El Mirage is blaming an increase in speeders on a photo enforcement ban. (Source: El Mirage)
EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
El Mirage is seeing a massive increase in the number of drivers speeding through the city, officials said on Monday and are blaming a recent ban on photo enforcement on state highways in Arizona.
El Mirage was forced to turn off its two camera systems that monitored traffic heading east and west along Grand Avenue since it's part of the U.S. 60. Back in March, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a law that prohibits cities from installing photo enforcement cameras on state highways.
While the cameras have gone dark, the sensors have continued to monitor the speed and number of drivers traveling along Grand Avenue.
According to the city, there have been 7,361 drivers who were speeding in the westbound lanes in May 2016, a 179 percent increase from May 2015. On the eastbound side, 13,675 speeding incidents were recorded, 319 percent increase from the same time last year. Speeding was defined as cars traveling at least 11 mph over the state-mandated speed limit of 45 mph.
"The data is clear. Without the camera deterrent, we are seeing more and more unsafe driving along Grand. This is an extremely serious matter, as lives are at stake," El Mirage Police Chief Terry McDonald said in a statement.
The City of El Mirage has also experienced more crashes since the cameras were turned off. From March 16, 2016, to June 15, 2016, there were six collisions (three with injuries and three with no injuries), versus two non-injury collisions for the same period last year, El Mirage said.
According to the most recent data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding contributed to 30 percent of all fatal crashes in 2012, and the annual economic cost of all speeding-related crashes in the United States exceeded $40 billion.
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