DPS 2009 Numbers Not All They are Cracked Up To Be

Local news outlets tonight are regurgitating DPS’ press release with 2009’s traffic statistics which show a significant decrease in crashes when compared to previous years. Naturally, the credit is all going to photo enforcement – completely ignoring other significant contributing factors and trends: fewer miles driven due to the economy and unemployment (and less-crowded roads), new, draconian DUI laws, stricter teen driver’s license laws, safer cars, improved roads, and more.

So we did some number crunching of their own, and the results are NOT surprising. Our neighbor Nevada, who isn’t using photo radar experienced a similar decline in crashes when compared to Arizona. Their data is available here, but unfortunately does not include December data (yet). Still, the numbers provide much-needed perspective. To arrive at these numbers, we summed the data from the Northern, Central, and Southern regional Nevada reports.

In the end, Arizona beat Nevada by only 5% in total crash reduction and 4% in road fatalities. Suddenly, the 26% reduction in fatalities isn’t the grand achievement DPS is trying to take credit for. Nevada came VERY close, and did it without scameras and talivans.

Another problem with the Arizona data is that the numbers are statewide for all DPS-investigated crashes. This includes thousands and thousands of miles of roads, but there are only 36 fixed camera locations and 40 mobile units distributed about the state, so the sphere of influence for the cameras is quite limited. Scameras can’t be credited for alleged improvements in locations where they aren’t installed or frequently present.

And while we’re at it… Have you ever wondered why the state doesn’t follow the advice set forth in ADOT’s speed limit information page? Despite understanding that the 85th-percentile speed is the safest speed, most roads around the state are set far below this standard. Kudos to Utah for trying to comply with this standard and actually raising limits with very positive results.

Update: See Fox news coverage of this store here.


25 Responses to DPS 2009 Numbers Not All They are Cracked Up To Be

  1. And we would also have to presuppose that DPS’s data is accurate.

    A closer look at the numbers also shows a declining trend across the board for accidents even before the fixed freeway scameras. And this was while traffic was still increasing.

    But sure, it’s all because of photo radar. That MUST be it.

  2. Bill says:

    I didn’t see anywhere that DPS was claiming credit due to photo enforcement. Maybe they’re proud of the hard working officers who put their life on the line everyday to make our streets safer.

    • photoradarscam says:

      If you saw the news Sat night, their comments gave full credit to photo radar and nothing else.

      • jgunn says:

        And note, they don’t give credit to the cameras when the accidents increase:

        “Despite the evidence from 83rd Avenue and Thunderbird, Granger insisted that the cameras should share the credit for the reduction in violations. Police Commander Doug Hildebrandt likewise asserted that red light cameras were not responsible for the significant increase in the number of accidents. Instead, he blamed construction in Glendale for pushing traffic onto Peoria streets. Councilman Ron Aames questioned this rosy analysis of the cameras’ performance.”

        There’s absolutely no way to win with camera proponents as they will make stuff up in a desperate attempt to keep the scam going.

        Nice to know there were no other factors. Obviously safer car technology is meaningless, car makers should just go back to the 80s cheaper designs as it makes no difference according to DPS. Obviously people driving less because of the economy means nothing to DPS.

        DPS, you fail basic science class:

        “”Correlation does not imply causation” is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other”

        “The opposite phrase, correlation proves causation, is a logical fallacy by which two events that occur together are claimed to have a cause-and-effect relationship.”

    • Sure says:

      Here is the story about DPS and their claim that photo radar is saving lives.


    • B says:

      Bill, they don’t have to come right out and say it. They’re implying it all the way when they throw these statistics out there on top of the other DPS spokesmen claiming that photo radar “works”.

  3. Will Kay says:

    How CAN they say photo radar is the supposed saviour of road travelers State wide when there are so few cameras in relation to the miles and miles of road? That’s the entire point. Why every citizen can’t see that simple, obvious fact is beyond me.

  4. RPr says:


    2008 page 41

    Exceeded Lawful Speed
    total accidents 1,105 0.48%
    Fatal 53 4.11%
    caused injuries 499 0.70%

  5. photoradarscam says:

    Schwarzenegger trying to pull a Nappy:

    Here comes CameraFraud California Chapter!

  6. Lane says:

    We do indeed need a movement here in the State of California similar to what you good folks in Arizona are doing. The town I live in (South San Francisco) installed photo radar cameras all along El Camino Real and it’s definitely a major nuisance. I have observed the cameras going off arbitrarily, even at times when there isn’t traffic passing through the intersection. I am one of the lucky few though that doesn’t have to drive, I am able to take the BART to work everyday (to me the photo radar system seems to be an excessive form of taxation but on the working class as well.)

    I had an opportunity (job offer) a few months ago to move to Arizona but I ended up rejecting the offer. One of the major contributing factors was the prevalence of photo radar cameras (at that time they were not here in the bay area, at least not in my area). I had visited Arizona the Christmas prior to this and was disturbed to see them all over the freeways. I decided then and there I wouldn’t ever return until they were gone. So given that, I wish you all good luck in November. I have family in Arizona and I’m looking forward to you all being free of your Redflex and ATS parasites.

  7. Stacey says:


    Another idiot Redflex employee calls the cops when he sees he is being photographed:

    Redflex repairman calling police because I am taking pictures

  8. Stephen says:

    Photo Radar did not save lives. The question is what the pro side said and didn’t say.

    How many were speed related before (and the speed was the main factor in the collision) and above the speed limit and after.

    You have a to make an apples to apples comparison, DPS didn’t. And apples to apples is Las Vegas to Phoenix. Where the reductions were almost the same.

    Further let me point out what happen in Wiltshire, UK years ago. The police claimed to have reduced accidents because of the speed cameras. When the Association of British Drivers looked into the claim. The scamera side was taking credit for accident reductions like a pedestrian WHO FELL OFF A BRIDGE AND DIED WHEN HITTING THE PAVEMENT. NOT EVEN HIT BY A CAR. http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/05/538.asp


  9. Stacey says:

    I love Alderman Goldson! There is another Alderwoman who agrees with him.

  10. Stephen says:

    Can’t wait for someone to find out WHAT DPS “FORGOT” to include.


    TheNewspaper obtained a comparable ninety-day dataset covering accidents on Las Vegas-area freeways between September and November 2007 for comparison with the same dates in 2008 (December data were not available) from the Nevada Highway Patrol. This agency does not use photo radar because state law bans its use under any circumstances (Nevada Revised Statutes 484.910). Using the DPS methodology, one could conclude that this ban on photo radar resulted in 142 fewer injury accidents and an overall drop in collisions of 551.

  11. […] compare results with comparable states that don’t use cameras, such as Nevada. As we’ve reported here before, states like Nevada have achieved similar safety improvements over recent years WITHOUT the use of […]

  12. John says:

    Why is everybody against these camera’s. If you don’t speed or run a red light you have nothing to worry about. You guys are a bunch of idiots trying to gain fame for something that doesn’t effect you if you follow the law. If you want to really gain some attention go after the big oil companies that are gouging us everytime we fill our cars up. If getting rid of these camera’s is the most important thing to you right now then you need to wake up from your dream and take a look around you, this entire country is falling apart, unemployment is at record numbers. Redflex is a large company, maybe if you idiots try hard enough you can run them out of business and all there employees can add to the unemployment figures. I live in Ohio, I pass these camera’s everyday and they don’t bother me at all because i follow the law. Get a life, focus your energy on something that really matters.

  13. Stephen says:


    You can call us names all you want. You can FALSELY ACCUSE US of WANTON DANGER for wanting longer Amber Times and 85% speed limits that ROB POOR CAMERA COMPANIES OF PROFIT.

    But it doesn’t change the fact that RLC and speed cameras are about revenue.

    When you have vendors dependent upon revenue to stay in business, you find camera vendors playing games like:

    1. shortening Amber Times (and grace periods).
    2. Moving trigger lines into the intersection BY TWO CAR LENGTHS in Tuscon!
    3. Phantom School Zones that didn’t exist before in MD till after they could put up speed cameras.
    4. hiding temp construction zones signs behind other obstructions.
    5. Enforcing “school zone limits” in WA state DURING THE SUMMER when school is out.
    6. reducing trigger speeds from 11 over to 5 and if a current bill passes to 1mph!


  14. John says:


    All the issues you pointed out are not issues brought on by the camera companies. these issues are directly related to the local or state government. as far as them being a scam, don’t break the law and you won’t get caught up in the so called scam, give me one good reason why these camera’s need to come down

  15. Stephen says:


    IT is the camera companies and the cities.

    AS for don’t break the law it doesn’t mean much when you have the same very camera companies MAKING UP THE LAW.

    Lets see:

    Per ticket fees where the law doesn’t allow it.

    Setting amber times beneath 3 seconds despite Federal Law requiring 3 or over.

    Citing people for “breaking” the speed limit in school zones in the summer time when KIDS ARE OUT!

    Citing people in some areas for stopping over the trigger line, but in others moving the trigger line into the intersection!


    The fact is if you set amber times long enough you won’t get enough violations. THAT IS FACT. (Georgia longer ambers is proof of that).

    If you set speed limits to 85% you get very little speeding. (Utah rasied its rural up to 80mph. almost not change in speeds).

    The problem is that cities and VENDORS don’t want people NOT “Breaking” the law. THEY DEPEND UPON VIOLATIONS to continue. If they don’t get enough, the cities and the vendors just change the conditions of when a violations occurs.

    This is not about law enforcment, this is about using the law as a funding source. The vendors have shown as I mentioned above great resource in keeping violations rates high.

    The fact of it is I don’t want to live in a world where we micro manage the law, not for safety, BUT FOR MONEY UNDER THE GUISE OF SAFETY. THAT IS WHAT PHOTO ENFORCMENT. A SAFETY SCAM. The problem for the cities and the vendors is that more people are figuring it out. At some point it will become untenable for them.

    It is time for the cameras to go away. PERMINATELY!

  16. John says:

    Where are you getting your facts. I own a construction company and we have put up several traffic signals over the past 20 years. Unless the traffic controlers are very old, it is impossible to set the amber time below 3 sec. without the controler going into conflict. these controlers are very high tech. as far as the stop line, there is a federal law that states a minimum distance for how far the signal head is from the stop line, as long as that distance is maintaned then there is no law broken. these claims you guys are making are ridiculous you have know good reason behind your actions. I have gotten a ticket by one of these camera’s. I was pissed off at first but once i saw the pics and the video I quickly changed my tune, as a matter of fact I was glad I got the ticket by the camera instead of an officer because I didn’t get any points on my license. It almost seems as though your group gets its rocks off watching these things come down. I witnessed some people in heath Ohio standing out in the cold holding up signs and cheering as the crews were taking down the camera’s. What your not realizing is the cities sign a contract with the camera companies for a specified amount of time, the camera companies foot the bill for the installation and in return they get a portion of the fines to cover there costs. now when you idiots go into town and pass out petitions and and whatever else you do to get them removed, its a victory for you but the cities are now in breach of contract and must find away to pay that money back. maybe they should just layoff the entire police force so they can have the money to repay the camera companies. or maybe they should come after your group for a portion of the money after all the camera’s must go right. evan if the cities are using them as a revenue generator, who cares. if the police force needs new cruisers, would you rather they take the money from the tickets to pay for them or just put a levy on the ballot and tax everybody for them. you guys are the biggest scam, I see you are collecting donations to fight a stupid cause,are you sure all the donations are being put to good use or are you padding your pockets with a portion of the donations. that by law is a scam.

    • RPr says:

      “We timed the yellow light at an intersection and then actually went one block down to an intersection that did not have a photo enforcement system on it,” he told colleagues. “The timing at the intersection with the photo enforcement was exactly one second quicker than it was down the street, on the same road with the same lanes, the same traffic patterns.”

      Antenori said the only response he got from city traffic officials was that there is sometimes “a small variation” in the times due to how the private companies that operate the red-light cameras set them up.


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