KPHO (CBS 5): Telling it Like It ISN’T

Telling It Like It Isn't

In KPHO’s Monday night report on whether speed cameras make the valley streets safer, the news channel repeated their tagline, “telling it like it is,” emphasizing facts over opinions, and hoping that would be enough to keep viewers from noticing that they were about to do the complete opposite.

In the video, for an unexplained reason, they cherry-picked data from a small portion of the I-10 corridor, as well as selectively choosing data from only two months: November and December 2006 and 2008. Anyone who’s taken a basic statistics class knows that a bigger sample size is needed to draw any meaningful conclusions for this program that has over 15 months of data and 40 fixed camera locations. Additionally, it is suspicious why data for 2007 and 2009 were ignored, as well as years prior to 2006. If this data was shown, it would probably reflect the national trend toward fewer accidents that has been ongoing for decades – without cameras. And finally, they neglected to 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 cameras.

Then KPHO proceeds to make the sweeping statement that the difference between 2006 and 2008 is the speed cameras, and gives credit to nothing else. There was absolutely no mention of any other possible changes between the two years such as changes in laws, construction activities, road improvements, changes in traffic enforcement tactics or policies, changes in DPS staffing and patrol levels, reductions in unlicensed (undocumented) drivers, or any other factors that may have changed over 2 years. The only other factor they mentioned was traffic volume, but only presumably because Representative Biggs mentioned it in his interview. But KPHO blew this one as well. They implied that there should be a 1-to-1 relationship between traffic volume and the number of accidents. In other words, they implied that if there was an 11% reduction in traffic volume that it would correspond to an 11% reduction in crashes. But the problem is that the relationship is much more complicated, and an 11% reduction in traffic volume can yield much greater safety improvements due to lower traffic density. KPHO declined to inform viewers about this important little fact.

Finally, by riding around with a DPS patrolmen looking for an accident to investigate, KPHO tried to paint a picture that freeway accidents are a rarity now, but anyone who listens to the radio traffic reports during their commute knows that the accident list is just as long as it’s always been.

KPHO, telling it like it isn’t.


40 Responses to KPHO (CBS 5): Telling it Like It ISN’T

  1. B says:

    It seemed to me that Channel 5 in the past has been more willing to cover this in an objective like than say’s sister TV station, Channel 12. They showed up to the state fair and have covered multiple other events, and they seemed to be willing to listen.

    It is quite surprising to see them suddenly turn into a subjective, one-sided, cherry picking machine like this.

    Though it can never be proven, I wonder if Redflex is greasing some wheels somewhere, somehow – they ultimately have BILLIONS on the line over the decades to come, and I wouldn’t put dishonesty past ANY corporation looking to defend potential income in that realm.

  2. RPr says:

    ill bet we start seeing redflex ads on kpho soon

  3. The whole study did seem bizarre, I wonder who was behind it?

  4. alucard says:

    This just adds more to my experience in all types of positions and negotiations — namely, that nearly everyone has their price….

  5. Dylan R. says:

    The lamestream media once again proves out out of touch with reality they are and how they are less and less relevant with every round of Nielsen ratings..

  6. Stephen says:

    I hope camerafraud issues a press release blasting the dishonesty of that tv report!

  7. Lorenzo Camacho says:

    I think that was one fine piece of jornalism.
    I have some cousin who just movd here from Wisconsin and they say our highways are safe. Now thats saying something. So I commend KPHO for their report. Changed my mind on this.

    • photoradarscam says:

      They were always safe…

      • Lorenzo Camacho says:

        I disagree. I live in the heart of the city and drive the freeways every day as part of my job. I can really tell a huge diffrnce in the way trafic fflows. Was not that way before cameras.

        • Voiced says:

          Then you’re a moron. The highways were just as safe before the cameras. There was a better flow of traffic too. None of those that slam on their brakes the moment they see the “Photo Enforcement Zone” signs. Those are causing just as many, if not more problems with congestion and accidents. If you came from a state/city that actually requires you to drive and notice everything around you or you’re run off the road like New York, Boston or LA then maybe you would see that the cameras are just a revenue JOKE!

  8. B says:

    You can see the effects of these bogus news reports in the comments on azcentral. They’re quoting that study as more “proof” the cameras work.

    Redflex/DPS is putting on a clinic on how to run a PR campaign.

  9. Stacey says:

    I think ch 5 is a sponsor of Red Means Stop.

  10. Don’t worry folks, the DPS numbers will be exposed for what they are soon enough!

    • SD Anderson says:

      I’m putting together a large stats page which includes DPS & ADOT’s stats from 2004 – 2008. I see a larger picture than what we’ve thought we’ve been seeing. There’s other fuel for the fire as well.

      Vanderpool doesn’t realize it yet, but the numbers he’s been bragging about are about to be used against him… bigtime!

      I should be done with this by tomorrow.

  11. Joe Manna says:

    Very good investigative reporting. I kid, I kid. There is a clear bias in the entire story where they go at the angle to prove/legitimize the use of cameras versus proving and legitimizing ANY CAUSE of collision reduction.

    I would seriously contact the editors at KPHO to thank them for their biased, AZRepublic style of spin and sensationalism and the next time they want a comment, it will be when the cameras are outlawed.


    It’s infuriating that even after all the media coverage garnered on Saturday, this is the BEST they could come up with? I mean seriously, this package definitely doesn’t get them ratings for the Sweeps.

    How about hard reporting of the corruption and ongoing racketeering between Redflex and the State? What about interviewing executives at Redflex? What about showing where the $201.50 goes from each ticket paid through a scamera?

    I’ll tell you why.

    KPHO is probably owned by a bunch of politically motivated tycoons who enjoy their close relationship with DPS to get stories and be a mouthpiece for the local enforcement.

    There must also be a longer trend of accidents shown. Comparing just TWO years is not statistically sound. It’s good media whitewash, but not scientific. What about the past ten years? Then we can see the overall trend toward accidents and motorists. This will also validate the fact there are fewer motorists driving daily in Phoenix.

    It would be also scientifically proven that if they bagged the cameras, accidents would suddenly increase. It appears that one’s civil rights must be violated in order to keep the roads safe.

    With data, the results are truly in the eye of the beholder. EITHER side of the issue can use the data against the use of photo enforcement. It’s just how business is and the State and Redflex are working us over for their profit margins (and budget crisis). Remember, the number one core value Redflex has is, “Provide shareholder value.” Not safety, not public service.

    I also enjoy the strawman argument that the reporter asked the CF supporter: “If these cameras could save one life, would you support it?” Bullshit. Loaded question.

    The actual question is, is one life worth it to preserve the rights of millions of citizens here?

    Scratch that…

    The actual question is, “If we are here to save lives, why don’t we place a million motherfucking cameras at every school zone and enforce a hard 15MPH? And go ahead and tack on a $1000 fine for each violator to fund it. Why don’t we do that?”

    No, that’s not the solution when you’re a reporter who just wants to jump the shark and go your Sweeps piece in SUPPORT of cameras. VERY POOR JOURNALISM.


    (End rant.)

    Good blog post on holding the local media accountable about the photo enforcement debate. Loaded, paid and biased as always, but they can’t get away with it if we hold them accountable.


  12. dgpjr777 says:

    So why should people believe you over channel 5 ? You both have good ides so we will let the people decide.

    • photoradarscam says:

      Did you even read the article?

      Because to be believed, they should use data from at least 6 month or 12 month periods, and show a series of years, not just select years and individual months, as well as perhaps take a look at several sections or longer sections of freeway.

      That would be an honest approach, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Lorenzo Camacho says:

        I’m going to go with the Officer in the story. He would know better than any stat sheet you would produce and skew. He is the most affectd by the camras.

        • photoradarscam says:

          Seriously? Don’t you realize that the guy is probably afraid for his job or career if he says anything other than positive about the cameras? You obviously haven’t spoken to all of the DPS and PO’s that have approached us saying that they don’t work.

          • Lorenzo Camacho says:

            You hear what you want to hear. I’m blending my experience with that of a sworn officer. So yeah, seriously.

          • SD Anderson says:

            I see your sworn officer and raise you a sworn sheriff who’s president of Arizona’s Sheriff Association… the same sheriff who wants to see photo enforcement disappear.


            • Lorenzo Camacho says:

              That’s not a legitimate argument. Baboo doesn’t patrol the streets. And unless you have hard proof that the DPS patrol man is “afraid” for his job. I’d stay away from that. It jsut seems to me that, there is a lot of accusations thrown around on this post but no proof of any of it. It’s easy to insinuate but the channel 5 story had hard numbers and a sworn officer who is directly affected by the issue. Like I said, you hear what you want to hear. I’m looking at both sides. I also don’t believe people have the right to drive like bats out of hell while my 16 year old friends daughter is learning to drive on the very same freeways. You claim rights? What about the rights of innocent people killed by speeders? And quite frankly, the deal between redflex and the state, it’s called capitalism. Love this country!

          • SD Anderson says:

            The sheriff doesn’t patrol the streets? That’s a new one to me. FYI, the sheriff has jurisdiction over every city, town, highway, and street within his county. A DPS officer has jurisdiction over the state’s highways but not city streets.

            Here are the real stats:


            2008 shows a decrease in everything, but before you conclude they’re all because of photo enforcement, look at the big picture.

            • Lorenzo Camacho says:

              Juristiction is one thing. Taking behind the wheel every day on the actual street with cameras is another. Explain big picture please?

          • SD Anderson says:

            I guess you watch what you only want to watch on TV and you see/learn only what you want to see/learn. You must’ve missed the newscast where Sheriff Paul was involved in a baby-shooting investigation which aired the same day he was with us at the Redflex Showdown. You must be under the impression that Sheriff Paul is a sit-behind-the-desk-all-day-long type sheriff. Did you even read that page about him that I posted or is the truth about him something that you don’t want to see.

            About the big picture.. No explanation necessary. If you’re an American citizen, then you’ll figure it out.

            • Lorenzo Camacho says:

              I make every effort to see both sides and make up my own mind. I see some merit to the anti-camera side. But I also see the benefits they bring. Why have we become so one side or the other types? Explain the big picture, this American citizen is listening.

        • SD Anderson says:

          Lorenzo, look at the stats, then look at the commentaries added on the bottom. The big picture is that KPHO only used a couple of months of data for their report. They didn’t use these stats which were put out by both the DPS and ADOT. The stats show a decline in a lot of things for 2008 (like a decrease in alcohol-related crashes and other violations which have nothing to do with speed cameras) But these stats also go along with a national trend which shows fatalities declined for the year 2008.

          It doesn’t take much to make up your mind over which side of the issue to take. There’s lots of information on this website. If nothing here convinces you that photo enforcement is fraud, then I’d suggest finding a group that’s pro-camera or get a job with Redflex (that’s if you’re not already working for them, which judging by the amount of defensiveness in your comments, you very well could be).

          • Lorenzo Camacho says:

            Don’t work for them and don’t confuse civil discussion about an issue as defensiveness.
            I read the stats, I’m taking that information and coupling it with my own experience on the freeways. I have no direct evidence of the officer fearing for his position if he speaks against the program so I (unlike other posts) will not make an assumption why he says what he says. He’s a sworn officer who deserves my the benefit of the doubt regarding if he’s telling the truth. I’ve lived in Phoenix area since 1986 and in the downtown area since 1993. I drive the freeways a lot. My direct experience is the traffic flow has improved. It’s those three elements that help form my opinion. That’s it.

            • B says:

              “I’m taking that information”
              … and ignoring the bigger picture. Not smart…

              and coupling it with my own experience on the freeways.”
              That, in statistics and science, is called a “study of one” – which means it’s worthless ‘information’ when making decisions for millions of drivers in Arizona.

              On your long-time experience with Phoenix – my family has been in Arizona since the 1800’s on both sides. I guess that means that overwhelms your “since 1986” qualification…

              BTW – “And quite frankly, the deal between redflex and the state, it’s called capitalism.”
              No, it’s called fascism. Look it up… and what Mussolini had to say about it.

              Wow – you are one lost soul… Yes, you can have your opinion, but don’t come here and ignore sound statistical evidence and knowledge with that weak set of “arguments”.

          • SD Anderson says:

            Who said the officer should be fearful of his position if he spoke against photo enforcement? That wasn’t me although it wouldn’t surprise me.. but I have no proof of that either.

            There are a few DPS officers who also oppose speed cams. I know this for a fact because I heard it from their own mouths. Photo enforcement is tied in with the DPS so there isn’t much the DPS officers can say or do to remove them. More than likely, KPHO chose an officer who happened to be for the scameras rather than against them.

            I’ve lived in Phoenix as long as you have and I do not see an improvement in traffic flow. I’ve driven the 51 every day before and after the cameras and the way traffic approaches the scameras really sucks now compared to how it was a few years ago. If the scameras weren’t there, people could just continue driving whatever reasonable and prudent speed fits the conditions for that day. The northern part of the 51 flows just fine because there are no speed scameras and the lanes have been been widened.

            The EB 202 flows fine but the WB 202 slows down a little just before the speed cams and then speeds back up. I’d say it’s better than the 51 but I wouldn’t say the scameras are responsible since EB flows better. The traffic would flow much smoother without them.

            So here you are driving on the NB 51 or EB 202 – no speed scameras. As a law abiding driver who never gets flashed, doesn’t it still feel better to drive down the freeway where there are no cameras compared to the direction that has the cameras? Cameras can malfunction.. we have articles here that prove it. Does it make you comfortable feeling that you need to keep an eye on the cameras as you pass by them just because there’s that tiny element of distrust? And you can’t tell me that most people still go 10 mph over the speed limit as they approach the scameras. I know for a fact that they slow down. I occasionally do 5 mph over the speed limit and I still decrease my speed by 5mph when approaching the scameras because I have no trust for them. I’ve seen them flash at cars doing the speed limit.

            And what’s the purpose of slowing people down for a whole 200 yards (in the trigger zone) only to see everyone speed back up again? That makes no sense. Honestly, I just don’t see the usefulness of these things and I don’t see any usefulness of the scam vans either.

            If you’re doing a criminal speed and you approach a scam van, you’d just slow down before and speed back up after. If there were a real patrol parked on the side, his radar might detect you as you’re approaching and it might detect you a mile down the road after you pass him up. If it does, he’ll be coming after you… The scam van just sits there taking pictures of vehicles within its range. And any person who wears a monkey mask or has something obstructing their license plates can get away with no ticket while those who do not have these things can’t get away from it. It’s unfair. Try that with a real police officer.

            IMO, there isn’t anything to dispute or think of. Photo enforcement has to go…. period. I can think of many other reasons, but so little as one is good enough for me.

          • photoradarscam says:

            I was the one that said the officer might have to watch what he says for fear of his career. Doesn’t mean he’d get fired, just not considered for the promotion.

            I’ve worked at companies where if I said anything negative about my company or its products or services to the media – as an employee – they’d have my head and at the very least my career progression would be over.

            OTOH, you have to consider how CBS 5 ended up talking to that particular patrolmen. KPHO probably called DPS and said we’d like to talk to one of your guys about the cameras. Who do you think they are going to send to talk to KPHO? Someone who has an unfavorable opinion of that his department is doing? I don’t think so. A company or public agency would NEVER send someone who is going to have anything but positive things to say about the topic at hand.

            And you are naive to think anything else.

            I’m not suggesting that the patrolmen in the video isn’t being honest… He could be honest, but he could also be a minority among the entire DPS staff. There are hundreds of them, and their assessments of the cameras will vary greatly.

            The fact that KPHO ended up with one that thought highly of the cameras should be dismissed by anyone with critical thinking skills.

  13. RPr says:

    Check out the newest member

    The Peoples Sheriff

  14. dgpjr777 says:

    WOW great comments from the top dog of Pinal County. I also carry a gun, WOW really impressive, so does alot of people in this state. Another Politician trying to gain fame and using his political position to get attention. What a joke !

  15. stayzcool says:

    This would not be another one of those Paid TV Commercials that sucker us into thinking we are watching a real news story? No, They wouldn’t do that,…. or would they? Money is a very powerful motive.

  16. what a discrace says:

    again I am completely disgusted by Baboo. He should be removed from office. What a disgrace

  17. oh boy says:

    What a one sided piece of crap! I for one will never
    watch channel 5 again. Thats not news, it is an advertisement paid for by you know who.

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