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Program History

Focus On Safety On Scottsdale Streets


Scottsdale contracts with a private vendor (American Traffic Solutions - ATS) for the operation of photo enforcement cameras at fixed sites on city streets, as well as photo enforcement vans and portable containers that can be stationed anywhere they are needed.

Fixed Detection Systems

Fixed locations are chosen by police and traffic engineering staff primarily based on traffic volume and collision history. The City uses two types of systems.

The first type of system uses sensors imbedded in the pavement to detect vehicle speeds and positions. The fixed systems detect both speed and red-light violations.

The second type of system uses a 3D radar sensor system to continuously track and measure vehicles approaching the system.  This system also detects both speed and red-light violations.

Mobile Detection Systems

The city currently contracts for two vans. There are more than 400 currently approved deployment locations within the city, including 40 school zones. The remaining sites are equally distributed between citizen complaint and high collision locations.

Portable Container Systems

The City is developing two portable container systems for deployment in school zones throughout the city.  There are more than 50 school zones in the city.  The portable containers have a smaller footprint than the vans and allow the systems to be deployed in school zones where a van would not fit.  When school is not in session, the portable units will be deployed in areas with high pedestrian traffic and problem locations where a van would not fit.

Program History

Scottsdale has used photo enforcement cameras since 1997. The City adopted the technology after a period in the early 1990s when collisions increased markedly. After the implementation of photo enforcement, the number of collisions leveled off, even though Scottsdale’s population (and number of vehicles using the city’s streets) continued to increase. In 2006, the city obtained permission from the State of Arizona to test fixed photo enforcement cameras on the Loop 101 Freeway where the freeway crosses Scottsdale’s boundaries. The city installed six cameras between Scottsdale Road and the 90th Street/Pima Road exit and operated them from January to October of 2006. Preliminary results from an analysis of the demonstration program showed that it reduced average speeds by about 10 mph. The total number and severity of collisions also declined during the demonstration program.

At the request of Gov. Janet Napolitano, the city reactivated the Loop 101 cameras in February 2007. In June 2007, the city entered an agreement with the Department of Public Safety that provides for DPS to take over administration of the program. Road construction at the north end of the Loop 101 caused the Loop 101 cameras to be removed in July of 2008.

Scottsdale continues to use photo enforcement cameras on the city's streets.  The city operates photo enforcement equipment at several intersections (red light and speed on green enforcement), mid-block locations (speed enforcement) and portable locations (mobile speed vans - speed enforcement - portable containers used for speed enforcement in school zones).

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