Monday, November 30, 2009

Driving through "Photo Enforcement Zones": a guide for the perplexed.

This post is dedicated to motorists on the stretch of I-10 from the Maricopa County line to Tolleson city limits:

When approaching one of Maricopa County's fixed photo radar installations, you will be warned by at least two signs, one designating the "Photo Enforcement Zone" and another stating that the cameras are located 300 feet ahead. On seeing these signs:
  1. If you live more than one county away, do nothing, but remain alert, as some drivers will stomp on the brake. Maricopa County is not serving tickets to Pima County or elsewhere in person, and Arizona law does not consider mail delivery proper services. After 180 days, the county's claim is no good.
  2. If you have a plate cover lens obscuring wide-angle view of your license plate, do nothing.
  3. If you live in Maricopa County or an immediately adjacent county and do not have a plate cover, check your speedometer. If you are not driving eleven or more miles per hour over the speed limit, do nothing.
  4. If you are driving eleven or more miles per hour over the speed limit, gently reduce your speed to "ten over". If possible, do this without applying the brakes.
  5. Continue to drive "ten over" or at your previous speed if less than ten over until you have passed the cameras.
  6. Increase your speed to what is appropriate for conditions, if applicable.

Do not:
  • Abruptly brake at the first sign.
  • Slow to the speed limit if the prevailing safe speed is greater than the speed limit.
  • Slow to below the speed limit, "just in case".

And if you are going to do any of the above, please get out of the left hand lane. You cause other drivers to have to apply the brakes, which wastes fuel and could cause an accident.

Drive safely and defensively, and never at a speed too fast for conditions.

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