Loop 101 Photo Radar
by Nick Coons
Jan 22, 2006
Today is the first day of the new cameras on the Loop 101 in Scottsdale
between 90th St. and Scottsdale Rd. exits, though the cameras themselves
have been snapping pictures in "test" mode for a couple of days. Last
night, I was on my way home driving through this area and noticed the "Photo
Enforced - Testing In Progress" signs, so I thought I'd help them test.
never been shot by photo radar before, and seeing as how there'd be no
consequences, I decided I'd give it a try. I sped up past 75MPH (as the
speed limit is 65MPH, the cameras shoot vehicles at 76MPH and up) to have
my picture taken and was immediately blinded by the flash. Within the
first half a second, I didn't know if it was a flash or if something on
my car had blown up. My first reaction was to hit the brakes, but only
for a second.
As I regained my vision, I was happy to note that
there was no one directly in front of me, and I was somehow still safely
in my lane (this camera is right before a turn). It was a rather shocking
Now, some interesting facts, as reported by the
East Valley Tribune. Apparently there is some concern about these cameras
on the freeway, one of them being how the flashing of the cameras (especially
at night) will affect drivers at high speeds. Paul Porell, Scottsdale's
traffic engineering director states, "No, we have not received any calls
about having anybody slamming on their brakes because of the flash." I
know it happened to me and I didn't call. I wonder how many dozens or
perhaps hundreds of other people have slammed on their brakes as a gut
reaction and no one reported it.
I don't think it's unreasonable
for the city to use certain means to enforce laws. But there are a few
problems with these cameras:
- The Loop 101 is a state freeway,
and while jurisdiction exists, the city has no business pursuing speeders
on this road.
-Speeding should not be a crime.
let me qualify that last statement, the details of which belong in another
article, though I'll go over it briefly here. Speeding does not cause
harm; smashing your car into another car or object does -- It's the latter
that should be illegal. Some will argue that speeding increases the chances
of a collision, and it most likely causes more damage during a collision.
I would respond by saying that those that cause collisions should be punished
accordingly, whether they were speeding or not. However, the act of speeding
itself is not harmful to anyone. Photo radar cameras enforce frivilous
laws, and this is the reason they should not exist.