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Arizona shows support for traffic control cameras

American Traffic Solutions : 27 January, 2009  (Technical Article)
A survey of Arizona residents indicates that the majority are in favour of the speed and red-light camera program being implemented in the state
Arizona is the first state to implement a statewide speed camera program, with mobile and fixed-site speed cameras deployed by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) in both metro and rural areas. A new survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) reveals widespread public support for the new statewide program, as well as speed and red-light cameras that are widely used throughout Arizona's cities, towns and counties.

Among the findings:

* 63% of Arizona voters say that the DPS should "continue to use speed cameras to ticket drivers who exceed the speed limit by 11 miles per hour or more."

* More than six in 10 voters in every region of the state support the DPS program and support is across partisan lines, with 59% of Republicans, 59% of Independents and 69% of Democrats supportive.

* Support is even stronger for local photo enforcement programs. Fully 69% say that city and county police departments should continue "to use cameras to ticket drivers who exceed the speed limit by 11 miles per hour or more on city streets."

* Support for red-light cameras is overwhelming. 84% of Arizona voters believe city police departments should continue to use cameras to issue tickets to red-light runners. Most of Arizona's major cities - including Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe and Chandler - use cameras to stifle red-light running.

* When given two competing viewpoints about photo enforcement on state highways, nearly two-thirds indicate they agree more with those who support its continued use. 63% indicated they agree with statements of support, while only 35% agree with those who oppose the cameras.

* The vast majority of voters in Arizona indicate they are opposed to recent acts of vandalism against Arizona's photo enforcement cameras. Fully 77% of the voters say they are opposed to people who have vandalized the cameras.

* Opposition to the cameras is highest (51%) among voters aged 18-34, suburban men (50%) and men aged 18-54 (49%). It's highest (83%) among voters aged 65 or older, women with incomes under $40K (82%) and women aged 55+ (76%).

The survey was conducted Jan. 13-14, 2009, amid a flurry of negative publicity in the Arizona media about photo enforcement. A bill was introduced in the Arizona Legislature to abolish the DPS program and an initiative campaign was launched to ban all photo radar cameras in Arizona while the poll was in the field. The survey was commissioned by American Traffic Solutions, which operates large municipal and county photo enforcement programs in Arizona and across the United States but is not the vendor for the DPS program.
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