Scottsdale police use stealth-like kiosk to nab speeders

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz -- We're all supposed to pay close attention while driving along city streets. And even when you do, you might not see everything you happen to drive by, like the new tool from the Scottsdale Police Department that will help officers nab speeders.

It’s a portable speed safety camera, a small beige tower smack dab in the middle of a sidewalk.  It's the latest tool that Scottsdale Police Sgt. Ben Hoster says the city is using to catch speeders.

"It’s not the typical standard device that's stationary that we have set up for months and years on end," he explains. Scottsdale police partnered with American Traffic Solutions to change things up a bit by adding two stealth-like radar towers. Hoster says; "We have gotten about 500 citations per month per camera."

The cameras were set up at school zones across Scottsdale, but they can now be found in other areas as well. And since they're portable, officers can move them wherever and how often they want.

"We move these to where summer school is, or to locations where there are problems," says Sgt. Hoster. One camera was recently moved to a high traffic area. Hoster went on to say; "By the hospital on Osborn Road, and that has two cross walks, where we do have people that drive too fast in the area, that don't slow down for nurses that are crossing the street."

But some motorists like Ken Poplin have issues with the cameras. "I’ve seen it go off and it startled me when I was driving by," he says.

Ken works in Scottsdale and thinks the cameras sit too low. "One of the issues I have with it is the proximity of the flash when you're going by. It hits you right in the face and temporarily blinds you," he says.

And some believe the cameras are kind of sneaky. They blend into the environment and resemble something like a kiosk where you might purchase a bus ticket.

But police defend the cameras and believe they're saving lives and perhaps changing driving habits. "With these portable devices we can move them periodically to different school zones and help change behavior help change driving behavior," police say.