Originally Published: August 5, 2008 10:11 p.m.
As a resident of Prescott and one who works in Prescott Valley, I make daily round trips between the two communities. Much to my surprise, I received a photo radar ticket in the mail for allegedly going 46 in a 35 mph zone.
The alleged violation occurred southbound on Glassford Hill Road and Long Look Drive, mere yards from the point where posted speed changes from 45 to 35 mph.
I know that I was keeping pace with the traffic flow. I know that I'm a courteous, conscientious, and safe driver, have never caused an accident, and have an excellent MVD record.
In talking with a friend who decided to fight a similar ticket, I was told that while she represented herself, the courts had a witness from the photo radar vendor who essentially testified that the device was correct. My friend was compelled to pay the fine. Her vehicle insurance has increased. I've talked to a number of people who have had similar experiences. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that photo radar is invasive, smacks of Big Brother, and leaves little room for dispute as far as the courts are concerned.
The consensus seemsto be, "Who can argue with a computer?" Believe me, if a patrolman had his lights on me, the first thing I would do is check my speedometer. If a patrolman handed me a ticket, I could reasonably assume I deserved it.
With the photo radar devices, I would bet that the majority of folks who receive a ticket in the mail are as surprised as I was.
The photo radar devices are inhospitable, literally inhuman, and will cause, I fear, hostile feelings toward the town.