Janet Napolitano is gone, and Jan Brewer is the new governor. As sad as that makes me about the DHS, I’m thrilled for our state, and I’ve been humming “Ding dong, the witch is dead” for the last couple days now.
With her gone, Arizona may be banning those annoying speed cameras, as the bill made its way out of comittee today. With the focus of the current session being a balanced budget, I’m not sure how much attention it will get, or how it will be spun in the light of moneymaking, but this was one of Janet’s many expensive pet projects, and getting it shut down would be great. In addition to being a money sink, it’s caused many irritations for AZ drivers like me who spend a lot of driving time on the freeways. There’s inevitably a big slowdown wherever the cameras are, with people doing stupid things to try to dodge the bullet. In addition, they aren’t standardized because Arizona still has sections of freeway that inexplicably jump from 65 to 55 and then back again, and guess what? That’s where a lot of people get burned. In addition, we are now seeing teenagers use the cameras to get revenge on other teens, by printing out fake plates and then speeding past the cameras. It’s pathetic.
They were installed as a moneymaker, but the millions that were spent installing them isn’t being made back very quickly at all, and it’s pretty much universally considered a big waste at this point – with the notable exception of in Janet’s mind. Techdirt has a good, concise summary of the wastefulness of this program.