Surprise! Photo Radar Trailer Malfunctions Caught on Video

April 27, 2010

Be careful what you wish for, or you might just get it. The residents in the area of the 11600 block of southbound Bullard Avenue of Surprise, AZ are now regretting their requests for photo enforcement. Monday was the first day of issuing tickets from Redflex’s new photo enforcement trailer for the City of Surprise. The residents didn’t anticipate the controversy that comes with photo enforcement, and the fierce support for CameraFraud’s efforts that accompanies our protests in the form of honking, as well as the loud noise caused by the generator inside of the unit, in addition to the extra, random flashes of light all hours of the day.

But Surprise citizens and visitors also got something they weren’t expecting: photo enforcement lottery tickets! It turns out that you never know if the trailer is working or not. During the day-long protest, we observed at least a hundred false flashes with no cars around as well as some cars that were going fast that did not get flashed and others that were going slow or creeping along that did get flashed. We didn’t have a radar gun to definitively check speeds; however, we captured 3 incidences on video where the cameras flashed for absolutely no reason.

We can’t blame the police. They don’t own, operate, or maintain the equipment. They are under contract with Redflex who has full responsibility for operating and maintaining the equipment, and who gets a cut of every ticket issued. No wonder it goes off so much! Redflex is paid to gather evidence for the police to issue citations for non-commercial vehicle owners exceeding the posted limit. Think of it as a private investigator, but without the license! But when we informed the police who stopped by to check in our protest, they didn’t seem to be concerned. I guess that’s one of the perks of outsourcing your job to another entity.

If you live in Surprise or drive through Surprise, contact the Surprise police department and let them know that you are concerned about being caught by a malfunctioning machine and ask them how they know it’s working properly. You can email police@surpriseaz.gov or call 623-222-4000.


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