The City of Scottsdale has decided to do what no other City or state has done. Beginning February 21, 2006, the City will Start a pilot photo radar project on stretch of high speed state freeway dubbed the “highway of tears.” The City of Scottsdale has in the past maintained that it has no responsibility to oversee investigations on the Loop 101 Freeway running through greater Scottsdale.
Recently, however, the City has acknowledged that people have to slow down while driving on this dangerous stretch of roadway. Since 2002, more than twenty people have died on this roadway in sensless and preventable auto accidents. Scottsdale recently responded by starting a photo radar project on the Loop 101 Freeway and it will issue tickets to anybody travelling at speeds of 76 miles per hour or above starting February 21.
The Scottsdale travelled portion of the Loop 101 Freeway has been dubbed the “Highway of Tears” for several reasons. Focusing attention exclusively on speed will not solve the highway accident problem but it is a good start. Scottsdale and the State of Arizona must also ensure that adequate safety features such as guardrails and working median barriers are in place on the Loop 101 Freeway to minimize the harm done to drivers who lose control of their vehicle and run off the roadway. Also, the City and State should take steps to educate drivers about the dangers of the roadway and encourage the use of seatbelts. Relying on education, enforcement and engineering will assist in achieving the goal of making the Loop 101 Freeway and our other highways within the State safer places to drive. Just focusing attention on photo radar alone without concentrating on these other objectives is in my opinion a missed opportunity.
Click here for more information about how the City suggests that its pilot project will reduce car accidents.