CameraFRAUD Exclusive— Remember when we told you about Councilman Bob Roecker admitting that he wanted to make “bucketfuls of money” from photo enforcement schemes in Prescott, Arizona?
Little did we know that his figure of speech for fleecing the public would take on a physical form… in the creation of an automated ticketing device hidden within a traffic bucket. Observant CameraFRAUD contributors noticed something amiss about this particular bucket, such as the dual LED and infrared flash units mounted to the left and right of the centered camera, as well as the cable sneaking out the rear to a nearby control van.
While both ATS and Redflex operate tripod-mounted cameras, this appears to be the first documented case in the United States where such a device was hidden within a traffic barricade. Spotted near 91st Avenue and Grand in the west valley, we assume that the device was a test model. Unknown is the detection technology: no radar unit appears to be inside the bucket, so laser-based speed detection would be our best bet.
Mounting an automated ticketing machine in a traffic bucket poses unique advantages and disadvantages for both the operators of the device as well as the driving public. Traditional photo radar and photo enforcement systems are not considered traffic control devices, and as such are legally able to to be blocked by sign-wielding demonstrators, often times forcing device operators to leave the area. However, as traffic buckets are traffic control devices, such methods to defeat them may fall into a legal gray area.
The upside to motorists? That momentary lapse of steering control could make the damn thing go flying. After all, for as much as you know you only hit a traffic bucket…
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