Speed cameras are at best a dubious safety enhancement sold on the premise of slowing traffic, while the more important proposition is often the promise of the revenue they can generate. Arizona residents have mostly cut through the bovine feculence around the state's big camera deployment program, one that's been described as groundbreaking. The state installed 76 one-eyed bandits, but profits are lower than projected, and some citizens want the cameras gone.

Further sabotaging the camera initiative are citizens who have taken to ignoring the automated citations in large numbers. A loophole surrounding mailed tickets is allowing many drivers to motor on with impunity, while an anti-camera group is trying to get a ballot measure to ban the cameras underway. The 700,000 tickets that have been issued since September 2008 should have meant $127 million into the coffers, but only $36 million has been collected. At that level, it's not even clear if Redflex, the public scourge firm that runs the cameras, is able to break even.

[Source: New York Times | Photo: Redflex]