ORIGINALLY FROM BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA, DANIELA FRANCO IS FEATURES EDITOR FOR THE DESERT SUN, A USA TODAY AND GANNETT PUBLICATION, BASED OUT OF PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA.

SHE HAS PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN FOR NBC NEWSTHE NEW YORK TIMES STUDENT JOURNALISM INSTITUTE AND TAKEPART.COM.

SHE STUDIED JOURNALISM, SOCIOLOGY AND LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY'S GALLATIN SCHOOL OF INDIVIDUALIZED STUDY.

Plan This Weekend’s Joyride; Radar Vans Will Be Off Duty

Plan This Weekend’s Joyride; Radar Vans Will Be Off Duty

The white police vans, parked on the side of the street, might be enough of a giveaway. But then there is the sign that reads, “Notice: Traffic Laws Photo Enforced” — a warning to motorists that a radar trap lies about 500 feet ahead.

For the past eight years, the Tucson Police Department has used photo radar vans in its traffic safety program, an effort that also includes several cameras to catch drivers who speed or run red lights.

But the Tucson Police Department has been transparent about where the cameras and vans are posted. As vehicles approach, inevitably a two-step dance begins. Drivers slow down, then speed up again after they have safely passed.

Read more on the New York Times Institute.

Once the Nation’s ‘Most Dangerous’ Park, Organ Pipe Reopens

Once the Nation’s ‘Most Dangerous’ Park, Organ Pipe Reopens