Pima County set to vote on future of speed cameras

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Pima County set to vote on future of speed cameras

By Marcelino Benito, Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Jan 3, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 6, 2014

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The county's contract with speed cameras expired Monday at midnight, but the long-term fate of these cameras will be decided Tuesday. 

Chances are they've flashed you: "He freaked out," said driver Sergio Fernandez. "My friend panicked."

But the county says it's not happening as often as it used to.

"Drivers come up on cameras, slam on brakes, go through the cameras and speed up again," said Pima County Director of Transportation Priscilla Cornelio.

Simply put the speed cameras weren't changing the way you drive.

"People learn where the cameras are, so it does nothing," said one driver.

"It's time to shake up the program and try something new," said Cornelio.

The company that operates the cameras wants seven of the 11 cameras in the county to go dark. That would leave four. But it wants to install new cameras at trouble spot school zones. More tickets means more money in its pocket.

The county's Department of Transportation supports a camera-less plan focused on education  and new signage across the county. They too support a focus on school zones.

"Our overall goal isn't to write tickets for people but to change driver behavior," said Cornelio.

So far public opinion on this is divided. Some say get rid of them.

"I don't like them," said another driver. "It's just a trap to make money."

Others like them.

"I think they should keep them," said Joyce Thomas. "The longer the better."

But that's just because Thomas hasn't been caught.

"How would you feel if you were flashed?" asked 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito. "Oh, well then it would be different," replied Joyce.

The Board of Supervisors is set to vote on the cameras and their future Tuesday, January 7 at their regularly scheduled meeting.