JIM SHARPE

We could learn a lot from (crash test) dummies when it comes to red light cameras

Dec 13, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2023, 12:00 pm

Many people in Arizona talk about honoring our “pioneering spirit” — and high on that list of people would be conservative politicians.

But one thing that Arizona pioneered (after horses stopped being our primary mode of transportation) is something conservative legislators want to get rid of.

Whether you call it photo radar or photo enforcement, calls to kill off the cameras that detect speed and red light running — have been raised since we first pioneered ’em… waaaay back in 1987 when the town of Paradise Valley became the first place in America to use photo enforcement vans to monitor the speed of cars on their streets.

PV saw such a dramatic decrease in the number — and severity — of collisions, they expanded on photo enforcement to add cameras that detect red light runners. The rest, as they say, is history: Lots of spots in Arizona followed suit. 

But Arizona state Sen. Justine Wadsack wants them done away with.

Her town, Tucson, canned their cameras in 2015. She told our TV partners at ABC15 that when red light cameras were first put in place in the Old Pueblo, there was an increase in crashes, so she’s glad that Tucson saw through what she calls the “scam of red light cameras” — something she also sees as a “money grab” by the government. 

Wadsack is backing a bill that, if passed and signed by the governor, would outlaw these cameras statewide. 

But that’s not likely to happen because Gov. Hobbs vetoed a similar bill back in May that was introduced by state Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) and sponsored by Wadsack and several other Republicans.

Even though Sen. Wadsack says nobody wants to “drive down the street and know that big government is able to look at them while driving,” and I’m not the biggest fan of the speed-detecting cameras, neither they, nor red-light cameras (which I kinda like), trample my constitutional rights: There is no reasonable expectation of privacy in public. 

The government’s not allowed in my car without my permission, reasonable suspicion, or a warrant, but taking pictures from outside my car — doesn’t run afoul of the U.S. or Arizona constitutions.

I don’t like being held to 40mph while traversing Paradise Valley (it makes it too easy to gaze upon the incredible homes there — fueling my envy), but that town has more millionaires than any other place in Arizona, so their cameras are there for safety — not money grabbing.

And how can anyone argue against red light cameras? We need to get people off the street who don’t give a damn about what color a traffic light is when they enter an intersection. We should post red light runners’ traffic cam picture on a website, automatically give them 8 points on their license, and maybe even sentence them to be crash test dummies — because, seriously, can you think of a more descriptive term for them? 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Jim Sharpe

...

KTAR Video

Video: What do Americans currently agree on ahead of 2024 election?

Jim Sharpe reads a poll about what Americans agree on during his Sharper Point commentary. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

1 day ago

(KTAR News Photo)...

Jim Sharpe

AZ Political Podcast: Chuck Coughlin on Arizona’s abortion ruling and its national effect

Chuck Coughlin lays out what the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision means for both Republicans and Democrats in this election year in this week's AZ Political Podcast.

2 days ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: Arizona’s abortion ruling and its national impact ahead of 2024 election

In this week’s AZ Political Podcast, Jim Sharpe sits down with Chuck Coughlin- CEO & President of HighGround Inc.- to discuss the national implications of Arizona’s abortion ban and the possible impact it could have on federal races in the 48th state. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

2 days ago

A Phoenix police officer was fired on April 10, 2024, for a fatal 2022 shooting. (YouTube screensho...

Jim Sharpe

Throwing bullets may be more accurate — but throwing rocks can be deadly too

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe isn't convinced a Phoenix police officer should have been fired after he fatally shot a man throwing rocks at him.

2 days ago

...

KTAR Video

Video: How throwing rocks can turn deadly

A Phoenix police officer was recently fired due to a fatal off-duty shooting involving a suspect throwing rocks at people in 2022. Jim Sharpe breaks down the incident in Thursday’s Sharper Point commentary. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

2 days ago

(Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Women's March)...

Jim Sharpe

The abortion stance both sides need to agree on in Arizona

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe believes Arizonans should listen to each other and not be swayed by politicians looking for a vote when it comes to abortion.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

We could learn a lot from (crash test) dummies when it comes to red light cameras