Pinal County’s Sheriff-Elect Babeu on Photo Radar

December 20, 2008

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.


Gov. Napolitano Estimates 90 MILLION Dollars in Photo Radar Revenues

December 20, 2008


If there is any doubt where Gov. Janet Napolitano stands on Photo Radar and why she’s deploying Speed Radar across the state, stop wondering.  It’s clear to me that Gov. Janet Napolitano sees “free” money and an easy way to collect it.


According to Gov. Napolitano; she has estimated revenues of 90 MILLION Dollars in just the 1st year! Will it stop there? I don’t think so…If history is any indicator, this is only the beginning.  Government has traditionally abused the people’s trust. It’s just a matter of time and the dependencies of “Photo Radar” revenues will be used for subsidizing Arizona’s budget…..forever!


Clearly Government has an improper motive with respect to Photo Radar. Laws are created to enforce not as a Tax revenue stream.


         Bill Conley


These are some excerpts from the Governors Office;



Janet Napolitano, Governor

Budget Briefing Materials

Fiscal Year 2009

January 18, 2008



In thousands

Highway Photo Radar                        $90,000 (90 MILLION)

TPT Estimated Payment Threshold        $55,000

DOR Auditor/Collectors                       $31,000

Lottery                                                 $10,000

Total Revenue Generation                     $186,000


Highway Photo Radar Enhance photo radar enforcement on the State’s highways and dedicate the resulting revenue to DPS operations.



The Executive Budget



Highway Photo Enforcement. The Executive recommends enhancing photo radar enforcement on the State’s highways and dedicating the resulting revenue to DPS operations. Prompt enactment and implementation of the new highway photo Enforcement legislation would provide an estimated $90 million in the first year to respond to growing needs in the critical areas of border security, criminal investigations

public safety. 

Government’s abuse of Photo Radar

December 14, 2008


For those of you who don’t know, the first photo radar system to be deployed in the U.S. was in Arizona.

A typical system works like this; respective municipalities lease the equipment and pay a fee to the photo radar equipment manufacturers for the equipment. Manufacturers are also typically paid a percentage of fines collected. Manufacturers may have the right to move the equipment if target revenues are not met.

According to an article in “”, photo radar units on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale, Arizona have generated more than $2,894,766 in revenue since the set of six speed cameras were activated on February 22. As of May 3, the city mailed 18,438 citations worth between $157 and $201 each. Australian vendor Redflex takes a $42.48 cut of the profit on each ticket the company is able to generate.

In another article cited by “” Officials in Richland Hills, Texas have manipulated the yellow signal timing at the city’s lone red light camera monitored intersection. By slicing the amount of warning time available to motorists from 3.6 seconds to 3.0 seconds for several months, the intersection of Glenview Drive and Booth Calloway Road generated an estimated $300,000 in extra photo ticket revenue. Richland Hills Police Chief Barbara Childress admitted that she ordered a private contractor to shorten the yellow signal time.

The argument used by cities to deploy these systems is safety…right! So how safe are intersections when yellow lights are shortened? Safety my Butt!

Government must think we are stupid. Just follow the money and we can see why there’s such a huge interest on the part of Municipalities to deploy these system.

At one time, IRS agents were paid commissions based on what they colleted…Yea, that wasn’t abusive! (this is sarcasm, under this system millions of U.S. citizens were targets of abuse.).

Under the 6th amendment of the U.S. constitution, you have the right to confront your accuser, in this case, your abuser. So exactly how do you cross examine a radar system? You can’t and these cities know it. They also know the odds of an individual fighting a photo radar citation are small. These are no small fines, they can reach several hundred dollars and judges are quick to side against you.

I would recommend anyone, receiving a citation, present your case in court. It’s your right. Yes it adds cost to the court system. Maybe cities will think twice about the way citations are issued.

At one time, the city of Tucson had two schedules of fines, one schedule if you don’t contest the citation and another if you do, how ridiculous! Government has no business discouraging individuals from their constitutional right to fight a citation. Besides, what ever happened to the presumption of innocence?

Now we hear Gov. Napolitano is deploying photo radar systems throughout Arizona. As an individual and as a police officer this upsets me. Why? Because Gov. Napolitano is not deploying Photo Radar because of some compelling safety issue. She’s using the income from Photo Radar to balance the state’s budget. This is nothing short of a TAX!

Municipalities are depending more and more on the revenues for these types of technologies. Why, because it’s easy. For the most part, people are tired of Taxes and Government knows this.

Can speed radar read faulty, you bet. I remember running radar and clocked a tree moving at 20 MPH…and I was stationary.

On a personal note; if I would have known that Gov. Napolitano would have resigned as Gov to accept a position with Obama’s Administration…I would have voted for Obama.
She’s been terrible for the State of Arizona. Anyone that resolves budget problems by deploying Photo Radar across the State is Clueless and a poor leader.

This is not the end. My plan is to do something about the abuse…stay tuned.
It’s time to kick butt and take names…..

– Bill Conley