Protestors gather to denounce speed cameras - East Valley Tribune: News

Protestors gather to denounce speed cameras

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Posted: Saturday, February 6, 2010 6:14 pm | Updated: 3:30 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

A procession of cars drove by a gaggle of speed camera protestors Saturday, honking at signs denouncing the traffic monitoring system.

Among the dozens of protestors that stood in front of Redflex Traffic System’s building in north Phoenix near Pinnacle Peak Road and 23rd Avenue was a sheriff from another county joining his cohorts from across the Valley in calling out for the end of speed cameras.

Speed-camera company behind rule change

Protestors like Debra Howell and Susan Puckett, both of Scottsdale, who wore shirts blasting speed cameras and demanding an end to the practice.

“It’s a violation of civil rights,” Howell said.

Puckett shouted to a car passing and honking it’s horn, “they cause excessive speeding between cameras.”

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told the roughly sixty protestors gathered that when he took over the job of top lawman in his county, he got rid of the cameras first thing.

“Law enforcement officers are doing their jobs,” Babeu said, adding that he found cameras useless because they didn’t have the ability to pull over drunk drivers, or stop reckless speeders.

Mischa Sumrall who drove the legal speed from Tempe to protest, said speed cameras and companies who run them are there to do one thing: “They combine law enforcement with profit; that’s not the way it’s suppose to work.”

Sumrall said he was against speed cameras because they were just another form of taxation.

Redflex spokeswoman Shoba Vaitheeswaran said the cameras acted as a deterrent.

“We support the right for people to protest out there,” she said Saturday in the lobby of the building, away from the earshot of the protestors’ shouts. “But we don’t support this group’s loud and faulty arguments.”

Vaitheeswaran said many law enforcement agencies, apart from Babeu’s, and numerous municipalities supported the photo radar system.

“We are a technology provider,” she said. “We are proud to be in an industry that can help and protect the community.”

As Vaitheeswaran explained that more than 500 cities in the U.S. use photo radar, two cars honked outside as they drove by Puckett and Howell’s signs.

Both women held them high over their heads with the same slogan on their placards and their white T-shirts — “OFFICERS NOT CAMERAS”

Another passerby honked to that.

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