Valley police chief raises concerns after photo radar cameras shut off

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A new state law takes effect this month, banning photo radar cameras from all state highways. But not everyone is convinced it will be in the public's best interest.

El Mirage Police Chief Terry McDonald is convinced that Grand Avenue is more dangerous after the city was forced to shut off photo radar cameras there a few months ago.

"I think any time you have posted speed limits and people consistently exceed those by 11 miles per hour or more, you have potential for added property damage, and life and death situations," McDonald said.

A recent study by Redflex, the company that operates the cameras, shows that speeding incidents have increased at the Grand Avenue intersection by 178 percent since the city stopped issuing photo radar tickets in March

The study also showed an increase in car accidents.

Aaron Tiscareno of El Mirage said that the statistics are misleading because of all the money the city makes from photo radar.

"I believe the main reason is for revenue," Tiscareno said. "It provides another source; it's not really for safety. If it was a big safety concern, I think more cities would be involved along Grand Avenue."

Critics of photo radar have asked why data was still being collected from the Grand Avenue intersection long after the cameras were turned off.

McDonald said it was a way to monitor activities at a dangerous intersection.

The cameras are no longer collecting data, said McDonald.

Redflex is expected to remove the cameras in the next few weeks.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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