My all-time most read and linked-to post is entitled “Man Dons Monkey Mask To Avoid Speeding Ticket” and discusses how one Arizona resident creatively defeated speeding camera tickets issued to him. The speeding camera tickets are issued as a result of mobile and fixed cameras that photograph motorists going 11+ mph over the speed limit. Our hero motorist defeated these tickets by wearing a monkey mask to prevent the Arizona officials from identifying as the driver.
Well now our favorite “primate” can hang up his monkey mask as Arizona will cease enforcing speeding via cameras. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer does not like the speeding cameras and is ending the program. As a result, on July 16, 2010, Arizona will be turning off its 36 fixed speeding cameras and mouth-balling 40 mobile speeding cameras.
Brewer’s predecessor, Janet Napolitano, now the Homeland Security Secretary, introduced these insidious devices and projected that the program would bring in $90 million revenue in its first year. Actual revenue, however, was much less as many motorists ignored their speeding camera tickets received in the mail. Only about 30% of them were paid.
Further, our masked driver was not the only Arizonan to take matters into his own hand. Silly string, Post-It notes and pick axes were all used to disable speeding cameras. Indeed, in April 2009, a passing motorist fatally shot a camera-van operator doing paperwork in his marked vehicle.
We can only hope that other municipalities learn the lessons from the Arizona program and do not try and institute similar “Big Brother” programs.