Chandler City Council approved an agreement April 22 for photo enforcement cameras at 12 of the city's intersections for a five-year period expected to cost around $2.5 million.
Vice Mayor Mark Stewart and Council Member Terry Roe dissented, but the motion passed by majority.
The city first entered into an agreement for the photo enforcement program in February 2007. On Sept. 24, 2015, the council approved the renewal of this contract through March 31, 2021, with the option of up to one five-year extension, according to the agenda item.
"The goal of the photo enforcement program is to reduce overall accidents and further reduce the severity of accidents that do occur," read the agenda item. "Studies conducted in Chandler show that there is a statistically significant reduction in accidents at intersections that are photo enforced. The Police Department's experience with photo enforcement as a tool to reduce accidents and increase traffic safety has been positive."
If the program generates a positive cash flow, the funds will be used by the police department and the city's traffic engineering department for traffic safety enhancements, according to the agenda item.
Stewart suggested the council and the city look into changing the penalty for being flashed by one of these cameras into a warning instead of a fine and said he was against the use of the photo enforcement cameras.
"It's about safety and trust; we have a huge trust issue right now with our police, and the last thing we need to do is do things that are not transparent," Stewart said. "I think there's a bunch of Constitutional violations within this."
The council discussed the action item for about an hour April 22 before voting.
"To me, it does come down to the safety of the intersections," Council Member René Lopez said. "To me, by the data it means we are saving lives out there. It's one of the tools in the toolbox. I am not for expanding this; this is one of those where we do target, where we target high-risk, high-volume intersections and leave this as one of the tools of many our police have to keep us safe."
Chandler City Council approves agreement for photo enforcement cameras at 12 intersections
The city of Chandler headquarters is in downtown Chandler. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)