The Traffic Signal Network

Mesa Timeline

by Arthur J. Dock


Introduction

Sometimes it is very informative to organize events into a simple timeline. To that end, below is a timeline for photo redlight cameras as used in The City of Mesa, Arizona. Details will be added (and corrections made, if necessary) as additional information becomes available.

The Timeline

Revised June 9, 2001

Spring 1996 Mesa Police Department begins work with Arizona State University to setup a before/after study regarding photo enforcement technology.
May 1996 Mesa Police Department provides accident data to the researchers.

NOTE: The data used for the study is based on computer-aided dispatch records rather than actual accident reports.

February 1997 U.S. Public Technologies (which is later bought out by Lockheed-Martin) installs red light cameras at 12 intersections for the Mesa Police Department.

NOTE: Only through movements are targeted.

March 1, 1999 The consultant report is issued.

NOTE: The control zone in the study (with no measures taken) comes in 2nd place (out of 4) in regard to percentage collision reduction.

Spring 2000 - Summer 2000? At the City's (Mesa Police) request, the vendor installs and activates additional cameras targeting left turn red arrows at selected locations.
Fall 2000 City of Mesa Transportation receives a number of left turn redlight camera ticket related calls.
Fall 2000 City of Mesa Transportation meets with Police and Lockheed-Martin.
November 14, 2000 City of Mesa Transportation makes all dual-left protected arrow yellow times 4.0 seconds.
October, November, and December 2000 Number of left turn redlight tickets drops: dramatically. Lockheed-Martin (Mesa PD's contractor) is significantly impacted by change as shown below.

Left turn citations per month in year 2000:

  • October = 2,645
  • November = 1,639
  • December = 716
December 2000 - March 2001 Additional meetings take place between Mesa Transportation, Mesa PD, and Lockheed-Martin.

NOTE: there is a clause in Lockheed-Martin's contract stipulating that yellow times are NOT to be changed by Mesa.

February 6, 2001 Mesa PD announces desire for a 'zero tolerance' policy.
April 2001? Mesa PD begins airing public service announcement on Cable Channel 11. The PSA and elements from it are put on Mesa's web site.
April 1, 2001 Lockheed-Martin lowers the 'grace period' (time from when signal turns red until camera begins taking pictures). Value was previously 0.4 second, is now 0.1 second (the minimum value the equipment will allow).

Sources

The sources for the above information include the following:


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