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Mar 24, 2013 8:46 PM by Erika Flores

Group collecting signatures at street fair for traffic camera petition

TUCSON-A petition is underway to let voters decide whether to keep traffic cameras around.

The group Traffic Justice was at the 4th Avenue Spring Street Fair getting signatures.

John Kromko, with Traffic Justice claims the photo radar system in Tucson isn't fair.

"The intersection starts out in a line that you can't even see you don't know where it is and if you don't cross it in a second or two, you get a ticket," said Kromko.

There are eight photo radar intersections in Tucson.

"Shortening the yellow lights so much that you can't even get through the intersection," said Kromko.

These drivers disagree:

"It seems that the ones with the robot cameras, they tend to go a little bit quicker to catch you," said Poncho Gibson.

"It causes a lot more problems than good," said Cynthia Helgeson.

"They may have some T-bone crashes in intersections, but I think they're creating a potential for rear-end collisions," said Paul Peterson.

According to the city's traffic safety report, before the cameras were installed, in 2006, there were 188 accidents at the eight intersections.

In 2012, that number dropped to 74.

Some argue that could be because drivers are avoiding the intersections with cameras.

Councilman Steve Kozachik said the cameras do serve a safety purpose.

"As an extension of TPD's eyes and ears around town," said Kozachik.

But he did agree with some of the criticisms.

"We could alleviate a lot of the public distrust in terms of the 'trickery' if we would just extend the amber and get rid of the stop lines and properly define the intersection," said Kozachik.

Traffic Justice has until July 5 to get over 12 thousand signatures before it can appear on November's ballot.

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