Scottsdale resident Patty Heringer suggested an intriguing concept during an open house about photo speed-enforcement equipment proposed for a segment of Loop 101. Heringer’s concern, she said Thursday, was the effect cameras will have on traffic flow during rush hour commutes.
Currently, traffic speeds along at about 80 mph, she said.
"You know how they have the car-pool lanes where there are certain hours where you can be in the carpool lanes? Why don’t they have the cameras off during those hours?" Heringer asked.
That’s not the plan, said Robert Feiler, an executive with Redflex Traffic Systems.
Once cameras are installed, which could come as early as January, they will snap photos of speeding motorists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.
The speed limit on Loop 101 is 65 mph, and the cameras will be set to shoot photos of drivers going 76 mph or faster, he said.
Warnings will be mailed to motorists for the first month after the start date.
After that, the city will issue speeding tickets.
Three cameras are planned along each side of the freeway between the Pima Road/90th Street exit on the southern end to the Scottsdale Road exit on the north.
The intent is to slow traffic and reduce collisions, said city spokesman Pat Dodds.
There were 209 crashes along the stretch during 2002, according to the Maricopa Association of Governments.
There were 403 crashes in 2004.
The city is not planning cameras south of the Pima/ 90th exit because the freeway moves out of the city and into the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Feiler also told motorists at the meeting at Scottsdale Community College that the camera’s flashes are about as intense as lightning flashes and not expected to cause crashes.
The flashes will be 80 to 160 feet from the motorists and will set at angles.
"It’s not a direct flash right into your eyes. You may see in your peripheral vision some sort of light go off, but not startling to the point where you’re slamming on your brakes," Feiler said.
The typical ticket will be $157, according to the city.