The Pima County Board on Tuesday voted to immediately shut down all 11 speed enforcement cameras in the county, including one at 8300 S. Nogales Highway that is the bane of local commuters, plus one at 5250 S. Mission Road south of Irvington Road.
The supervisors directed County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry to return to the Board within 30 days with information about a more comprehensive, countywide traffic safety plan. The County’s contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) was awarded in January 2009, and expired Monday. Reviews of the program by the Pima County Department of Transportation and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department found no conclusive evidence that fixed, stand-alone cameras effectively and consistently reduce speeds or crashes because drivers tend to decrease speed near the camera and then accelerate after passing.
As a result, the number of citations has declined over the contract period from 39,997 in 2009 to 15,498 in the first nine months of 2013. The net revenue from the citations, which was deposited in the general fund, also declined. Because of state law, more than half the money went to the state and after a payment to TATS, the county go less than a quarter of the $239.25 fine that was the most common fine, the one imposed for exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 15 mph. ATS began covering the warning signs Tuesday and is expected to complete that task Wednesday. It may take several months to remove the cameras and signs.