When a man swung a pickax at an Arizona freeway speed camera, the clang resonated with untold numbers of drivers frustrated with the 3-month-old program, says the Arizona Republic. Foes have been vocal, filling up Internet discussion boards and talk-radio airwaves. Two groups are readying citizen ballot initiatives for the 2010 election that would cripple the cameras. Some folks aren’t waiting. Besides the pickax, there have been vandals spraying Silly String or putting Post-it notes over the lenses. Some critics call the cameras an invasion of privacy or just a way to soak drivers for money; others worry that cars suddenly slowing at photo zones will cause more accidents.
Opponents have set up a Web site called www.camera fraud.com. One proposed ballot measure would shut down the freeway speed cameras. Another would allow the cameras to operate but have them snap only speeders going 20 mph over the posted limit. Redflex, a company contracted to operate the cameras for the Department of Public Safety, said it believes photo enforcement would survive a popular vote.