At the first tick of the clock Friday, an array of automated cameras on Arizona freeways aimed at catching speeders were to stop clicking.The data suggested that the system led to a 19-percent drop in fatal collisions. But it's good that Arizona officials see the wisdom of backing away from an intrusive law that seems likely to catch and penalize a fair number of innocent people in its sweep. If only that logic were applied more widely.
There is no glitch. The state, the first to adopt such cameras on its highways in October 2008, has become the first to pull the plug, bowing to the wishes of a vocal band of conservative activists who complained that photo enforcement intruded on privacy and was mainly designed to raise money.
It was a tumultuous, impassioned run here. A man wearing a monkey mask racked up dozens of tickets, fighting them in court, to protest the system.
Some of the loudest critics were conservatives, who organized protest groups and prodded legislators to impose restrictions on their use, arguing the cameras amounted to, as one put it, the “government spying on its citizens.”
It all depends on whose ox is being gored, I guess.