Photo Radar

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Comments

  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Oh you mean the ones with a vested interest in making as much money for their company with financial stipulations in their contract?

    Man, you are getting funnier by the post! Thank you for the entertainment :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Again, you are bringing up instances of photo radar NOT being properly implemented.

    I'm defending, and never have been, IMPROPERLY functioning or incorrectly implemented systems.

    I'm talking about properly working systems.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    No, I'm talking about the ones who will be testifying under OATH and penalty of PERJURY.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    So I have given multiple examples affecting HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people, so I can conclude ALL of the systems out there are having SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS.

    What you are defending is indefensible. You say" I'm defending, and never have been, IMPROPERLY functioning or incorrectly implemented systems." but it is so funny when you realise it it is ALL of them out there! :)

    There are no PROPERLY functioning photo radar system possible given the technology and the lega fraework.

    End of the Story, but please continue chasing the myth of a CORRECT photo radar system. I will happily continue to prove the truth. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says ignorantly, "There are no PROPERLY functioning photo radar system possible given the technology and the legal framework."

    Yes there are. All over the place. Phoenix AZ and Tempe AZ is one of the areas. I live here.

    You don't see news stories about that.

    Only the ones where there are PROBLEMS are in the news.

    Didn't I say that already, before?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Here is a community from Canada using a system properly:

    Photo Radar policy and procedure was developed to ensure responsible use of this technology

    I'm not defending BigFoot, my man.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    From the FAQ:

    Q: Can I contest a photo enforcement citation?

    A: The state carries the burden of proving the violation by a preponderance of the evidence. This is the same standard that is required if you were to be stopped by an officer and cited. You can ask for a hearing and the state would be required to provide evidence that the photo enforcement equipment was working properly, that the violation occurred and you were responsible for the violation.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    One, please do not call me ignorant. Name calling only diminishes your stature, if that is possible after your posts here.

    Two, Arizona is still part of the USA, and thus the system there violates the Constitution DAY and NIGHT, and that don't make it RIGHT. :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    No, you are trying, and failing, to defend something much worse. :)

    And no problem for me personally, but this travesty of justice in the name of safety is a scam that will die in due course. It is a pity it will cost honest people a lot of their time, and money, until that happens. Such is the price of Justice and Liberty. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I did not call you ignorant.

    I called your statement ( which indicated lack of knowledge, which is the primary definition of the word ignorant ) an ignorant statement.

    Even the smartest people, like you and I, sometimes make ignorant statements.

    Anyone saying "there are no instances of correctly functioning photo radar systems" is indicating a "lack of knowledge" that such systems DO exist, since they DO.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Thank you for that clarification, but that is still wrong. All of my statements have adequate proof referenced and quoted, so they are not ignorant at all.

    There are huge problems with photo radar TECHNICALLY and LEGALLY, and thus it is CORRECT to state that the use of photo radar is impossible to implement correctly or legally.

    The proof is there for all to see. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Well, until the Supreme Court agrees with YOU, I will agree with the current court cases which have refused in many cases to make it illegal.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Your "proof" that it is illegal is cancelled out by all the states and countries still using it legally.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Frankly, I do not care what your opinion is in this regard since it is too rigidly set, but your right to hold that opinion is sacrosanct.

    However, I will continue to examine the issue and all relevant developments and post those in this forum. Please feel free to do so too. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    My opinion is not "rigidly set" any more than yours is.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Thank you for that entertaining comment! :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    No less so than yours, so thanks in return !!! :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    You mean this system in Arizona:

    Arizona: Freeway Photo Radar Ban Proceeds

    Arizona state House committee votes to ban photo radar as speed camera documents may have been falsified in up to 1000 cases.

    A committee of the Arizona state House of Representatives yesterday voted 5-2 to approve legislation banning the use of speed cameras on freeways. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee decided to act in response to a rising tide of public opposition to the largest single deployment of speed cameras ever attempted in the US. State lawmakers voted to reject the program despite the testimony of state police officials that the automated ticketing machines were improving safety on Arizona's highways."

    I am not really sure whether you are serious or merely joking when you post. Now I wonder why the ban is proceeding when your contention is that it is working fine? :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    You are so very welcome! :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    There is more than one system in use in AZ.

    There are local, city-based photo speed systems.

    There are local, city-based red light systems.

    There are mobile vans run by the DPS.

    There are state-run stationary freeway cameras.

    There are systems run by local sheriffs.

    This is one ban on one type of system, and it will end up in a public vote before it's gone forever.

    This one ban will end only one type of system, if it passes into law.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    And this is precisely why USA is so great!

    And it is only a matter of time when the people of Arizona will speak and be heard:

    Arizona Group Launches Statewide Referendum to Ban Photo Enforcement

    Lawmakers kick off an event designed to give Arizona voters the decision on whether to keep or reject red light and speed cameras.

    Prominent lawmakers and law enforcement officials were among the first to sign a petition today that would, if approved, give Arizona voters the power to decide whether photo enforcement should continue in the state. The grassroots activist group CameraFraud.com held a rally at the state capitol building in Phoenix on the first day of the legislature's 2009 session. Citizens also lined up around the state Senate building for a chance to add their names to the petition.

    "No traffic complaint... shall be issued or filed in the State of Arizona for an alleged violation... if the alleged violation was detected through the use of a Photo Enforcement System," the initiative states.

    Speakers at the event included Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Ron Gould (R-Lake Havasu); state House Appropriations Committee Chairman Russell Pearce (R-Mesa), who is also a former chief deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff's office; and newly elected Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.

    To qualify for the ballot, the petition must contain 153,364 verified signatures. CameraFraud organizers suggest that more than 200,000 signatures can be secured thanks to what they call the overreach of outgoing Governor Janet Napolitano (D) in ordering up to 200 photo radar vans on Arizona freeways to help balance the ballooning state budget deficit. Opposition to the freeway ticketing helped the Phoenix-area group grow from a handful of members to more than 800 in just six months. It has also spawned affiliate groups in Tuscon and Washington, DC, with more on the way.

    "This initiative measure keeps the enforcement of our laws in the hands of trained law enforcement officers who are authorized by the people of Arizona, protects the citizens of Arizona from the abuses that accompany the outsourcing of law enforcement to private, for-profit corporations and ensures that the purpose of law enforcement remains to serve and protect and not to generate revenue for governments," the initiative's summary explains.

    No photo enforcement program has ever survived a vote by the public. Cincinnati and Steubenville, Ohio recently voted to ban photo ticketing. Between 1991 and 1997, voters also turned out in Batavia, Illinois; Peoria, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska to reject photo radar.

    Article Excerpt:
    Text of End Photo Radar Initiative

    An Initiative Measure PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO TITLE 28, CHAPTER 5, ARTICLE 4; ADDING SECTION 28-1590 PROHIBITING THE USE OF PHOTO ENFORCEMENT SYSTEMS

    Be it enacted by the People of Arizona:

    Section 28-1590, is proposed to be added as follows if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the Governor:

    Section 28-1590. Prohibiting the Use of Photo Enforcement Systems.

    A. No traffic complaint, notice of violation or other legal form of civil or criminal charge or citation shall be issued or filed in the state of Arizona for an alleged violation of this Title or of any other state, county or municipal law relating to the operation of a motor vehicle if the alleged violation was detected through the use of a Photo Enforcement System, as defined in subsection B of this section.

    B. For purposes of this section, "Photo Enforcement System" means a device or system consisting of a radar unit or sensor linked to a (i) camera or other recording device that produces or is capable of producing one or more photographs, microphotographs, videotapes or digital or other recorded images of a vehicle's license plate or its operator or (ii) device that is capable of reading a motor vehicle's license plate or otherwise identifying a motor vehicle.

    Please note the last two paragraphs and their applicability to local, city-based photo speed systems, local, city-based red light systems, mobile vans run by the DPS, state-run stationary freeway cameras AND systems run by local sheriffs.

    It is only a matter of time. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    CameraFraud.com does not speak for law-abiding citizens. It's a haven for the two types of people I have always said are the most vocal opponents of photo radar systems:

    1. Speeders whining about getting caught.
    2. People on the paranoid fringe.

    They talk on their website about the "government/surveillance-complex in Arizona which they call the extensive collaboration of private companies corrupting law enforcement with the prospect of bucketfuls of money."

    HMMM. They sound like reasonably NORMAL citizens, huh?

    Would you like some coffee with all your Paranoia, today, sir?

    Good for them if they develop political power - it's our good system at work.

    But it's being done for ALL the wrong reasons.

    CameraFraud.com does not speak for the law-abiding, speed-limit-obeying public in Arizona. They may speak for the most paranoid, speed-loving public, but they are obviously anti-photo radar for the wrong reasons.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    The CameraFraud guys may be loonies in your opinion, but if they get 200,000 signatures and proceed according to the legal process, then they are the ones proven right.

    "To qualify for the ballot, the petition must contain 153,364 verified signatures. CameraFraud organizers suggest that more than 200,000 signatures can be secured thanks to what they call the overreach of outgoing Governor Janet Napolitano (D) in ordering up to 200 photo radar vans on Arizona freeways to help balance the ballooning state budget deficit. Opposition to the freeway ticketing helped the Phoenix-area group grow from a handful of members to more than 800 in just six months. It has also spawned affiliate groups in Tuscon and Washington, DC, with more on the way.

    "This initiative measure keeps the enforcement of our laws in the hands of trained law enforcement officers who are authorized by the people of Arizona, protects the citizens of Arizona from the abuses that accompany the outsourcing of law enforcement to private, for-profit corporations and ensures that the purpose of law enforcement remains to serve and protect and not to generate revenue for governments," the initiative's summary explains.

    No photo enforcement program has ever survived a vote by the public. Cincinnati and Steubenville, Ohio recently voted to ban photo ticketing. Between 1991 and 1997, voters also turned out in Batavia, Illinois; Peoria, Arizona and Anchorage, Alaska to reject photo radar.

    Let's see what happens. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "No photo enforcement program has ever survived a vote by the public."

    That might or might not be true. But if it's true, it's not because Photo Radar is WRONG !!

    It's because people care about and want to keep their right to SPEED FREELY !!!

    You think if "the people" cared about traffic safety that we'd have 40,000 deaths every year?

    NO !!!!
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I told you that the Camerafraud.com frauds DO NOT REPRESENT the majority of public opinion in Phoenix, and I am right about that.

    From a local Phoenix radio station website, February 2009:

    Yesterday's poll on KTAR.com asked listeners if it comes to a public vote would they vote to expand the freeway camera photo radar program? The results shocked the Click Chick - 67 percent said yes they would vote to expand the photo radar program and 33 percent said no, they wouldn't. So if the voters pass this measure and cameras end up on Valley freeways, I'm telling all my friends right now - I'm going to be late for everything because it there's one the Click Chick doesn't like besides getting a speeding ticket, it's having her picture taken!
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,369
    "...1. Speeders whining about getting caught. 2. People on the paranoid fringe..."

    Since I'm not in the first category you must be saying that I'm in the second. I'm sorry, but to have a healthy distrust of people in power is not paranoia, unless you consider people like Thomas Jefferson to be paranoid.

    To have a blind trust of the power structure is just plain silly. I'm sure that it makes you feel warm and fuzzy to think that just because you work for the government, the government will treat you right. I just hope you don't wake up some morning to find out that you are now on the outside looking in. :(

    I wish you well.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    It's not "blind trust" at all.

    It's based on common sense and logic.

    There are degrees of paranoia.

    Worrying about "big brother" issues in regard to Photo Radar systems, which under proper operation take one single snapshot of you, while you are breaking the law, in PUBLIC, is indicative of undue paranoia or else is just masking your REAL motives to oppose it.

    From following this issue socially for several years, I can tell you for a FACT that there are many people who use "Big Brother" stuff just to hide the fact that they want to speed unimpeded.

    And so far, I have yet to see too many a vocal critic of Photo Radar who has also lost a close loved one to a traffic accident or red-light runner or a speed-enhanced auto crash.

    Once something like that changes your life, you realize that preserving life is a better idea than getting to the ball game 5 minutes faster.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,560
    It's because people care about and want to keep their right to SPEED FREELY !!!

    You think if "the people" cared about traffic safety that we'd have 40,000 deaths every year?


    You can't speed freely, there are cops around. However, speeding freely and traffic safety have no correlation. People speed when it is safe and reasonable to do so. Of course everyone cares about traffic safety, because if they didn't, instead of 40,000 deaths you'd have 400,000 deaths a year.

    If there were that many deaths a year, then the death total might include both of us in any given year. And that, I'm certain, unless everyone is suicidal, is on everyone's "important" list.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Nice, someone else has waded in again. :shades:

    I think we know where Larsb and Vcheng stand - anyone else like to comment?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    andres3 says, " However, speeding freely and traffic safety have no correlation."

    If you TRULY believe that, you have a lot of education in front of you before you merge with reality.
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Member Posts: 2,207
    Dearest "drive the speed limit" proponents,
    Are any of you folks LLHs? (Left Lane Hogs?) or MLHs?
    Turns out the highway right lane is great for either driving the speed limit or driving 80 mph, due to so many LLHs and MLH (middle-lane hogs!).
    If photo-radar were about increasing safety, it would be programmed to
    photograph left-lane-hogs and other speed-limit-enforcers. But to maximize revenue,
    best to leave it targetting speeders!
    sincerely,
    Right Lane Hog
    (lately I'm driving slooow in the right lane but it's the best place to drive fast too, thanks to the MLHs and LLHs).
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Circle your Answer:

    So you are saying habitual speeders LIKE having photo radar installations?

    YES
    NO

    So are you saying that in areas where Photo Radar is in use there are FEWER speeding tickets issued than in areas without Photo Radar?

    YES
    NO
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    So what is real reason for photo radar system? (a) Money OR (b) Safety

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2707.asp

    California: City May Dump Cameras Over Insufficient Revenue

    Revenue trouble may end red light cameras in Upland, California. Officials prepare for possible refund of illegally issued tickets.

    The Upland, California City Council is expected to vote Monday to stop using red light cameras because the program has not only failed to improve safety, it has also failed to generate sufficient revenue. In a memorandum to the city council, Upland Police Chief Steve Adams recommended canceling the city's contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that has been issuing tickets on Upland's behalf since November 2003.

    "The monthly revenue from the service has not covered the salary and benefits of those who review and issue potential violations," Adams wrote. "Redflex also desires to eliminate an $8,900 credit per month, which has allowed the system to remain financially neutral at best."

    Upland's problem began in 2001 when the company that is now doing business as ACS was caught manipulating pavement sensors in a way that boosted the number of tickets issued in San Diego. At the time, the vendor was being given a monetary award for each red light citation the company generated. The state legislature responded to the scandal with a law banning compensation of the private company operating red light camera programs "based on the number of citations generated, or as a percentage of the revenue generated." To avoid upsetting local governments, contracts signed prior to January 2004, like Upland's, were grandfathered. The law only applied to new contracts.

    As a result, Upland continues to reward Redflex with an $89 payment for every $426 ticket that the Australian company issues. This was perfectly legal until December 1, 2005 when the city quietly negotiated a change to the contract that gave Upland the first 100 tickets -- or $8900 -- free. This unofficial contract amendment created a new per-ticket compensation arrangement not permitted under the law.

    "The contract issue is currently under court scrutiny, and, pending the outcome, has the potential to invalidate citations previously issued," Adams explained.

    As with Norcross, Georgia which this week ended photo ticketing over revenue concerns, the red light cameras in Upland produced no safety benefit.

    "The system appears to have little influence on the number of red light related collisions at monitored intersections," Adams wrote. "At times rear end collisions have actually increased."

    Redflex did propose to resolve the legal difficulty by entering into a "pay per approach" deal that eliminates the monetary incentive for Redflex to issue more tickets. Adams did not like the plan.

    "(It) would likely place the city in a position from which it would never attain a positive revenue flow," Adams wrote.

    A copy of the contract amendment and the police chief's memo are available in a 450k PDF file at the source link below.

    Source: Redflex-Upland Documents (City of Upland, California and Redflex, 3/5/2009)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Once AGAIN,

    WHO CARES?

    if it is a money grab or not?

    It's still providing a public safety service if it slows speeders.

    Even if it's 90% money grab and 10% safety, ANY increased safety is WORTH IT.

    And it won't cost a law-abiding driver ONE SINGLE DIME.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Once again, I CARE. :)

    PS: Apparently you missed the part about the cameras INCREASING rear end collisions.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Why do you care?

    If it only taxes speeders,
    and guvmints need the money (which they DO)
    and it won't cost you a penny,
    and YOU BENEFIT from the increased guvmint revenue,

    Where is the downside?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I care because I am a responsible citizen of the greatest country on earth.

    The downsides are many as I keep showing. Just because you refuse to see any downside does not mean it does not exist. That, however, is not my problem.

    Please do not be upset at my caring about this issue. My views will change if there is evidence that shows any upside to the use of photo radar. So far, what I have seen is decidedly AGAINST photo radar.

    Just my opinion based on evidence and rational thinking! :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    No, you must have misunderstood me.

    I'm not asking "where's the downside of PHOTO RADAR SYSTEMS?" - you have already abundantly and excessively made your opinion known.

    I'm asking: "If the photo radar system is in place ANYWAY, what's the problem with it being a money grab for the police organization which is using it?"
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    My expression of my opinion is neither excessive nor wrong.

    However, I will not even attempt to answer your question to provide the opportunity to whoever else might want to answer it. If you do not see anything wrong with a money grab for a police organisation, then that is fine for your opinion, and it does not really matter if it is by choice or by some other reason.

    I see many things wrong with that, but that is my opinion.

    I will just continue to participate as best as I can according to Edmund's rules. :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "I see many things wrong with that, but that is my opinion. "

    Please educate me in on the downsides of that approach.

    I don't see any, and if they are there, then I'd like my perspective enhanced by knowing what they are.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I guess it depends on your stretch of road, but if you stay all the way over to the right on a 6 lane in an urban area, you'll be cut off by people about to miss their exit and you'll make it harder for people entering the freeway to merge.

    A minimum speed limit camera might win Redflex some fans though.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, even better would be a GPS based speed limit device that knows where it is at all times, and will automatically adjust the speed of the vehicle to be within the speed limit at that time in that location as determined by a central location. (I have already posted links to trials of such a system.)

    Such a system would certainly eliminate low and high speed differentials that are a contributory cause to many accidents. However, it would raise many other questions. :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and tickets, and corruption cannot be far behind surely for us lesser mortals of this imperfect society. :)

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/15/1563.asp

    Red Light Camera Salesman Convicted of Fraud

    A top salesman for Australian red light camera vendor Redflex is convicted of $1.2 million fraud.

    A top red light camera salesman was convicted in South Carolina of $1.2 million in fraud on Thursday. A jury found Jay Morris Specter, 51, guilty of five counts of forgery carrying a maximum penalties that include a $250,000 fine and ten years imprisonment.

    Australian camera vendor Redflex had hired Specter in 2005 to make sales presentations to city councils around the country. Specter made broad claims about the benefits of photo enforcement in cities such as Woodruff, South Carolina; Chevy Chase, Maryland; and Boca Raton, Florida. Most recently he had finalized a deal with Jefferson Parish, Louisiana while under felony indictment since June. Jefferson Parish officials were unaware of the indictment and plan to proceed with the contract regardless. Redflex also disclaimed knowledge of Specter's felonies.

    Before joining Redflex, Specter worked for camera vendor ATS to secure contracts with several cities in Missouri. ATS fired Specter in September 2005.

    Specter's latest legal troubles began in 2001 while he was CEO of Insurall Casualty Group. In 2001, he borrowed $5 million, an amount to be paid in installments, for the construction of a call center. Each check was made payable to Insurall and a contractor hired to perform work on the project. Specter removed the contractor's names from eleven checks, and he deposited $1.2 million that was supposed to be paid to workers into the Insurall account, which he controlled. Insurall went out of business in February 2003.

    This is not the first time a photo enforcement company has been tainted with scandal. In October, the mayor of Saint Peters, Missouri pleaded guilty to soliciting a bribe from Redflex in return for approving a red light camera ordinance. In that case, the company cooperated with authorities to pay the bribe and catch the mayor. Redflex competitor ACS is on trial in Edmonton, Canada for bribing two police officers to secure approval of a $90 million no-bid photo ticketing contract. In November, the CEO and CFO of ACS stepped down after admitting to $51 million in stock options fraud.

    Source: Sales exec is guilty in S.C. of forgery (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1/22/2007)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Once again, just as in regular society, there are bad apples in every group.

    Since I was once ripped off by a car salesman, why don't we outlaw car dealerships?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, here are some more bad apples brought to your community courtesy of photo radar revenue. But hey, 168 million dollars is just not enough to make corruption a real concern, right? :)

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/08/870.asp

    DC Uses Camera Revenue for Lavish Trips

    Two-months of speed camera tickets funds travel to exotic destinations for Washington, DC police officers and city officials.

    The city of Washington, DC spends $5.5 million on official travel every year, sending city employees and police officers to lavish conferences held in casinos and resort hotels all around the country and the world. Employees also advanced themselves thousands of dollars in cash and Red Lobster gift certificates and charged personal expenses on city credit cards, according to a Washington Post review of travel disclosure forms.

    Just two months of photo radar ticketing in the District covers the expense, allowing the city to spend five times the amount that Baltimore spends on travel. Speed camera operations in November topped $2.7 million with $168 million worth of photo tickets mailed out since 1999.

    DC police use official trips to unwind in Florida at taxpayer expense. In December 2003, four officers used their official credit card to buy nine bottles of Corona and five schooners of light beer in a Miami Beach bar before heading off for a seminar on handgun use. Similarly, police accompanying Mayor Anthony A. Williams to an event in Las Vegas charged a $92 bar tab to the city at Rumjungle, a popular nightclub featuring "go-go girls [who] dance and prance between bottles of wine to dueling congas."

    In the past two years, officers have taken $20,000 in cash advances without any accounting of where the money was spent. Favorite destinations for Metropolitan Police officers include St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Phoenix.

    Source: D.C. Spends Robustly on Official Travel (Washington Post, 12/30/2005)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Enough bad apples, and pretty soon our communities will have issues like this one. But hey, there is no problem with the money involved and corrupting police is there? :)

    from: http://www.hoboes.com/Mimsy/?ART=216

    Massachusetts State Police encourage speeding

    Jerry Stratton

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    In Nahant, Massachusetts, the causeway’s speed limit drops from 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour for a short stretch of road that connects the peninsula town to Lynn, Massachusetts.

    This portion of the causeway is under the joint jurisdiction of Nahant Police and the Massachusetts State Police. But the two police departments apparently have differing views on what to do about speeding along that stretch of road. When it came to the attention of Nahant that lots of motorists were being ticketed for going 40 to 45 in that zone, they decided to do something about it: they stationed two cruisers near the speed drop and warned motorists to slow down.

    It apparently has worked.

    State Police Sgt. Richard Donovan thinks this is “ridiculous” and that “if Nahant officers were warning vehicles to slow down... they were interfering with state police operations.” They’ve asked the Nahant police to stop asking motorists to slow down.

    If the speed drop from 45 to 35 is about safety, why is it ridiculous to successfully convince motorists to slow down?

    For the state police, speeding laws are not about safety. The state police wants that revenue. If breaking the law means more money for the state governments, then state governments want motorists to break the law, and they will design roadways to encourage lawbreaking, and set speed limits that are unsafe so as to ensure that motorists will not follow them.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is some food for thought for some except one. :)

    from: http://www.motorists.org/blog/traffic-tickets-are-big-business/

    Traffic tickets are a multi-billion industry. They have virtually nothing to do with highway safety, but they have everything to do with money.

    When you begin to grasp the full magnitude of the public and private interests that depend on ripping off motorists through traffic tickets, you begin to understand why this unethical system continues to expand every year.

    No one knows how many traffic tickets are actually issued. Many local units of government deliberately hide this information so they don’t have to split their traffic ticket revenue with the state. Not including parking tickets, we can estimate that somewhere between 25 and 50 million traffic tickets are issued each year. Assuming an average ticket cost of $150.00, the total up front profit from tickets ranges from 3.75 to 7.5 billion dollars.

    If just half of these tickets result in insurance surcharges (typically at least $300 over a period of three years), you can add another 3.75 to 7.5 billion dollars in profit for insurance companies. This is why insurance companies “care” so much traffic “safety” programs and are willing to donate millions of dollars worth of radar and laser guns to the police. For them, it’s simple: more tickets equal more money!

    Realistically, there is no connection between receiving an occasional traffic ticket and the likelihood of being in an accident. So, there is no justification for charging a person more for auto insurance because they were convicted for a random traffic violation. The purpose of insurance is to cover unusual risk. The act of exceeding an unreasonably low limit is hardly an “unusual risk.” That means speeding ticket surcharges are pure profit for the insurance industry.

    In total, we’re talking about 7.5 to 15 billion dollars annually from tickets for government agencies and insurance companies. That’s more money than several states take in from all taxes! Worse still, that total doesn’t even include the money that “traffic schools,” attorneys, radar-detector manufacturers, and scanner producers make.

    To keep the money coming in those that benefit from traffic ticket revenue have to do several things:

    Pass enough laws so that anybody can be stopped at anytime and be given a ticket for a traffic violation. Trivial or concocted traffic law violations are also frequently used as an excuse to stop, detain, and search persons for whom the police have no other legitimate reason to do so.

    Blow out of proportion the effects of various traffic violations. They constantly talk about “carnage” on our roads, despite the fact that we have the lowest level of traffic fatalities in history.

    Maintain a public relations campaign that claims traffic tickets are only given to bad drivers, and that these drivers should pay for the cost of enforcement. This is how you make it appear logical that the police and courts are funded through traffic ticket receipts.

    Keep the ticket prices below the pain threshold that would compel motorists to aggressively contest traffic citations in court. They know that if fines got too high, motorist would fight heir tickets, and trials eat up all the profit.

    Remove as many due process protections for traffic law offenders as is politically possible. This not only further discourages people from contesting their tickets, but it also ensures that those that do will have a much more difficult time defending themselves.

    The police enforce laws that result in direct benefits to police agencies and personnel. Judges hear cases in which a “guilty” verdict would have tangible financially rewards for the court and courthouse personnel. No other class of “crime” is as profitable for state and local governments as is that of traffic tickets. Traffic courts cannot be fair and unbiased when their financial welfare depends on traffic fines. Additionally, local government encourage traffic enforcement practices that rip off travelers to support local government services and to reward government employees. Yet these hypocrisies go largely unnoticed.

    A few simple changes can radically alter this unjust system:

    No court or police department should directly benefit from the collection of traffic fines.

    No police department should be permitted to rate its officers based on how many tickets they write.

    No local government should retain traffic fines. The money collected in local courts should be transferred to the state and returned via a local aid formula based on population.

    Until these changes are made, you should forget the general notion that traffic tickets are fair and traffic courts are just. The entire system focuses on maximizing income. That’s why most of the people who seriously contest a traffic ticket either win or are offered an good plea bargain. They don’t want anyone “making waves“, that would cost them money. That’s yet another good reason why you should fight your traffic ticket!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Of course, only the loonies worry about a police state, right? :)

    from: http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=168

    Police to Track All Vehicles into New York City
    By David Theroux on Aug 20, 2008

    The New York City Police Department is now planning on tracking the movements of all vehicles entering Manhattan in a federally funded program designated “Operation Sentinel.” Of course, this massive assault on privacy is being done to track and screen out “terrorism.” And according to the Associated Press:

    Police say Operation Sentinel would rely on license-plate readers, radiation detectors and closed-circuit cameras installed at the 16 bridges and four tunnels serving Manhattan. About a million vehicles drive onto the island every day. The vehicle data would be analyzed by computers programmed with information about suspicious vehicles. . . . There is no estimate yet of the cost, because Operation Sentinel is in just the planning phase.

    The first real point here is that the New York City police are admitting that since they neither know who are actual terrorists or how to find them, everyone is a criminal suspect and will be monitored in the stereotypical bureaucratic belief that extracting information on everyone will somehow solve the problem.

    But, don’t worry:

    Police say law-abiding people have nothing to fear: Vehicle data deemed innocent would be purged after 30 days.

    Translation: spying, collecting files, and then keeping the information on permanent record is entirely at the discretion of the police bureaucracy.

    In all:

    The plan calls for 116 stationary and mobile license-plate readers and 3,000 closed-circuit cameras that would be monitored by officers at a command center.

    The official, 585-page 9/11 Commission Report indicates that government agencies utterly failed even though they had all the information they needed to identify and apprehend terrorists that attacked the World Trade Center and elsewhere, and most of this information was based on tips, not public surveillance. According to Fred Kaplan at Slate:

    It turns out that many individuals, panels, and agencies had predicted an attack uncannily similar to what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. The problem was that nobody in a position of power felt compelled to do anything about it.

    The second point is that the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights states that, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . . .” But this has certainly not stopped government intrusions into the private lives of innocent people, all of which is based on the “precautionary principle” that abridging the rights of a peaceful, law-abiding individual is justified even if the risk of harm is negligible. But once again, the end never justifies the means, and the rule of law is based on the enduring principles that every person is innocent until proven guilty and that no one, including the police and other government officials, has the right to infringe on the rights of others.

    As Benjamin Franklin noted in 1775:

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    And the lessons of this great insight are superbly discussed in Senior Fellow Robert Higgs’s recent book, Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government.

    Security of course remains a very real issue and in fact crucial to securing liberty and a lawful society, but non-invasive, cooperative, private measures are the solution, as Senior Fellow Bruce Benson shows in his book, To Serve and Protect: Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Only for those interested in EDUMACATION, here are two books to read:

    from: http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=68

    NEITHER LIBERTY NOR SAFETY
    Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government
    By Robert Higgs

    Paperback
    176 pages
    6 x 9 inches
    ISBN 978-1-59813-012-6

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” wrote Benjamin Franklin. Attempting to gain security by sacrificing liberty is also a foolish action because it only increases the potential for harm.

    In Neither Liberty Nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government, economist and historian Robert Higgs illustrates the false trade-off between freedom and security by showing how the U.S. government’s economic and military interventions reduced the civil and economic liberties, prosperity, and genuine security of Americans in the 20th century. Extending the theme of Higgs’s earlier books, Neither Liberty Nor Safety stresses the role of misguided ideas in the expansion of government power at the expense of individual liberty. Higgs illuminates not only many underappreciated aspects of the Great Depression, the two world wars, and the postwar era, but also the government’s manipulation of public opinion and the role that ideologies play in influencing political outcomes and economic performance.

    Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Fear: The Foundation of Every Government’s Power
    2. Eighteen Problematic Propositions in the Analysis of the Growth of Government
    3. The Complex Course of Ideological Change
    4. Crisis and Leviathan: Review and Response
    5. What Got Us Into and Out of the Great Depression?
    6. The United States Won the World Wars, but Americans Lost
    7. Government and the Economy in the United States since World War II
    8. The Ongoing Growth of Government in the Economically Advanced Countries

    And:

    from: http://www.independent.org/store/book_detail.asp?bookID=21

    TO SERVE AND PROTECT
    Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice
    By Bruce L. Benson
    Foreword by Marvin E. Wolfgang

    Hardcover
    404 pages
    6 x 9 inches
    ISBN 978-0-81471-327-3

    Table of Contents

    Foreword
    Chapter 1: Introduction
    Chapter 2: Partial Privatization: The Level and Scope of Contracting Out in Criminal Justice
    Chapter 3: Potential Benefits and Pitfalls of Contracting Out in Criminal Justice
    Chapter 4: Private Inputs into “Public” Arrests and Prosecution: Vital but Reluctant Victims and Witnesses
    Chapter 5: The Level and Scope of Private Production of Crime Prevention and Protection
    Chapter 6: Private Justice in America: Historical Precedent and Modern Reality
    Chapter 7: The Benefits of Privatization: Theory and Evidence
    Chapter 8: Alleged Market Failures in a Privatized System of Criminal Justice: Are They Valid?
    Chapter 9: Why is the Public Sector So Involved with Criminal Law Today? A Theoretical and Historical Analysis
    Chapter 10: Restitution in a Rights-Based Approach to Crime Policy: Individual Responsibility and Justice for Victims
    Chapter 11: Encouraging Effective Privatization in Criminal Justice, Part I: Prevention and Pursuit
    Chapter 12: Encouraging Effective Privatization in Criminal Justice, Part II: Prosecution and Punishment
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    That first book has nothing to do at all with Photo Radar, as far as I can tell.

    The second just attacks using private industry to assist in criminal justice and police efforts - again, not really much interest to me because I don't see that as an evil when it is done right, as with prison systems.

    Thanks for trying, however !!!
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