Well, not exactly. After an article in “theNewspaper.com” (“a journal of the politics of driving”… an anti-photo enforcement website), the local anti-photo enforcement blogosphere Camera Fraud has declared that a FHWA letter will be “will be sending shock waves through the insidious network of red light cameras across the country”.
Despite the camera-foes’ protestations to the contrary, the FHWA has no legal standing, can not make laws, and is not a legislative body (For Arizona, the Arizona state legislature is); the only tie to the law is through the MUTCD; and “violations” of the MUTCD are common. In any event the FHWA interpretation letter refers to the extra ground markings in use being dis-allowed, and not cameras.
An image of the FHWA letter is linked at that article, above (here is the letter). I don’t know who this guy, Paul Pisano, from the FHWA is, or what axes he may have to grind but he does make some loaded statements, e.g. “under the provisions of the Uniform Vehicle Code, which is the basis of the motor vehicle laws of most states, the stop line, or crosswalk if there is no stop line, defines the point beyond which a red light violation has occurred”. Again, the Arizona state legislature exclusively makes the laws in Arizona. Sometimes they adopt things that are in the UVC, other times not.
At issue is an odd-ball intersection somewhere in or near Tucson (something about River and Oracle Roads), where there is unusually large (reported to be 43 foot) distance from the stop line to the intersection’s violation line. the city(?) placed an additional line and the word “WAIT”. This all does sound confusing, and it probably means this particular intersection should be looked at. [this intersection appears to be a complete car-sewer; many many many lanes wide, along with humongous curb radii leads to a disgusting mess see google maps aerial]
Arizona law does not follow the UVC with regard to where a red violation occurs. Here are the relevant Arizona statutes:
§28-655 Traffic Control Signal Legend: “3. Red indication…traffic facing a steady red signal alone shall stop before entering the intersection“
§28-601 “8. ‘Intersection’ means the area embraced within the prolongation or connection of the lateral curb lines”
Curiosly (well, curious to me anyway) is that unlike at stop sign intersections, drivers are under no obligation to stop before entering the crosswalk at a signalized intersection.
Here is a pretty reasonable discussion thread about the topic.
Here’s some info from a former City of Phoenix traffic engineer (City of Chandler uses the red ‘enforcement’ lines as well, e.g. Ray and Rural):
...if the question is “Does Phoenix uses the intersection limit lines for the red light enforcement at traffic signals” . . . the answer is YES!! While these intersection limit lines are not in the MUTCD, they are part of the enforcement system and not a traffic controlling device and need not be subject to the MUTCD (this concept is allowed in the 2009 MUTCD noting that some signs and pavement markings are NOT traffic control devices.) Arizona is the only state (that I am aware of) that defines the intersection as the extension of the curb lines and is therefore the only state that requires the use of intersection limit lines for photo enforcement at traffic signals. MICHAEL J. CYNECKI, PE, PTOE PROJECT MANAGER