The Peoria City Council apparently does not want the public to know about its recent decision to extend the red light photo enforcement contract with Redflex. The pilot program began in 2008 and is up for renewal every year. In August the Arizona Republic reported that accidents more than doubled at intersections where cameras are installed. While most organizations would probably cancel a pilot program the decisively showed results the exact opposite of what was desired, the Peoria City Council didn’t let the program results get in the way of their quest for revenue as they voted to extend the “pilot” program for another year.
The Peoria City Council usually is not shy about reporting its decisions and accomplishments to its citizens, except apparently when it comes to the deadly red light camera program. In the latest quarterly newsletter, the Peoria Focus Issue 4 (2009) sent to all residents, the section titled “City Council Highlights” fails to mention this decision to extend the contract. There’s over an inch and a half of extra (blank) column space to print this news, so space or higher-priority content is not the issue. The column does mention such minor announcements as decisions to accept and authorize grants, contracts, or spending in the amount of $3,000, $30,000 and $36,000 and more, so contract size or impact definitely isn’t an issue. Surely the decision to extend a contract to Redflex would be included… but only if they wanted the citizens to be more aware of their decision to keep the cash coming in at the expense of the health and safety of their constituents. It seems that the council is very well aware of the public sentiment regarding photo enforcement and their hoping to just let this issue slip under the radar.