AZ polls show continued support for photo enforcement

Scottsdale, AZ – Bills recently introduced in the Arizona Legislature that would ban the expansion of speed enforcement programs to highways and freeways statewide aren’t likely to be popular with Arizona voters, according to the results of a statewide opinion poll on drivers’ attitudes toward photo enforcement conducted last month.

Arizona citizens continue to register overwhelming support for photo traffic enforcement programs in the state, according to the poll which was conducted by Behavior Research Center for Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions (ATS) in January. ATS is the photo safety enforcement vendor for Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale and Avondale.

The poll mirrors the results of a similar study done by Behavior Research a year ago. Seven in 10 Arizonans continue to support photo enforcement on city streets, state highways and freeways. Speed cameras are being used in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Glendale, Paradise Valley and Avondale. The cameras are also operable in Prescott Valley, Star Valley and Pinal County.

Governor Janet Napolitano announced a year ago that she wants photo safety enforcement expanded to state highways and freeways throughout Arizona. Republicans on the Arizona Senate Transportation Committee favor legislation that would block the expansion. Support for speed cameras on state highways is strong across the state: 70 percent in Maricopa County; 65 percent in Pima County; and 68 percent in the rural counties.

Support for red-light cameras is up five percent to an 86 percent support level compared to 81 percent in last year’s poll. Red-light cameras are used in Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Glendale, Paradise Valley and Avondale.

The ATS poll results are very similar to a statewide poll Behavior Research did on the issue for the City of Scottsdale last November. That poll didn’t ask specifically about support for red-light cameras. But when asked if they supported or opposed photo enforcement in general, 72 percent of Arizonans indicated they were supportive of the programs.

Nationwide, more than 300 cities are using photo safety enforcement cameras. In Albuquerque, a recent political flap between the mayor and New Mexico’s governor caused the mayor to order that city’s speed and red-light cameras to stop issuing tickets. But he quickly changed his mind after the camera data indicated that red-light running went up 20 percent in only 24 hours. When speeding and traffic violations were factored in, violations went up 100 percent in a week, according to the mayor.

Both the ATS and Scottsdale surveys included interviews with 800 Arizonans across the state, proportionate to population in each region. The overall sampling error for both surveys at a 95 percent confidence interval is approximately +/-3.5 percent.

For more information on these surveys, contact: Jim Haynes at Behavior Research Center, (602) 258-4554.

About American Traffic Solutions, Inc.:
Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, American Traffic Solutions is a leading provider of technology and business solutions that support traffic safety and electronic toll collection programs worldwide. ATS is a private corporation, serving more than 100 municipalities and government agencies. ATS is the largest provider of photo traffic enforcement programs to America’s big cities, with contracts in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, San Diego and Seattle; Houston, Fort Worth, Irving and Arlington, Texas; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Glendale and Scottsdale, Arizona. ATS is also responsible for the supply and support of Canada’s largest digital red light camera and speed enforcement program in Calgary, Alberta.

February 29th, 2008|