Driver goes to extremes to not pay radar tickets

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- The speed cameras lining Valley freeways are clicking away and tickets are going out, but fewer drivers are paying the fines.

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Man in masks snapped by photo radar - A Phoenix man is trying to escape the Valley's photo radar program with an animal instinct.

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When the photo-enforcement system was first implemented, about 34 percent of those who got tickets in the mail actually paid them. That number has since dropped to about 24 percent.

Even as that number of those who pay drops, the Department of Public Safety is cracking down.

According to DPS, there could be between 100 and 600 drivers who might have 15 or more outstanding photo citations. Dubbed "frequent fliers," those are the people DPS is going after, which includes serving hand-delivered tickets.

Once violator received the ticket in the mail, they have 30 days to take action before they run the risk of being served. That action means paying the ticket, challenging it or informing DPS that the person who received the ticket is not actually the driver in the photo.

There are those who go to extreme lengths to exercise that last option, which requires the person to send in a photocopy of his or her driver license. One person was even snapped wearing a monkey mask. He has been identified as Dave Vontesmar. What appears to be Vontesmar was snapped another time in a different mask. DPS said there nearly 40 such photos, all believed to be the same person.