DPS Corrupted from Photo Radar Cash?

Witness reports indicate this was a photo radar-related accident. Is DPS trying to keep these incidents quiet? (.pdf file)

Witness reports indicate this was a photo radar-related accident. Is DPS trying to keep these incidents quiet? (.pdf file)

Exclusive — Two serious accidents. Two remote areas. One common link: a photo radar van was there.

As DPS prepares to hail photo enforcement as the savior of Arizona’s highways once again, they may be covering up violent and deadly accidents actually caused by the cameras.

Earlier this month in Southern Arizona, a passenger vehicle collided with a school bus head-on, killing 3. While the accident occurred directly in front of a DPS-branded Redflex photo van, DPS wasted no time doing preventative damage control: “DPS says the van played no role in the accident…” reported KVOA, despite the early and incomplete nature of the investigation.

In July of this year, a serious collision occurred in a remote area near Cordes Lakes, AZ. Multiple witnesses provided written statements to DPS directly linking a nearby photo van as a component of the accident, with one witness going as far as listing a “white photo radar truck” as a vehicle involved in the accident. A report supplement filed by a DPS officer included the following narrative:

“All the witnesses reported seeing the gray… car loose [sic] control of the vehicle as it passed the photo radar van…”

Unlike real tickets written by real police officers, the Arizona Department of Public Safety actually gets a “cut” from each paid photo enforcement ticket. Now, during a time of budget nightmares and cutbacks, it appears DPS will do anything to protect that precious revenue stream.

Even if it means putting profit above public safety.

DPS is planning on releasing a photo enforcement “year end review”. The “results” are predictable, the numbers are cherry-picked, and the lies are all the same.

DPS claims reductions in accidents and fatalities in the 20% range within the Phoenix metro area can be directly linked to photo radar. They purposefully ignore the fact that traffic fatalities are reaching an all-time low nationwide, according to the NHTSA:

The U.S. DOT today announced that the number of overall traffic fatalities reported in 2008 hit their lowest level since 1961… fatalities in the first three months of 2009 continue to decrease. The fatality rate, which accounts for variables like fewer miles traveled, also reached the lowest level ever recorded.

In Clark County, NV, an area compatible to the density and population of Phoenix,  has seen a 19.4% decrease in fatalities during the same period. Nevada outlaws the utilization of automated ticketing schemes statewide.

DPS has tried to play these games before, resulting in even pro-photo radar organizations questioning the agency’s ways:

“…even the prominent motorist advocacy group AAA Arizona, however, have publicly questioned the methodology used to arrive at those conclusions. Linda Gorman, AAA Arizona’s director of public affairs, says there were many factors that could have resulted in a drop in collisions.

For instance, there were six-percent fewer drivers on the road in Maricopa County, equating to 10,000 fewer drivers per day on some stretches of highway, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. DPS also has made an effort to put more patrol officers on highways, all of which led experts to predict fatalities would drop by nearly 30 percent.

Gorman added that AAA supports photo radar… “Right now we’re experiencing an unprecedented proliferation of photo enforcement on our freeways, and it seems that it’s turned into one that’s more focused on the revenue.”

(DPS’) Graves admits the statistics released by DPS aren’t scientific or definitive…

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has publicly stated that photo radar money is “corrupting law enforcement.” A former DPS officer even went as far as to say he’s ashamed of his former agency for the blatant cash grab.

If DPS is proven to be cooking the books for favorable statistics or hiding photo radar-related accidents, the department stands to lose any remaining credibility it may still have.

The result? The actual officers and public safety will suffer if the people no longer trust the State’s highest-level law enforcement agency.

69 Responses to DPS Corrupted from Photo Radar Cash?

  1. Sure says:

    Any credibility DPS had went out the window with this photo radar program. They have created a distrust for law enforcement as it is evident they could care less about driver safety.

    Prof. Simon Washington (and colleagues)
    Department of Civil and Engineering ASU:

    Design of [photo zones] should consider the element of surprise to drivers and should aim to minimize it. For example, the placement of cameras in close proximity to high information load locations (e.g., on- and off-ramps, underpasses, billboards,weaving sections, directional signs, etc.) should be avoided. Placement of cameras in sight-restricted locations should be avoided. Anyone driving a car on the freeway knows that fixed cameras and vans are being placed in these high information zones.

  2. RPr says:

    This article should win the Pulitzer prize.

  3. The article also doesn’t mention the many other factors, such as much stricter DUI laws coupled with less drinking at restaraunts and bars due to poor economy (and thus less driving home after having a few).

    As well as ADOT’s advice:
    “Generally speaking, traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of vehicle operators are found to be successful, while laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority of drivers encourage wholesale violations, lack public support, and usually fail to bring about desirable changes in driving behavior. This is especially true of speed zoning.”


    • Walter says:

      Not only has the poor economy had an effect on lowering the number of people going to the bars. The new “No Smoking” law passed state wide has had a HUGE impact on the buisness at local bars and resturants. Fewer people drinking at the bars=fewer alcohol related accidents.

  4. Mike says:

    “DPS is a corrupt organization in bed with the scam traffic camera organizations” – this report brought to you by Captain Obvious.

  5. Joe Magill says:


  6. James Howard says:

    Lies, damn lies, and statistics. I have taken many a statistics class, and it is so easy to come to the incorrect conclusion with them, even if you have no ulterior motive.

  7. Bryan R says:

    Wow – This article is EXCELLENT. A+…

    It is the strongest article I’ve read on Camerafraud.com in a good while. It’s full of statements and facts (vs. satire or humor, which despite its entertainment value, can turn off some people that may come here who may wrongly decide that we’re just a bunch of snarky, witty speeders.)

    There’s no way ANYONE on the other side of the argument can argue with any point in it.

    Someone should email this text out as a newsletter to everyone who has signed up on camerafraud.com ASAP. It could re-invigorate those who’ve signed up but since become apathetic.

    • who says:

      I’ll bite. The grey car lost control, on what witnesses say is a rainy, high wind day—- AFTER the van? I thought ya’ll say people slam on their brakes when they see the van and cause accidents? Those witness statements would not hold up in court anyways.
      “what brought your attention to the accident”
      “The camero trying to slow down because of speedvan”
      did the witness hear screeching of tires, on a wet surface? So was the camaro speeding? What were the conditions of the camaro’s tires?
      “It happened -after- the camaro passed the speedvan”

      As far as a vehicle crossing the line and hitting a bus head on.
      I see you fail to mention the driver had been convicted of driving on a suspended license twice, and also had a dui. Use your freedom of information act ya’ll are so hot on, and see what you get regarding the drivers state of sobriety when he hit the bus.

      • metelhed says:

        If the driver was drunk, wouldn’t a real officer have been able to pull him over and get him off the road instead of the drunk driver (if he had not collided with another vehicle) getting a picture 2 weeks later to remind him of how drunk he was? I could believe a radar van would distract someone who was inebriated enough to cause a collision. As far as the Camaro, you don’t need audible evidence. There’s these things called brake lights, which would be a good indication of a vehicle slowing down. I’m not going to say these speed vans were a main factor (because I don’t know what really happened), but they could have been a contributing factor.

        • who says:

          so was it that the witness noticed the camaro because his brake lights, or noticed the camaro then saw brake lights? See? It doesn’t add up to a credible witness statement.

          I want CF to muster up, or atleast try to… 40 of your members to go sit on random spots on freeways all over Arizona for a year, 24 hours a day. Every time one of your members see an accident, I’m gonna say it’s no coincidence, there was a CF member there!

          • metelhed says:

            Where do you even see a witness statement from anyone but directly behind the car that swerved off the road? As for your “dare”, we can do that and you can round up 40 camera supporters (if you can find that many) who will sit 24/7 where the cameras are and report back to us the amount of near misses, collisions, and drivers who don’t care about the cameras and drive recklessly anyway (Like the guy today who was doing 120 on the 17). Deal?

      • LoneWolf says:

        Who, as far as the vehicle hitting the bus is concerned, “I” knew about the driver’s previous driving records so “I” factored it in with my observation here:


      • So are you contending that the accident in front of the van is just a coincidence? Of all of the miles those people drove that day, they had a collision in front of the radar van that had nothing to do with its presence? Come on.

    • Subversive Menace says:

      Witty maybe, but never snarky, mind you!

  8. 4409 says:

    Bitch slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapped 🙂

  9. LoneWolf says:


    More fabricated stats…

    Just wondering how the speed cams capture drug trafficers and drunk drivers..

    • Ernest Hater says:

      I like the way private Harrison was stuttering while his brain tried to make up the total B.S. lies that spewed from his mouth.

      I am still trying to figure out how the cameras caught the drunk drivers and drug offenses.

    • jgunn says:


      “While many drivers dislike photo radar, DPS says it’s saving lives.

      “We actually had almost 22 percent fewer fatality collisions in Metro Phoenix,” DPS Lt. Steve Harrison said. “That equates to 12 actual fatal collisions that didn’t happen, which statistically equates to about 13 lives that were saved.””

      Link on same page:


      Yep, those cameras are doing a fine job of keeping fatalities down in the state.

      Note when fatalities drop because of the economy and less driving, just like the rest of the US, it is the scameras that caused it. Yet when peoria experiences a doubling of crashes due to red light cameras it is “construction” that caused the increase. Ladies and gentleman, you have to be a real fool to believe garbage like this.

  10. Stacey in Chandler says:

    Way to go DPS.. What a bunch of Crooks..

  11. Subversive Menace says:

    Hey Ernest,

    Relax and have a margarita.

  12. jgunn says:

    Speeding >doesn’t< kill, LOL:


  13. Stacey says:

    Camerafraud – Reasons to oppose photo radar fliers, handouts, videos:


    Phoenix, AZ
    1,122 Volunteers

    Welcome to CameraFRAUD. We are united in our effort to get rid of every speed camera, red light camera, and photo radar van here in Arizona and across the country. We were suc…

    Check out this Meetup Group →

    • LoneWolf says:

      Stacey, your contributions on behalf of CF are outstanding and those of us who are actively involved can’t thank you enough for all the hard work and dedication you put into this project. Thank you!!!

    • Wow, what a windfall profit! They only came in 83% short of their projections!!

      I love the spin about this proving that it’s not about the money. Nice try. All this proves is, not only is it about the money, but it’s a failure.

  14. PCRider says:

    I was flashed on east-bound I-10 yesterday morning by the camera before 27th Ave. My wife and I were on our motorcycle, in heavy traffic, and moving at MAYBE 66mph. This is not the first time this has happened to me, though I have yet to receive a ticket. How many of the stats that DPS quotes are made up of situations like ours? The camera on the the south-bound 101 at Indian School used to regularly flash me when I went by, at speeds as slow as 55mph in a 65 zone. I was unlucky enough to be looking directly at a flash on the 51 several months ago at dusk, which impaired my vision enough that I almost put my bike into the divider wall. Speed at the time? 54mph in a 55 zone. How many motorcyclists are going through “flash spots” in their vision like I have?

    • LoneWolf says:

      It’s a sad but unfortunate truth that whatever mistakes these scameras tend to make are swept under the carpet because neither the DPS nor the scamera companies want the public to know about these issues. It is up to people like us to present the proof, however, most of us don’t drive up and down the freeways everyday in hopes of capturing such mistakes on video.

      As for the flash spots, that’s a valid point we’ve been trying to raise here but it falls on deaf ears because the state feels it can get away with this illegality even though a driver with a broken lens on his brake light can get pulled over for something that falls within the exact same safety concept as the flash. It’ll probably take a serious injury or a death as a result before the state takes action. But even with this, how do you prove to the courts that you were momentarily blinded? Would the courts believe you? And if someone gets killed in the process, how would the investigators be able to prove that this is exactly what happened in the last few seconds of the victim’s crash? They can’t and I highly think they wouldn’t even factor it in as a cause.

      • Subversive Menace says:

        Redflex and DPS were lucky with the Tuscon school bus accident they created -the victims in the car were all killed. Couldn’t say a word about the accident.

        Wonder what Redflex and DPS saw when they zoomed in on that video? And to think how lucky they were that no children were killed on the way to school. Don’t ya just love the way DPS is taking money, I mean keeping us safe?

        It is important when you run a corporation and have to answer to your Australian shareholers that you don’t spend too much money on lawsuits and payouts to American victims.

        • LoneWolf says:

          You’re right. Nothing will ever be the camera or PR van’s fault because the state, DPS, and their contracted scam companies run these things and it’s the victim’s word against theirs. Especially where there’s money involved, who do we suppose will win such cases every time if the victim has little or nothing to prove? And with the photos/video that these things produce as evidence, they can be edited and manipulated for the state’s defense. In fact, depending on the viewing range, the images might cover only a portion of the scene leaving many legitimate questions about the rest of the picture like this bus/car crash that killed 3 people.



          Miles of road here and the victim chose to end his life in front of a PR van? Coincidence?

    • Dr Jett says:

      All you have to do on a motorcycle is wear dark wraparound glasses and a bandana over your face to protect you from heat or cold and you don’t have to worry about tickets because nobody can tell who is on your bike. The new HJC SymaxII helmets have drop down sun shields that work well also. You have to be careful about looking at photo radar cameras because they can cause you to crash if you aren’t careful on a motorcycle. The dark wraparound glasses will protect you from the flash glare at night. Wear 2 soaked bandanas on your face in the summer because it is a good way to stay cooler.

      • PCRider says:

        Dr Jett,
        I do wear a helmet with an internal sunshield. The problem with riding at night or even at dusk is that a dark lens is not good! The reduction of vision is not acceptable for safe operation of a motorcycle. Also, doing so will cause your eyes to dilate further, making an intense flash even worse to experience.

  15. Dragonflydf says:

    I ride a Goldwing and average speed on the freeway of 75-80 and never been flashed. On a motorcycle, just ride on the lane lines as you go over the sensor grid, it will never go off since you are not over the detection part of the grid

    • Dr Jett says:

      I talked to a DPS motorcycle cop and he also recommended riding on the lane lines as a way to avoid being flashed. GOOD ADVICE. Everyone else should buy a motorcycle and do the same.

  16. Jokn says:

    I ride a Harley Electra Gide and I also ride lane lines to avoid (FLASH) also off of center with a car….Also talked to PHX P.D. AND they are under staffed I said why not more cops and less camera’s response was I wish they would…….

  17. who says:

    They way you guys talk, it’s amazing that auto accidents dont rise by 300% when there’s some lightning outside…

  18. Sure says:

    Flash Blindness – According to Redflex, their cameras can catch the image of a driver across a full six lanes of traffic. The flash at night could be detrimental.

    After a flash of bright light, cells within the light-exposed area of the retina become less sensitive to light than those outside that area, so they fail to respond as well to the same level of light. Exposure to bright light can produce an afterimage lasting for minutes to hours depending on intensity and duration of the source light.

    Afterimages can have undesired effects such as spatial disorientation while operating aircrafts or vehicles. At night, the dark-adapted pupil is wide open so flash blindness has a greater effect and lasts for a longer time. Because vision loss is sudden and takes time to recover, flash blindness can be hazardous. In aviation, pilots are trained to recover from bright nearby lightning flashes.

  19. who says:

    So.. like I said. I hope no one from CF drives at night during thunderstorms. That would be a real contradiction, and I bet most of you aren’t pilots…
    I would be interested to know how pilots are trained to recover from flashes of light. I didn’t know the physics of the eyeball were controllable….
    I’ve been flashed at night in the lane closest to the flash. It’s amazing I didn’t kill myself and 5 other people. What’s even crazier is that it didn’t phase me at all….

    • Stacey says:

      We have had a number of drivers complain that they were blinded by a photo camera flash and they were not the person receiving the ticket.

      Here is a study (cost money) and an article regarding pilots and flash blindness:

      Abstract: Preservation of optimal night vision is important for pilots operating an aircraft at night. When the eyes are adapted to low-light levels, exposure to bright light can result in temporary visual impairment due to glare, flashblindness, and afterimages.

      The purpose of this study was to investigate operational problems experienced by civilian airmen exposed to bright light sources while performing nighttime aviation activities.

      The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Aviation Accident and Incident Data System (January 1982 to February 2005) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Accident/Incident Data System (January 1978 to January 2005) were queried using terms associated with night vision problems.

      Accident and incident reports annotated with one or more of these terms were reviewed to determine whether vision difficulties resulting from exposure to bright lights contributed to the mishap.

      Results showed that vision problems resulting from exposure to bright lights at night were found to have contributed to 58 mishaps. Reports included 30 (NTSB) accidents and 28 (FAA/NTSB) incidents. The majority of accidents (57%) occurred during the approach and landing phase of flight.

      Incidents occurred most frequently while taxiing (54%) and during approach and landing (36%). The authors conclude that exposure to glare sources at night can affect an aviator’s dark adaptation and has contributed to aviation accidents and incidents.

      The study of these events assists airport authorities in defining appropriate modification of existing airport lighting systems and eliminating hazardous lighting near flight paths and surface movement areas (e.g., ramps, taxiways, runways).

      Preventive measures for avoiding similar glare conditions that impair vision and compromise the safety of aviation operations at night will be discussed.


  20. Stacey says:

    Although much is known about the effects of intense light exposure on basic visual processing (see Barlow, 1972, and Hood and Finkelstein, 1986, for reviews), less is known about how light adaptation affects task performance. It is known, for example, that intense light exposure temporarily reduces visual acuity, spatial contrast sensitivity (Menendez and Garcia, 1985; Previc, Blankenstein, Coffey, and Garcia, 1985; Previc, Blankenstein, Garcia, and Allen, 1985; Rhodes, Garcia, and Cosgrove, 1989; Sheehy, 1989), visual field sensitivity (Hood and Finkelstein, 1986), and kinetic perimetry (Sheehy, 1989). Because of their monochromatic properties, lasers also affect color sensitivity (Schmeisser, 1987; Varner et al., 1988). However, in order to be useful to the aviation community, data on light adaptation and glare effects must be translated into visual performance effects. Information such as how long it takes to recover from light adaptation in order to read cockpit instruments or to spot another aircraft must be obtained before safety hazards can be evaluated.

    Some progress has been made on this problem. Several studies have reported significant performance deficits following nondamaging laser exposures. Laser glare has been found to reduce the visibility of head-up display symbology (Varner et al., 1988) and visual field sensitivity under high ambient daylight conditions (Labo, Menendez, Allen, Edmonds, and Turner, 1990). Laser glare effects are also greatly increased by scattering through windscreens and canopies (D’Andrea and Knepton, 1989; Reddix, DeVietti, Knepton, and D’Andrea, 1990).

    Other research has focused on the effects of relative and absolute scotomas on target acquisition. Three studies using stabilized image techniques to produce a small, centrally located absolute scotoma found as much as a doubling of search time (Bertera, 1988; Hinton and Cooke, 1985; Murphy and Foley-Fisher, 1988). Another study, which used an adapting light flash to form a relative scotoma, reported a threefold increase in search time (Hinton, 1985). These results suggest that even small scotomas could have a significant impact on visual performance in the cockpit.


  21. mghtyms04 says:

    My wife just received a scamera ticket in the mail today. It has her traveling at 276MPH. That is right folks, 276MPH. So Ernest, I guess that we will have to pay this ticket because scameras are infallible and she wont have anyway to fight it.

    • Stacey says:

      Holy crap! You are going to have to send us a copy of that ticket!!!!!!!!!

    • LoneWolf says:

      Unless you own a Ferrari or some other high-speed sports car, most speedometers don’t even reach 180 let alone 276. The average is like 110 – 140. Depending on your type of vehicle, that should’ve been a red flag for whoever gave the ticket their approval. I’d love to see that ticket too.

  22. Stacey says:


    Results of low light intensity experiments on the effect of age on dark adaptation and critical flicker fusion frequencies showed that in flicker as well as in dark adaptation, the increase in threshold luminance is not a linear function of age, but that, at about the age of 40 sudden acceleration in sensitivity to glare occurs.

    6. The variation between individuals exposed to flash was found to be large. There was a factor of about 2 between the means of the highest recovery time and lowest recovery time.

    These observations strongly support the findings of Wolf:

    (11) that above the age of 40 years a rather abrupt increase in the effect of scotomatic glare occurs which decreases the ability to recognize targets in the vicinity of a glare source.

    The marked differences observed in maximum light thresholds in relation to age were attributed to the diminished pupil size in the elderly subjects.

    Pirren (14) found in a study of 222 subjects (20 – 89 years of age) significant restrictions in pupil size with age in both light and dark conditions.

    It was concluded that threshold of dark adaptation
    as a function of time was related to chronological age and that the rate of dark adaptation was a curvilinear function of age. The findings were consistent with the hypothesis that the thresholds and
    rate of dark adaptation depend upon basic underlying physiological processes that change with age.

    Click to access GetTRDoc

  23. who says:

    So flash blindness is a real serious problem right?
    Like I said, I hope no one drives when there’s lightning out. Think of the meyham!!!!

  24. Stacey says:

    After reading the last study I posted, I would suggest that if you are over the age of forty you stay away from overpasses and dark stretches of road that have photo radar cameras.

  25. Stacey says:

    On that note, Who, it it quite dangerous to drive around photo radar cameras in rainy conditions. The roads are wet and slick and drivers tend to slam on their brakes when they see a camera.

    • who says:

      Then I guess cops shouldn’t sit on the side of the road during rain either? I thought you wanted cops over camera’s?

      • Stacey says:

        Uh duH!!!!!!!!!!!

      • The Keeper of the Seven Keys says:

        >> I thought you wanted cops over camera’s?
        Yep. And not only because cops would never set up speed traps when it’s raining, sandstorm or [you name it] for many reasons (mostly common sense and liability issues, though).

  26. Stacey says:

    Age and afterimage

    The persistence of complementary afterimages was studied in 36 young (X age 18.8 years) and old (X age 62.1 years) male and female subjects. Afterimage persistence was found to be a direct function of exposure duration and to be greater for the older subjects as compared with the younger ones. The interactions between age and duration and between presentation order and duration were also significant. The data extend support for the “stimulus persistence” model to age differences in retinal function.


    • who says:

      uh stacey…
      your technical talk is alienating 49 of your 50 active members.
      But that’s a good ideal to get over complicated when you can’t back up simple pointless statements.

      • Scamera fall down and go boom in 2010 says:

        Obviously studies, statistics and factual data are too much for your feeble mind to comprehend. You make this quite clear when all you can do is respond with sarcasm and with no well thought out measured response. But then again, this is the kind of mentality one would expect from a Redflex employee whom is faced with facts and data that denounce the effectiveness of photo enforcement cameras and show how dangerous their “safety program” truly is.

        • who says:

          Depends on who’s data and statistics. CF will only back statistics you want to agree with. Everyone can spew ‘facts’ and ‘statistics’. But CF selectively picks out only the ones they want to believe.

          • Scamera fall down and go boom in 2010 says:

            And last time I checked, Redflex had no problem using push polling to get the results they wanted.

          • LoneWolf says:

            But Who, we’re NOT money motivated. They are! Don’t you suppose they can bend the statistics in their own favor and fix a bit of the research so they can come out smelling like roses? Remember, there’s MONEY involved here!

          • Stacey says:

            Yeah, the last study was done by the navy. Can’t believe them right, Who?

      • PCRider says:

        Who Says,
        If it bugs you so much, why are you bothering to troll around?

  27. […] (DPS) is charged with running the statewide surveillance network and vehemently defends its use. Phony statistics are used by the department to “prove” effectiveness, causing even supporting organizations such as AAA to question […]

  28. web site says:

    Hi there to every one, since I am actually eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated daily.
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