photo radar

Arizona Representative Aims to Change Photo Radar Requirements

Imagine getting a photo radar ticket for something you didn’t do. Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff is proposing a bill (HB 2366) that would do just that.

With this new bill, it would end the requirement for photo radar tickets to have a picture of the vehicle’s driver. The only thing the government would need is a picture of the license plate.

On its face, the bill’s main purpose is to put photo radar cameras on school buses. With a camera attached to a bus, Arizona law enforcement hopes it will be be able to catch drivers who don’t stop for school buses.

Under Arizona law, motorists must stop when a school bus has its flashing lights on and a stop sign extended. Anyone who violates this law must pay a $250 fine. If the violation occurs three times within a 36-month period, motorists can lose their license for at least six months.

If the bill is approved, however, the photo radar law will affect more than just school buses. Car owners will no longer be able to prove who was driving their vehicle. When a photo radar camera takes a picture of the license plate and not the driver, car owners will have two options; pay the ticket or provide the name of who was driving the vehicle.

Since it’s entirely plausible that a family member, friend or mechanic could drive someone else’s car from time to time, the threat of overreaching and unfair photo radar ticketing becomes a concern. If for some reason, the car exceeds the speed limit, the government won’t know who’s behind the wheel. The car owner will then receive the ticket and face the penalty unless they can provide another name.

As this new bill makes it way through the legislature, it’s clear it is more about making a profit than safety. Every year, photo radar companies and the government look to maximize their revenue from photo radar tickets.

As the process for prosecuting photo radar tickets continues to change, Corso Law Group is one of the few firms in Arizona that specializes in photo radar defense and understands how to fight them. Should you have questions about photo radar or any other moving violation, please contact us for a free consultation or call (480) 471-4616.

The True Cost of a Speeding Ticket

Have you ever received a speeding ticket? Did you wonder where the money went after you paid the ticket? Most likely you and many others in Arizona contributed tens of millions to government programs through unnecessary citation costs.

Instead of local and state taxes contributing to government programs, Arizona legislation has shifted the burden to those who have committed a crime.

Over the last two decades, Arizona’s state-mandated surcharges went from 56 percent to 83 percent, according to the Arizona Republic.

When you pay the state $95 for a speeding ticket, you’ll also be required to pay for programs and flat fees that could raise the price to as much as $243.

Because of these surcharges you’ll be paying:

  • $95 for the ticket
  • $79 for state programs
  • $13 for police training
  • $2 for a victim’s rights fund
  • $7 court-restitution fund
  • $27 for court technology
  • $20 for the county probation department.

Penalizing drivers with additional costs and surcharges should not be practiced by the state of Arizona. Government-run programs should receive their funding from taxpayers, without drivers picking up the remainder of the tab.

Along with the financial consequences, there also can be a personal impact from a criminal speeding ticket. In Arizona, a criminal speeding ticket is a class 3 misdemeanor. If you’re found guilty, every time you’re asked if you have a criminal record, you’ll have to answer “yes”.

At Corso Law Group, we understand the consequences and the true costs of a speeding ticket. If you are charged with speeding, the lawyers at Corso Law Group will fight for you and obtain the best possible outcome.

Click for a free consultation or call (480) 471-4616.

New App Locates Photo Radar Cameras

Have you ever opened your mailbox to find a speeding ticket? Some states, like Arizona, California and Texas use photo radar traffic devices to detect speeding, red light violations or both, meaning you could be cited and not even know it.

A new app developed by Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., a photo radar company with headquarters in Phoenix, hopes to quell any rumors and misinformation drivers may have about photo radar cameras and tickets by mapping out where these devices are located throughout the country.

These devices have proved to be controversial, as many drivers don’t know how photo radar cameras work or why they’re being used.

When Valley residents were asked what they knew about photo radar devices by 3TV, many were most concerned with the cost of a ticket, whether they had to pay it and how the devices detected speeding.

“I usually slow down to five below, just so I know I’m cool going through those things,” said Donnie Crist, one of the Valley drivers interviewed by 3TV.

Jim Saunders, president and CEO of Redflex, said the free app is meant to educate drivers and help them overcome any misunderstandings or confusion they may have about photo radar cameras.

He explained the app is a way for Redflex to communicate directly with drivers and possibly start improving any negative misconceptions they may have about the company.

“Our business has never been about catching people. It’s about changing driver behavior. I think this is the first step in clarifying that,” Saunders said.

In the future, Redflex wants to expand the app and offer drivers more, like a GPS compatible system that would safely tell drivers where photo radar cameras are as they’re driving.

Radar That Can Detect Texting and Driving? Corso Law Group Weighs in on Questionable Photo Radar Device

Virginia-based company ComSonic is developing a radar gun that can detect when someone is texting and driving.

Drawing from the technology used by cable technicians to repair lines by reading frequencies emitted from leaks and damages, the company is using this same concept to detect radio frequencies, sent out from text messages when the phone is being used in the car.

 

This device could help decrease the number of distracted drivers on the road, and with that, reduce the number of accidents caused by texting and driving each year.

Texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 percent compared to a situation where a driver is not distracted, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

In 2012, 3,328 were killed and an estimated 421,000 were injured in distraction-affected crashes, the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving said.

Teenagers are the group most at risk for texting and driving accidents. Newsday reports that in 2013, texting and driving replaced drunk driving as the number one killer of American teens who openly admit to texting behind the wheel.

Currently, 44 states have banned texting while driving for all drivers while others only ban new drivers. In Arizona, only school bus drivers are banned from using handheld devices while driving.

You can find state-by-state information on distracted driving laws in this report by the Government Highway Safety Association.

Although ComSonic’s texting radar device could help reduce accidents, some are concerned about the breach of privacy that could be involved with accessing drivers’ cell phone data.

“It would really depend on what it could detect,” said Jeffrey Kegler, an attorney for Scottsdale-based Arizona traffic attorneys Corso Law Group, who has had extensive experience and certification working with the calibration and testing of DUI breathalyzers and photo radar equipment at Columbia Analytical Services.

“I would almost guarantee that it could not tell the difference between streaming, sharing a wireless signal or transferring data to your car,” Kegler said.

Malcolm McIntyre, ComSonic’s calibration services manager, said that text messages emit a different frequency than other cell phone activities, and the equipment would not be able to decrypt information transmitted from drivers’ phones, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

The fledgling device still faces several hurdles before production goes underway, including legislative approval, adoption by police departments and determining whether it could tell who in the vehicle was texting when a driver has multiple passengers in the car.

Most drivers tense up and hit the brakes when they see a police officer pointing a radar gun at their cars, but in the future, be aware that photo radar might detect more than just speed. The Arizona traffic lawyers at Corso Law Group are here to provide Arizona drivers with expert defense from photo radar issues.

Photo Enforcement Issues Continue to Infuriate Arizona Drivers

Since photo radar systems were first approved and made active in Arizona, the devices have been a source of controversy, with officials such as Governor Jan Brewer have been fighting to do away with photo radar for good.

Arizona drivers can rest assured on state highways where photo radar systems have been banned, but other busy streets and intersections are still considered photo radar traps by drivers.

The photo radar attorneys at Corso Law Group are experienced in specific Arizona traffic laws and tirelessly defend the rights of their clients by looking for the best remedy to each individual case.

Today, many are still outraged by the use of Redflex photo radar systems in the state. While cities like Surprise have eliminated photo radar systems, others continue to implement these devices.

El Mirage, a small city west of Phoenix known for its use of photo radar as a hefty source of the city’s revenue, has photo radar systems set up on several main roads including Primrose and Grand Avenue where a driver and his wife were ticketed by a photo radar system for speeding during what he claims was an escape from a dangerous road rage system.

You can read more more on this man’s case here.

Do you feel unfairly trapped by the state’s use of Redflex photo radar systems? If you’ve been ticketed by photo radar cameras in El Mirage, we can help.

Controversial Arizona Photo Radar Cameras Back in the News

A new bill concerning the use of photo radar in Arizona has been introduced by state representatives. HB 2690 says that all authorities and agencies in Arizona using photo enforcement have to calibrate the camera systems at least once every 24 hours.

If a ticket produced from a photo enforcement system is distributed without the proper time stamp that meets the 24 hour calibration requirement, that ticket would be dismissed by the court.Photo radar in Arizona

Proponents of HB 2690, such as the sponsor of the bill, Rep. David Gowan, believe that this new bill would ensure that photo radar systems reach the same level of quality as hand held radar systems, which are tested everyday by police officers, and would also grant drivers fair treatment if they are ticketed by a photo radar system.

Previously, state legislators like Governor Jan Brewer have signed bills that aim to eliminate photo enforcement in Arizona, including a law from 2013 that only allows photo radar systems if state transportation officials confirm they’re necessary due to safety needs, the Associated Press and KPHO reports.

Criticism of the new bill focus on the confusion surrounding the term “calibrate” and how exactly it defines this piece of legislation.

In Tucson, photo enforcement systems have been in placement since 2009 by American Traffic Solutions and the systems are tested for accuracy through a computer once a day, according to KGUN 9.

Tucson police Commander Robert Shoun said in the East Valley Tribune that calibrate could mean anything, but if it means a specialist is required to visit each affected intersection and check on the camera devices personally at least once every 24 hours, that would be a large expense for towns and cities.

Update: Although HB 2690 passed out of the House Transportation Committee in February, on March 18, 2014, HB 2690 failed to pass the Senate Transportation Committee. For more details, you can review the bill’s history here.

Scottsdale Increases Photo Radar Camera Presence

All Arizona drivers have experienced that panic stricken moment when the flash of a traffic camera goes off. Immediately, they check their speedometers and glance around to see if someone else could have been the cause. These anxieties will not be put at ease any time soon as additional mobile photo enforcement devices are implemented around school zones in Scottsdale.

Drivers Beware

Since July 21, portable towers have been randomly placed in Scottsdale’s 31 different school sites and the devices will be moved to other high-traffic areas when school is not in session.

School zones are already danger zones for drivers who do not adhere to the strict speed limit. Speeding drivers face harsh fines in addition to other penalties depending on the speed the driver was going at the time of the incident.

In fact, it’s very plausible that a regular speeding ticket could become a criminal speeding ticket when you add school zone enforcement to the equation. Here’s how: If a school zone is normally 40 mph during non-school hours,you can easily end up with a criminal ticket if you get caught during the zone hours thinking otherwise. And criminal speeding tickets are much more impactful on any driving record.

“Speeding in a school zone is never a good idea,” said John M. Rhude. “But there are already police officers in the area while school is in session waiting for someone to violate the speed limit. Adding portable towers to those zones means the area will be constantly monitored.”

According to Arizona Driving University, “in this state, all typical speeding citation fines are doubled, with some of the proceeds going toward the Safe Routes to School statewide program. According to this legislation, passed in 2006, if a moving traffic violation is committed while the school zone lights are flashing or the “Stop When Children in Crosswalk” signs are posted, the fine will be an automatic minimum of $200. Depending on the offense, you might also get two or three points on your license. You may or may not be eligible to attend defensive driving school to erase your penalties.”

Why are these photo enforcement towers necessary? Most drivers may view the portable towers as an inconvenience, but statistics have shown that the presence of the photo enforcement devices lead to a decrease in the number of car collisions overall.

“No one enjoys dealing with driving fines and citations from traffic cameras,” said Christopher P. Corso, Esq. “But if the presence of a photo enforcement device alone can reduce the number of car collisions, then they can be considered somewhat beneficial to society.”

How can drivers combat getting ticketed in these new enforcement areas? Simple, slow down. Being aware that enforcement has increased in these areas will help drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and make the road safer for all drivers.

Photo Radar Lawyers Corso Law Group Fight El Mirage Photo Radar Tickets

Scottsdale, Ariz. – The Arizona photo radar lawyers at Scottsdale’s Corso Law Group work tirelessly to fight El Mirage photo radar tickets.

Fighting El Mirage photo radar tickets is a specialty for Corso Law Group. The law firm is one of only a handful of firms that specializes in Arizona photo radar defense. The photo radar lawyers look for new ways to interpret the laws and arrive at solutions that make sense for their clients.

When it comes to fighting El Mirage photo radar tickets, the Arizona traffic lawyers at Corso Law Group say they’ve handled more than any other firm in the state.

“There are many ways to fight El Mirage photo radar tickets but it requires an experienced traffic lawyer,” said John M. Rhude, Esq., one of the firm’s founding partners. “We know the law and the rules. Hiring our firm gives you an advantage when fighting El Mirage photo radar tickets.”

The process for prosecuting photo radar tickets has changed over the years and continues to evolve every day. We stay on top of the legal arguments and help you receive the best possible outcome.

According to Rhude’s partner, Christopher P. Corso, Esq., there are many misconceptions about photo radar tickets in Arizona.

“The days of process servers approaching you and handing you a ticket are long gone,” Corso said. “Process servers can deliver the ticket to your door and leave it or the ticket can be sent directly through the mail. The reason is the state of Arizona considers both options an acceptable application of alternative service.”

Rhude agrees.

“When you receive your paperwork in the mail, the process has begun – the clock is ticking,” Rhude said. “To the courts, the United States Post Office is reliable delivery service and the address on your registration is reliable because you are required by law to keep it updated. The courts have your photo, they have your registration and they a picture of your license. Claiming that you haven’t been served is not a realistic option anymore.”

To see Corso Law Group’s track record with El Mirage photo radar tickets, please visit: http://crcriminallaw.com/arizona-photo-radar-defense/. It’s important to remember that results may vary depending on a client’s individual circumstances. Please contact Corso Law Group’s legal support team to discuss an El Mirage photo radar case or any Arizona photo radar case.

In addition to civil speeding and criminal speeding issues, Corso Law Group handles a myriad of criminal cases, including Arizona DUIs (the firm has handled more than 14,000 DUI cases), domestic violence defense, possession of drugs, felony drug charges, photo radar, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession.

The Arizona traffic lawyers at Corso Law Group do everything in their power to protect their defendant’s families and advocate for their rights. They have the experience and expertise to deal with traffic charges in Arizona and will fight to get the charges dismissed and preserve their family.

Corso Law Group has quickly built a reputation for its vigorous defense of clients, using its lawyers’ previous experience with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and other prosecutorial agencies to assist its clients with their criminal defense cases.

The experienced Arizona traffic lawyers at Corso Law Group serve clients throughout Arizona, including the cities of Ahwatukee, Avondale, Buckeye, Chandler, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson and Youngtown.

To schedule a free consultation, please visit www.corsolawgroup.com or call (480) 471-4616. Corso Law Group, PLLC is located at 14500 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 116 in Scottsdale, Arizona, 85260.