Fatal crashes in metro Phoenix down 29 percent

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PHOENIX(AP) -- Arizona's new statewide speed-enforcement program certainly has its detractors.

DPS says cameras are saving lives

But the Arizona Department of Public Safety says the program already is saving lives and helping prevent accidents.

Between Sept. 26 and Dec. 16 -- the first 80 days of the program -- DPS says fatal collisions in the Phoenix metro area decreased by 29 percent from the same time period last year.

Also in that time period, DPS says injury crashes decreased by 17 percent.

Arizona became the first state in the nation to launch a statewide photo enforcement program.

The program calls for 100 mobile and fixed devices on freeways throughout Arizona. More than 40,000 drivers were issued tickets in the first two months of the program.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)