How effective is photo radar?

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PHOENIX -- It's been one year since speed cameras started snapping on Valley freeways and more than half a million violations were sent out this past year.

According to the Department of Public Safety, fewer than 25 percent of the drivers are paying their tickets. However, that number is misleading because some of those violations are still in the process.

While many drivers dislike photo radar, DPS says it's saving lives.

"We actually had almost 22 percent fewer fatality collisions in Metro Phoenix," DPS Lt. Steve Harrison said. "That equates to 12 actual fatal collisions that didn't happen, which statistically equates to about 13 lives that were saved."

Harrison said not only does it equate to safer roadways, but more criminals being caught.

"They've made a total of 388 more arrests, 20 more impaired drivers and 146 more drug offenses than they did the previous year," he said.

Harrison said the number of freeway cameras will remain as is for at least the near future.