Scottsdale Independent

Hoffman: photo-enforcement makes local streets safer

Across our country, many communities use photo-enforcement technology to enforce traffic laws.

Barb Hoffman

In the Valley, Chandler, Mesa, the Town of Paradise Valley, Phoenix and Scottsdale utilize road safety cameras. Some communities, like Glendale, are considering implementing the technology in an effort to prevent crashes and create a safer world for drivers, motorists and cyclists alike.

These cities should be commended for their effort to create more mindful drivers who adhere to long-standing traffic laws, because they see the positive safety results they bring. I applaud you.

Scottsdale hired an independent firm, Lee Engineering, to analyze the crash data from 2007 to 2013 at 13 intersections and six street segments in Scottsdale with photo enforcement and found that crashes were significantly reduced.

Check out the report here

It’s easy to take traffic safety for granted. It’s typically not a topic of conversation until we pass by an accident or find ourselves involved in one. Then, we wonder what went wrong and what should have been done differently. The tragic death of my 14-year-old son, Michael, caused by a red-light runner, became the inspiration for me to advocate for safer roads.

Any potential discomfort drivers encounter because of those cameras is worth the extra protection they afford our community. A ticket might make you stop and think, about how you may have been speeding, ran a red light or engaged in a driving behavior that does not warrant pleasure or satisfaction. Effective traffic safety measures like red-light cameras so other parents and families can be protected from losing a loved one deserve our support.

I understand photo enforcement cameras attract their share of controversy. But critics turn the debate away from questions of safety and toward concerns of money and legality. Red-light and speed cameras are quite legal in Arizona, and the cameras cost taxpayers nothing. The only person who loses money to a photo enforcement camera is the dangerous driver who is speeding or running red lights against the law.

They endanger themselves and others. If you follow the traffic laws, you won’t get your picture taken!

Road safety cameras are a valuable tool to cities in Arizona, and in turn to their community. Every year we seem to get stuck having this debate when the Legislature hosts this argument.
Let stop arguing and all work to be better drivers each and every time we get behind the wheel. Lives depend on it. How many fatal crashes are acceptable each year in the valley?

Ask yourself — what can we do for these families to help stop tragedies on our roadways. I am begging you all, to join me and be part of the solution.

Editor’s note: Ms. Hoffman is a Scottsdale resident