so apparent. I am embarrassed for Tucson.

  38. Dave says:

    I was turning left on from Kolb (northbound) onto Speedway. The video shows that I was completely past the crosswalk when the light turned red. In fact, my car was fully BETWEEN the crosswalk and the violation line…a larger space than from the stop line to the far crosswalk line. Sure seems rigged to me.

  39. Ernest T. Bass says:

    yup those darn cameras out there snapping guilty pictures of all you innocent people. there is no diffrence between you people here and those locked up in jails and prisons… you are all innocent!!

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  41. Eddie Riggs says:

    These cameras don’t keep people safe. They are a revenue generating scheme which lines the pockets of city officials and the contractors who put them up. There has been no data showing that these cameras are making the roads safer. So this was new exciting technology that was supposed to help society and it turning out to be nothing more than a cheap way for the city to harass law abiding people.

  42. MK says:

    Everything you say here is true, and now, after years of highway robbery, We Won!! 😛

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