Arizona Happy Snaps
Although about 700,000 tickets have been issued since Arizona’s 76-camera plan was rolled out last year, a mere $37 million of the $127 million in fines and surcharges has been collected. That is because Arizonans have realised that they can simply ignore tickets sent to them in the post, and the authorities cannot prove that they have received them. Unless the tickets are served in person — something Arizona cannot afford to do — they become void after three months.
Arizona was the first state to commit to the technology under the then governor Janet Napolitano, now the US Secretary of Homeland Security.
The new governor — Jan Brewer, a Republican — is openly critical, and agrees that the scheme was introduced more to raise money than to prevent accidents.
Motorists have shown their opposition to the machines in other ways, too — such as placing large cardboard boxes over them, decorating them with sticky notes, attacking them with pickaxes and, in one case, setting off the cameras while standing in front wearing a monkey mask.