Wirth: Paradise Valley photo radar is an unprofitable, negative program

Fellow Residents of TPV:

As with many other TPV longtime residents, I have long felt that the benefits of the RoboCop photo traffic system are far outweighed by the negatives.

The police department and mayor may feel that an intrusive spy camera on each corner and mobile lowers speed, but the cost is greater than the benefit. An extreme example would be that if the town enacted an ordinance that called for the death penalty of a speeder.

James Wirth

This too may reduce speeding, but this intrusion too would be extremely unwise and excessive.

Specifically it has long been evident that somebody is getting rich (and it is not the TPV) at the expense of freedoms and dollars of TPV residents.

This was recently highlighted even more with the information that in the most recent fiscal year the town collected less than 15% of the over $1 million in traffic fines.

But more important than the small amount of money that the Town of Paradise Valley receives, is the taking away of peace of mind and freedom for town residents and town tourists who drive with a concern of finding themselves with an annoying, time-consuming, and costly traffic fine along with a driving record leading to higher insurance rates and other issues.

The only argument that made sense was that somehow the intrusive automatic photo system saved accidents, and maybe lives. But whatever marginal benefits, if any, benefits are just simply not worth the negatives of less freedom, high cost to residents while the town receives virtually no financial gain, and citizens and tourists having less peace of mind and goodwill toward the otherwise friendly community.

I would strongly urge the Town Council to not renew the current contract, to cancel the current contract as soon as possible even if there is penalty, and in the meantime raise the parameters on the contract and the system to reduce the number of traffic tickets generated.

Perhaps some town officials are golf buddies and/or recipients of political contributions from whoever it is that is pocketing $850,000 a year on the backs of the citizens of Paradise Valley, but this must end.

As a resident since long before the system was put in place, I am happy to report that I have not been a victim of this scam on our community, but have long felt freedoms being squeezed each time a new addition is added to the system.

Times change. It’s now time to eliminate an unprofitable negative on our entire community.

Editor’s Note: James Wirth is a resident of Paradise Valley.

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