In 2007, Tucson’s Mayor and Council approved a program to help cut down the number of auto accidents, injuries and fatalities at the City’s eight most dangerous intersections.
This program had photo cameras placed at these intersections to deal with speed and running red lights.
The Mayor and Council received updates on the program, which showed a reduction of accidents, injuries and fatalities. In July, I had requested that the Mayor and Council receive a report on this program.
When I served as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, from 2002 to 2009, Arizona led the nation in auto fatalities.
Through the work of GOHS, public service messaging and photo cameras and photo radar, the number of fatalities was reduced by 18%.
This program is not about generating revenue, but saving lives and preventing injuries.
At the last Council meeting, Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor gave the Mayor and Council an update on this program and what it has done at these intersections.
Chief Villasenor told the Mayor and Council since the first cameras went up in 2006, accidents at those spots have dropped 70 percent.
The study looked at the average number of tickets a human officer writes: 162 per year.
The chief says, based on that, with TPD short of officers, automated enforcement is like adding officers to the force.
"To equal the number of citations issued by the camera it would require 163 additional officers to equal that number and even that is only issuing citations for 33 percent of the time the camera flashes,” Chief Villasenor said at the Council meeting.
Tucson Police looked at places that took down their cameras. Chief Villasenor said the stats showed violations and auto accidents went up when the cameras came down.
We are providing you the full report compiled by the Tucson Police Department on the photo camera program presented to the Mayor and Council for your review.