Photo enforcement cameras have come under significant scrutiny over the last few years.  Not only do people dislike the increased chance of traffic tickets, but there has been concern that traffic cameras actually increase the chances for traffic accidents.  I know my reactions are spot on when a sudden bright flash obscures my sight.

Now, Arizona cites that want to install or keep their photo enforcement cameras on state roads will have to demonstrate that they do more than generate fines.  The new cameras must be “necessary for the public safety of the state.” The standard is expected to be a rather high threshold.

With the current cameras, the cities that wish to keep them need to show the impact the cameras have had by comparing accident rates before and after the installation.  If the city can’t demonstrate a significant positive impact on traffic safety, the Arizona Department of Transportation could still order the removal of the cameras.  City run roads would still be free to have cameras.

The rationalization for the new law is that the cameras have been installed not to increase safety but to collect fines.  But, the collection of fines is dependent on people paying their tickets, somewhat of a flawed system.

All that’s left for the bill to become law is for the governor to sign off on the legislation.   Cities could save a fair amount of money from installing and maintenance of the traffic cameras that could be invested into other more active law enforcement methods.

This law could have a significant impact on the roads around the state.  It could increase speeding on state roads.  However, it could also reduce traffic accidents and frustration.