“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
-Mark Twain, referencing Benjamin Disraeli
In an attempt to shore up support for their much-maligned photo enforcement program, the Arizona Department of Public Safety has released a “study” showing that their revenue cameras are supposedly “saving three lives a month.”
The absurd claim is made within a press release that starts by insulting their own Officer’s efforts in a “thanks, but no thanks” manner:
“Thanks to the work of… the increased number of DPS Officers on state highways has resulted in increased enforcement in the last few years. Accordingly, DPS has seen a steady decrease in collision numbers statewide.”
Instead of crediting the hard work of their own “boots on the ground,” DPS is championing the brain-dead idea that all accident reductions are due to photo enforcement. Intellectually-dishonest “statistics,” such as those presented by DPS, ignore the fact that correlation does not imply causation.
By comparing numbers without looking at other variables, such as the fact that people are driving less and that accident numbers were already on the decline, DPS is purposefully engaging in a campaign of deceit in their attempt to win public approval of their failing surveillance system.
DPS’s problem (cum hoc ergo propter hoc as it is known in Latin) can be exemplified in the following chart obtained by CameraFRAUD.com, where the increase in global average temperature is clearly attributable to the significant decline in numbers of pirates over the last 189 years.