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!
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: theNewspaper.com
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.