Are you currently struggling to find an affordable car that you want? A reporter would like to talk to you about your experience with car shopping; please reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Photo Radar

1242527293038

Comments

  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Panel Votes to End AZ Photo Radar Systems

    The best part of the story however is this little side blurb:

    Even if the state-run photo-radar system gets shut down, photo radar is not going away in AZ.

    Tucson has been operating photo speed and red-light cameras for more than a year and has indicated plans to expand the program. Pima County also recently approved its own photo enforcement system.

    And if you head north, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe and a host of other Central Arizona cities will continue to use photo radar.

    Take THAT , Paranoid Speeders Of Arizona !!!
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Some Smart Canadians

    Motorists heading to the West Island from the off-island on Highway 20 should note photo radar will be installed in Pincourt as part of an 18-month trial period starting May 19.

    Photo radar will be installed on Highway 20 eastbound about 350 metres west of the Boulevard de l’Ile intersection as part of a provincial campaign to improve road safety. According to Transport Quebec, about 54,000 vehicles use the highway in Pincourt daily, which is a 70-kilometres-per-hour zone regulated by traffic lights. In a three year period, 80 accidents were recorded in the area, including 16 fatal with 41 per cent of those deaths caused by excessive speeding.

    Pincourt Mayor Michel Kandyba is delighted something is being done on the dangerous stretch of highway that passes through his town but he said his main concern is motorists burning the lights.

    “This is a positive move to deter speeding,” he said, adding it’s not a speed trap as there will be ample signs indicating photo radar is in use.

    “Highway 20 has a lot of truck traffic and lot of them, even some cars, don’t stop at the lights,” Kandyba said. “There have been quite a few serious accidents there. We can’t expect the police to be everywhere. Something has to be done. People are not conscientious and they’re always in a hurry.”

    Quebec announced last week that warning letters will be issued for the first three months of the pilot project and fines will be issued starting Aug. 19. Since there is an issue with proving the identity of the driver with photo radar, drivers will not lose demerit points when tickets are sent by mail.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Speeders beware !!

    “We’re just hoping that it’ll give the police an extra hand in controlling what’s going on in the city, especially on the weekends and evenings,” said Baker. “There’s always one or two people that are always going to be upset. Nobody likes to get a speeding ticket, but most reasonable people go home and look in the mirror and say I probably deserve it. I was speeding.

    “People have to start paying attention to those enforcement issues or we’re going to end up killing people on our city streets,” said Baker.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Reading books only broadens the mind, but that is something you have stated that you do not care for.

    I am happy that you are not really interested, so I will just ignore your comments from now on.

    If anybody posts here then I would be very happy to discuss my point of view if the post so warrants. :)

    (I will now just go and sit in the corner wearing my tinfoil hat and suck my thumb for a while, waiting for somebody to come out and play.) :)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I have never said I do not care for broadening my mind. That would be a very silly thing to say or to do.

    But I don't want to read books which don't relate specifically to something I am interested in learning about. Who does that: reads books which have no interest to them or is about subject matter they do not care to learn about?

    So you are "taking your keyboard and going home?" LOL good one...........:) :):)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Apparently, some people were way ahead of the game way back in 1992 even. Imagine that! :)

    from the New York Times:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE0D81F3CF931A25755C0A96495826- - 0

    Legislators Vote to Ban Photo Radar For Speeders

    By WAYNE KING,

    Published: Friday, June 12, 1992

    By 74 to 1, the New Jersey Assembly voted today to ban the use of photo radar, an automated device that photographs speeders and sends evidence of their transgressions in the mail.

    Protests against the system have been growing since road signs went up in April announcing that the machine would be tested by the New Jersey State Police under a Federal grant from the Department of Transportation.

    No summonses have yet been sent out, and the Legislature moved quickly to insure that none will.

    "This is a good opportunity to quiet the fears and outrage of the people of this state," said the bill's primary sponsor, Stephen A. Mikulak, Republican of Woodbridge. "Let's nip this in the bud. I move this bill with no apologies to Big Brother."

    The bill to ban the photo radar, which clocks motorists and photographs both the driver and the vehicle license plate, now goes to the Senate.

    Opposed on Many Grounds

    Mr. Mikulak and other opponents argued against the photo radar device on a number of grounds. "Our greatest fear," he said, "is the depersonalization of law enforcement."

    Replacing state police officers in patrol cars with radar devices might deter speeders, critics say, but do little or nothing to curb such things as drunken driving, drug trafficking or other violations that officers can detect, but radar cannot.

    Mr. Mikulak warned of "more expenditures for hardware and less for human beings" if the radar devices, which cost $80,000 apiece, were allowed in the state.

    Another sponsor of the bill, Assemblyman Jeffrey Warsh, Republican of Edison, called the device "nothing less than a full, frontal assault on the system of American jurisprudence" that would overturn "the tradition that we are innocent until proven guilty."

    "Photo radar will turn this around," he said. "You would have to go to court to prove you are innocent." Called Invasion of Privacy

    Other critics have said that the system constitutes an invasion of privacy, and that misidentification could result.

    As envisioned in New Jersey, the photo radar system would photograph the driver and license number of any vehicle exceeding a certain speed, and a summons would be issued by mail to the person to whom the vehicle was registered.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I have an unshakeable belief in our system in that it may be slow, but it always works. :)

    from: http://www.politechbot.com/p-01998.html

    Interior Secretary Should End Federal Surveillance Camera Effort

    Photo Radar Program Undermines Privacy

    House Majority Leader Dick Armey wrote to Interior Secretary Gale
    Norton today asking her to end the unprecedented federal photo radar camera
    program that began under former Secretary Bruce Babbitt. "Photo radar" units
    snap photographs of passing motorists for the purpose of identifying and
    mailing speeding citations to alleged speeders.

    "I am concerned that this may be seen as a step toward a Big Brother
    surveillance state, where the government monitors the comings and goings of
    its citizens," wrote Armey.


    The National Park Service proposed a rule last year that would allow
    photo radar units to be activated on park roads within the Washington, D.C.
    metropolitan area. Once finalized, however, this rule could be extended to
    cover any of the 5,000 miles of park roads throughout the country. Such a
    rule would also set a precedent for other federal and local jurisdictions to
    follow.

    "The Park Service, without Congressional approval, is planning to
    turn this into a revenue-raising system that issues tickets to motorists,"
    wrote Armey.


    Two photo radar cameras currently operate in a test mode on the
    George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia. Since the speed limit on
    this road is set well below the average speed of traffic, as many as 30,000
    motorists a day could receive a ticket in the mail. Activating these
    cameras would clearly generate significant ticket revenue.

    The Park Service took this action despite Virginia Governor James S.
    Gilmore's vocal opposition to the use of such traffic surveillance systems
    within his state. Armey cited a letter Gilmore wrote to him last year.

    "While there is clearly the necessity to assure public safety
    through effective enforcement of traffic laws, the use of cameras, operating
    without human judgment reduces our system of justice to trial by machinery
    without the presumption of innocence," wrote Gilmore.


    "I respectfully urge you to review former Secretary Babbitt's spy
    camera program and take the steps needed to protect the privacy of the
    millions of Americans who use and depend on park roads," Armey concluded in
    his letter to Norton.

    A copy of the letter is attached. For more information, visit
    www.freedom.gov
    # # #

    May 8, 2001
    The Honorable Gale Norton
    U.S. Department of the Interior
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20240

    Dear Secretary Norton,

    As a conservative, I am distressed by encroachments upon our
    liberty, however small they may be. For that reason, I wanted to bring to
    your attention an issue, though small, that I believe has the potential to
    become a significant privacy concern for the millions of Americans who use
    park roads.

    The National Park Service undertook an unprecedented expansion of
    the use of photographic radar cameras on federal roads last year. It first
    installed cameras on roads located within the Commonwealth of Virginia as
    part of an authorized demonstration project. Now the Park Service, without
    Congressional approval, is planning to turn this into a revenue-raising
    system that issues tickets to motorists.

    In essence, what these cameras do is turn the duty and judgment of
    law enforcement officers over to a machine. Citizens lose their
    constitutionally guaranteed right to face their accuser in court when the
    due process of law is traded for the efficiency of revenue generation. You
    can't argue your case to a machine.

    People feel the burden where similar systems have been put in place.
    In the District of Columbia, for example, red light cameras indiscriminately
    mail out tickets to mourners involved in funeral processions and even
    ambulances and police cars. Last year, the District reluctantly admitted
    that it had unfairly issued tickets to at least 20,000 motorists with a
    single camera.

    I'm committed to doing what it takes to make our roads safer, but
    not at the cost of our fundamental rights. Likewise, I am concerned that
    this may be seen as a step toward a Big Brother surveillance state, where
    the government monitors the comings and goings of its citizens.

    Enclosed you will find a copy of a letter the Governor of Virginia
    sent to me last year expressing his opposition to the Park Service's plan.
    Not only did the Park Service fail to consult him on this matter, it did not
    even have the courtesy to notify him when it opened a public comment period.
    The federal government should not impose this system on a state that sees it
    as a most unwelcome development.

    I have confidence that you will appreciate the privacy concerns that
    Governor Gilmore and I have raised. I respectfully urge you to review
    former Secretary Babbitt's spy camera program and take the steps needed to
    protect the privacy of the millions of Americans who use and depend on park
    roads.

    Sincerely,
    DICK ARMEY
    Majority Leader
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    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.


    Another thing that could be done would be to require the local jurisdictions to manage the cameras themselves and not permit them to contract out the work. That would remove the private sector profit motive from the equation and perhaps the cameras that get installed would then really focus more on safety than revenue.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    That is a very good point steve_host, and a nice addition to the reform considerations.

    The problem comes when one tries to see how these could be achieved across various local, state and federal jurisdictions. For example, I posted the story about the Mass State Police trying to prevent a local police department from reducing their take of ticket fine money.

    I can give a similar analogy of how car dealerships use state franchise laws to provide awful service to the car-buying public, and everyone can come up with several good ideas to improve that system too.

    Where these ideas fall down is the process of implementation. The magnitude of the monies involved is simply staggering (easily BILLIONS of dollars, both direct and indirect) and that makes the task so much more complex as I have stated above.

    And that, in summary, is part of my reasoning to state that it is IMPOSSIBLE to use photo radar in a manner that deals with technical and legal issues raised by its use by various jurisdictions across our great country.

    Now, OBD3-GPS or a similar system might be better at controlling the speed and safety issue, but such a system raises its own concerns, as mentioned above already, so I won't reiterate those.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I'd be in the "All For" having systems managed by the police agencies.

    I don't think that's the only way it can be done successfully, but it's a good idea.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    from:

    http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-03-05/news/red-alert-st-louis-officials-real- ly-don-t-want-you-to-know-too-much-about-those-pesky-traffic-light-cameras/

    Red Alert: Everything they really don't want you to know about those pesky traffic-light cameras

    By Chad Garrison

    Published on March 04, 2008 at 2:15pm

    The twenty defendants who trudged into St. Louis City's dingy municipal court building this past Valentine's Day shared two things in common: One, they all received a citation in the mail with a photo of their car allegedly running a red light; and two, they all believed they were wholly innocent of the crime. That is, until Judge Margaret J. Walsh strode into court.

    Appointed to the municipal court by Mayor Francis Slay in 2003, Walsh looks something like a more comely version of television's Judge Judy. She wears her frosted brown hair styled smartly above her shoulders and speaks in an easy diction, free of legalese. In recognition of the February 14 holiday, Walsh spread an assortment of heart-shaped chocolates across her bench and offered the brightly wrapped candies to everyone assembled. But if any of the defendants mistook the sweets as a sign of leniency, they were quickly disappointed when the bailiff called the court to order.

    "A lot of people think these cameras are all about generating revenue," said Walsh as she took her seat. "The truth is, they increase public safety and reduce accidents. You're here because the cameras caught you running a red light. These cameras don't go off if you've entered the intersection while the light is yellow. So that's not an issue. It's also against the law to turn right on red before making a complete stop. If you don't believe it, look it up."

    Following her brief introduction, Walsh instructed the defendants to form two lines. Those who wished to admit their guilt and pay the $100 fine were to line up in front of the court clerk. Those who wanted to argue their case before the judge could form a line down the center of the aisle. But, warned Walsh, if she found their arguments to be without merit — or a waste of time — she had the right to tack on a $50 court fee.

    Faced with the prospect of now paying $150 to settle the matter, half of the accused cut their losses and paid the clerk. The remaining ten defendants rose from their seats and waited for the judge to download video clips of their infractions onto her computer.

    The first offender, a bookish woman in her mid-50s, argued that had she tried to stop for the light her car would have skidded into the intersection and caused an accident. "I'm a safe driver," she implored.

    "No, you're not!" Walsh fired back. "You were driving way too fast. You're lucky a police officer didn't arrest you for reckless driving."

    When the woman continued to protest the ticket, Walsh offered her a choice. "How about I let everyone in the courtroom watch this video? If they agree with you, I'll fine you $100. If they agree with me, I'll fine you $500?" The woman settled on the $100 fine, plus court fees.

    Several defendants later, a middle-aged man agreed with the judge that the video did in fact show his car running a red light. He denied, however, that he was driving the auto at the time. Vehicle owners who claim they weren't behind the wheel are supposed to write the name and address of the guilty party on the back of the citation.

    "Who was driving it, then?" demanded Walsh. "Was it your wife? Your kids? Your cousin?" When the man refused to cough up a name, Walsh informed him that he could either pay the $100 fine — plus court fees — or ante up $70 dollars to appeal the case to the St. Louis Circuit Court.

    Sensing that he, too, was staring at a losing hand, the defendant acquiesced and opened his billfold to pay. "It's not fair," he said before leaving the courtroom. "You can't prove it was me driving the car."

    "If you want fair, ask God for it," replied Walsh. "You don't get fair in court. You get justice."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Early last month Riverfront Times sent Mayor Francis Slay's office a list of questions concerning the city's use of red-light cameras. Slay's spokesman Ed Rhode answered some of our queries, but he ignored others entirely despite numerous follow-up calls. Curiously enough, one query — concerning how people who refuse to pay the red-light fines are punished — prompted quick action at city hall.

    Days after we asked that particular question, Jim Sonderman, Slay's lobbyist to the board of aldermen, contacted Alderman Freeman Bosley Jr. with an "emergency" board bill the mayor's office wanted introduced. Bosley, who serves as chair of the board of aldermen's Streets, Traffic and Refuse Committee, sponsored the 2005 ordinance that first legalized the use of red-light cameras in St. Louis City.

    The bill Bosley introduced on February 15, on behalf of the mayor's office, would amend the original 2005 ordinance by allowing the city to legally penalize anyone who fails to respond to a red-light camera ticket. Bosley expects passage of the bill by the close of the board session March 24.

    Why the need for this special legislation? Because, as Bosley puts it, "The way it is now, if a person doesn't pay the fine, there ain't nothing nobody can do because they've violated no law. With my bill in place, they can lock you up and impound your car. It gives the law teeth."
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd. from:

    http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-03-05/news/red-alert-st-louis-officials-real- ly-don-t-want-you-to-know-too-much-about-those-pesky-traffic-light-cameras/2

    As it stands now, the city will not issue a bench warrant against car owners who do not respond to tickets generated from the traffic cameras, nor will it turn their names over to a collection agency. So what will the city do? "Nothing," states the laconic Rhode. Surprised? So were we. But then, as we've discovered, there are many things the city doesn't want the public to know about its red-light cameras.

    City officials insist the cameras that are installed at 21 city intersections are used solely to improve public safety, not to generate revenue. So they'd prefer the $1.9 million the program has collected in just its first ten months of operation not be emphasized. City hall is also hesitant to advertise the additional $900,000 that's gone to Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the private company that installs and monitors the cameras, and then splits the fines with the city.

    Other issues the city would rather not highlight include the fact that the cameras have inconclusive safety results, they're not used exclusively at the city's "most dangerous" intersections and their very use stands on shaky legal ground.

    "These tickets are offensive to anyone who cares about the Constitution," voices Steve Ryals, a Saint Louis University law professor and former general counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. "The judge brings them up there and says, 'OK, why aren't you guilty?' But what the poor citizen doesn't understand is that the videotape is not sufficient evidence in which they can be found guilty of anything. There's not an image of you driving the car, and the city has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of the hundreds of people who've disputed their red-light citations at the St. Louis Municipal Court, just two have filed an appeal. Later this month, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Barbara Peebles will hear the case of a man who's acquired three citations for running stoplights on Hampton Avenue. The other appeal, involving a driver who failed to come to a full stop before turning right on red, was to be heard last month.

    Kirkwood resident Ronald Edelman argued in his petition to the circuit court that the red-light citations violated his Fifth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution by compelling him to testify against himself. Edelman dismissed his appeal days before his scheduled hearing, but several civil-rights attorneys say he might have had a case.

    "I think anyone who wants to fight this is going to win," says Clayton civil-rights attorney Bevis Schock. "All you have to do is evoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. The judge can't prove you did it."

    The problem, adds Schock, is that few people have the time or willingness to challenge the citations before a judge. "This just isn't the right hill to die on, which is why it's such a great way to raise revenue for the city," says Schock. "I get calls from clients about this all the time, and I tell them, 'Look, it's a hundred bucks. Just pay it.' Now, if they start locking people up over these, I think you're going to have civil-rights attorneys who are just going to have a field day."

    Alderman Bosley admits that the bill he's sponsoring isn't perfect, but he insists that measures are needed to penalize the guilty. "There is always going to be the question: 'How can you fine Joe Blow for running a red light when it was Suzie Q. who was actually driving the car?'" says Bosley. "But by giving the law teeth, hopefully we can create an atmosphere where we can get down to prosecuting the true guilty party."

    Since Arnold became the first Missouri city to pass an ordinance approving the use of red-light cameras in 2005, the state's appellate courts and supreme court have yet to weigh in on the issue. But last week St. Louis County residents James and Kara Hoekstra filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Arnold and American Traffic Solutions. ATS also monitors the cameras in that Jefferson County municipality.

    The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis argues that the city's red-light ordinance is unconstitutional and violates state law by guaranteeing that no points will be assessed to a moving violation if the required fine is paid. Criminal defense attorney Chet Pleban, who represents the Hoekstras, also alleges that Arnold officials violated federal racketeering laws by using the mail and Internet "as part of their broader scheme to defraud plaintiffs" and "by collecting fines when they could never prove a violation."

    Pleban says he's considering a similar suit against St. Louis City. "I have a client in the city who just missed his court date," says Pleban. "I'm waiting to see what they do to him. I dare them to lock him up."

    Attorney Steve Ryals suggests the way the city prosecutes cases in the municipal court also presents a conflict of interest. Unlike the city's circuit court, in which judges are appointed by the governor and subject to retention votes, judges in the municipal court are appointed by Mayor Slay — whose staff lobbied hard to bring the red-light cameras to St. Louis. (See Chad Garrison's "Red Light, Green Light," February 1, 2006.) City Counselor Patty Hageman, whose office prosecutes the red-light citations, also serves at the pleasure of the mayor. (The mayor's office did not make Hageman available for comment for this story.)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd from:
    http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-03-05/news/red-alert-st-louis-officials-real- ly-don-t-want-you-to-know-too-much-about-those-pesky-traffic-light-cameras/3

    "I think that further informs you of the impartiality that you'll find in municipal courts," comments Ryals. "Now, I've been in municipal courts where the judge does the right thing, but there's not a lawyer out there practicing who would say that's the case in every city."

    Cha-ching! Is that the sound of a cash register or the telltale click of a camera flash? Both have a similar sound and, in the case of red-light cameras, both mean one thing: money. Since the city's photo-enforcement program went into effect last May, the city has mailed more than 36,000 red-light citations, averaging 125 tickets a day, five citations per hour. To date, some 28,000 people have dutifully paid the fines, providing the city with a collection rate of more than 80 percent.

    For each $100 fine collected, $68.67 goes to the city's general revenue fund. The remaining $31.33 is sent off to American Traffic Solutions. Revenue for both entities is expected to increase next year. The original plan called for the city to install cameras only at ten of its "most dangerous intersections," in the words of Mayor Slay's chief of staff, Jeff Rainford. All of which begs the question: Do red-light cameras really improve public safety?

    This past January, St. Louis Police Chief Joe Mokwa wrote a letter to the editor in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch stating that "local and national studies indicate that cameras are an effective tool in altering behavior." Exactly which studies Mokwa was citing is unclear. The police chief was unavailable for comment for this story, but police department spokeswoman Schron Jackson informs the RFT that the department has yet to study the efficacy of the cameras in St. Louis.

    Nonetheless, a 2001 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that intersections with traffic cameras in Oxnard, California, saw a 29 percent decrease in injury crashes. The cameras also led to fewer accidents at other street corners. The IIHS study is often cited by policymakers who are looking to defend red-light cameras.

    More recent studies, though, have found the cameras to have significant drawbacks.

    A 2005 report published by the Federal Highway Administration showed that while red-light cameras lowered right-angle (or "T-bone") collisions at intersections by 25 percent, the cameras increased rear-end collisions by 15 percent, owing to drivers slamming on their brakes to avoid a ticket.

    Another study, published last year by the Virginia Transportation Research Council, found that the cameras led to an increase in comprehensive crash costs as a result of the increased frequency of rear-end collisions. Still another report from the Texas Transportation Institute discovered that extending the length of the yellow signal by one second had a much greater impact on reducing accidents than the use of traffic cameras.

    In 2006 Jeff Rainford told the RFT that Slay's interest in red-light cameras began after the tragic case of Eunice Felder, an 82-year-old woman killed by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the street at the corner of McCausland and Plateau avenues in Dogtown. "That's pretty much what started it," Rainford said at the time.

    Why, then, does that intersection not have a camera today? Slay spokesman Ed Rhode says it's because the mayor doesn't get involved in selecting which street corners receive cameras. Still, the fact remains that the cameras aren't used specifically at the city's "most dangerous" intersections — at least not according to accident statistics maintained by the St. Louis police.

    For example, in October the corner of Memorial and Walnut streets downtown became the seventh city intersection to receive red-light cameras. But that corner is listed as only the 44th most dangerous street-crossing in the city, according to the police. Meanwhile, the corner of Grand Boulevard and Gravois Avenue had 91 accidents in 2006, ranking it as the fifth most dangerous intersection. Yet that intersection does not have red-light cameras installed.

    Rhode explains that the city chooses intersections based on an "informal process" that takes into consideration input from the courts, the police department and the city counselor's department. "The primary criteria is safety," ensures Rhode.

    State Representative Charles Portwood isn't convinced. This past December, the Ballwin Republican authored legislation to standardize the way Missouri municipalities employ photo-enforcement programs. Among the many mandates outlined in his bill is a provision requiring cities to evaluate their photo-enforcement programs every three years to determine what, if any, effect they have on public safety.

    Officials in other states have been accused of shortening the length of yellow lights that are equipped with cameras. To prevent similar allegations in Missouri, Portwood's bill would require the Missouri Department of Transportation to certify the signal timing on all lights equipped with cameras.

    "Don't get me wrong," says Portwood. "I'm not trying to get anyone out of trouble for running a red light. I just think there ought to be standards, and everyone ought to know those standards. Right now, the state is prohibited from auditing red-light companies because there is no law on the books on how the state can direct these companies and what to do if there is a problem with one."

    Portwood filed a similar bill last year that was attached to another piece of legislation. He believes the bill had enough votes to clear the Missouri House of Representatives, but it died when legislators struck down the accompanying measure. The lawmaker says lobbyists for the red-light camera industry are now pushing hard for statewide legislation that could mitigate controversy surrounding the cameras in St. Louis City, Arnold and other municipalities.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd. from:

    http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2008-03-05/news/red-alert-st-louis-officials-real- ly-don-t-want-you-to-know-too-much-about-those-pesky-traffic-light-cameras/4

    "The industry wants a state law addressing the cameras so they can say, 'Hey, the legislature is OK with us,'" says Portwood. "But my fear is that they'll force movement of a bill that does nothing and doesn't have the checks and balances of the one I've crafted."

    The state representative also has a provision in his bill requiring that no fine from red-light cameras exceed $100 — including court costs — and that all the money collected goes to the local school district.

    "All I'm saying is that if it's really about public safety, then money should be no object," reasons Portwood. "It shouldn't matter if we spend it on the schools or whatever. But in theory, if the cameras worked as well as advertised, they'd already be coming down because there would be no revenue."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Joe Scott speaks with the silver tongue of a criminal defense attorney — and for good reason. His Pennsylvania-based company makes and distributes PhotoBlocker, an aerosol spray that is said to make your license plate "invisible" to red-light cameras.

    "We're not encouraging anyone to run red lights or speed," stresses Scott. "All we're saying is that the system is rigged. It's not a level playing field. These cameras are notorious for making mistakes and police departments have been found to shorten the length of yellow lights to set traps. Under those circumstances, you have a right to protect yourself from unjust traffic tickets."

    PhotoBlocker leaves a glossy sheen on the license plate that reflects the flash from a camera, resulting in an overexposed image. "The law says that your license plate has to be visible, but nowhere does it say it has to be photogenic," argues Scott. "If they can't read the numbers on your license plate, they don't know who you are and they can't send you a ticket."

    Seven years after first crafting Photo­Blocker out of a secret recipe of shellac, varnish and sundry chemicals, Scott boasts he's sold nearly 600,000 cans of the ticket repellent. Dozens of Internet vendors sell the product for prices ranging from $19.99 to $29.99. Yet for all its popularity online, few — if any — local retailers stock it.

    "We do not condone it," states a matter-of-fact cashier at Advance Auto Parts in south St. Louis. Ditto the response from a clerk at a local O'Reilly Auto Parts. "We don't stock it, but I wish we did," says an employee at the AutoZone in Maplewood. "I've been looking to get some for my car. Let me know where you find it."

    In 2005 the Illinois General Assembly passed a law prohibiting the use of PhotoBlocker and any related products that "obstruct the visibility or electronic image recording of the license plate." But the product remains perfectly legal in Missouri.

    "We don't have anything on our books prohibiting it," confirms David Griffith, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Revenue. "But does it work? It sounds too good to be true," he adds.

    PhotoBlocker, according to Scott, has a failure rate of less than 1 percent. "If it doesn't work, why would the great state of Illinois ban PhotoBlocker?" he asks. "Illinois banning our product was the best thing in the world for us. Sales shot through the roof!"

    Television stations from Denver to Australia have put PhotoBlocker to the test. Most media reports conclude that the product works to some degree. We tested it out last month on the RFT Street Team machine, a garish red Mini Cooper. In doing so, it is possible we may have made a right turn on red without coming to a complete stop at the corner of Delmar and Skinker boulevards.

    Given that our paper's logo is plastered all over the vehicle, you'd think city officials would be able to pinpoint the perp, even if they couldn't view the plates. So far, we've yet to receive a ticket. Maybe it's in the mail. We'll keep you posted.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,552
    Photo Radar is a joke.

    It provides no safety benefits, and it INCREASES accident rates.
    It provides no due process, no innocense until proven guilty in a court of law, and no identification of the driver.

    It unfairly burdens the owner of a car to waste his or her time and money to defend a bogus ticket.

    All speed enforcement is a waste of taxpayer resources if you ask me, but PHOTO RADAR is particularly ridiculous.

    Most people drive safely and reasonably provided conditions are right. They should concentrate their efforts on UNSAFE negligent/reckless/drunk drivers, not speeders that are driving perfectly safely.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • timadamstimadams Member Posts: 294
    "Another thing that could be done would be to require the local jurisdictions to manage the cameras themselves and not permit them to contract out the work. That would remove the private sector profit motive from the equation and perhaps the cameras that get installed would then really focus more on safety than revenue."

    Actually, that doesn't change much of anything. The governmental authority (state or local) has a clear revenue motive, and whether or not they share some of that revenue with a private company makes no difference in the shortcomings of photo enforcement. In fact, if it costs more for the government to install and operate the cameras and handle the paperwork, there might be more motivation to generate even more "tickets". In the end, the problem isn't who is running the program, the problem is the owner of the car is targeted, not the driver.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    About your italicized comments:;

    to defend a bogus ticket...........which they would not be getting if they were SIMPLY obeying the speed limit which is SO VERY EASY to do.

    INCREASES accident rates...completely unfounded and statistically untrue.

    All speed enforcement is a waste of taxpayer resources....so you are saying there should be ZERO speed enforcement in the USA?

    Let's make sure all the readers of the forum see this:

    Forum member andres3 is going on record as saying he thinks all speed enforcement is a waste of resources.

    From that point, the only natural following assumption is that andres3 thinks people should be able to drive as FAST as they want to, WHENEVER they want to, under ANY circumstances, and NEVER be held accountable for that action.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is an interesting angle:

    from: http://www.motorists.org/blog/maryland-police-refuse-to-pay-speed-camera-tickets- /

    Maryland Police Refuse To Pay Speed Camera Tickets

    March 10th, 2008 Posted in Professional Courtesy, Speed Cameras

    Speed cameras in Montgomery County, Maryland have been ticketing motorists for quite some time now. Under their program, the tickets go to the owner of the vehicle instead of the driver. This is a common flaw in ticket camera systems across the country.

    Local authorities have decided that it’s acceptable to do this to avoid the hassle of tracking down the actual violators.

    The average motorist who receives a speed camera ticket can either fight it in court or send in a check. However, the amount of effort and time necessary to get a speed camera ticket dismissed is substantial. As a result, most drivers — even innocent ones — choose to just pay the ticket in order to avoid taking time off work to go to court.

    Limited court costs are a key reason why ticket camera programs are so profitable for local governments.

    According to the Washington Post, police in Montgomery County are bucking the trend and have decided to use their union resources to avoid paying camera tickets:

    Among the thousands of drivers who have been issued $40 fines after being nabbed by Montgomery County’s new speed cameras are scores of county police officers. The difference is, many of the officers are refusing to pay.

    The officers are following the advice of their union, which says the citations are issued not to the driver but to the vehicle’s owner — in this case, the county.

    So basically, they’ve decided to exploit the flaw in the system that they helped create. The article continues:

    That view has rankled Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and County Council Member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), who chairs the Public Safety Committee.

    “You can’t have one set of laws for police officers and another one for the rest of the world,” Andrews said.

    Unfortunately, too often this appears to be the case, creating unnecessary tension between police officers and motorists:

    In recent weeks, officers have twice been photographed speeding past a camera and extending a middle finger, an act that police supervisors interpreted as a gesture of defiance. “There is no excuse for that kind of behavior,” said Andrews, who was briefed on the incidents.

    During the last eight months of 2007, the department’s cameras recorded 224 instances in which county police vehicles were nabbed traveling more than 10 mph over the speed limit, the department disclosed this week in response to an inquiry from The Washington Post.

    Of those citations, 76 were dismissed after supervisors determined that officers were responding to calls or had other valid reasons to exceed the speed limit. Nearly two-thirds of the remaining 148 fines have not been paid, including an unspecified number that remain under investigation, said Lt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman. He said the number of citations issued to police employees this year is not yet available.

    It will be interesting to see whether the officers will be held to same standard as normal citizens, who would most certainly face consequences if they refused to pay their tickets.

    Image Credit: MikeSchinkel
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    While the full article can found at the British Medical Journal website at:

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/330/7487/331

    what I am posting here is just the abstract that pertains to this forum as well. It certainly raises valid questions about the integrity of the reports that are used to justify the use of photo radar for increasing safety:

    BMJ 2005;330:331-334: "Effectiveness of speed cameras in preventing road traffic collisions and related casualties: systematic review "

    Objectives

    To assess whether speed cameras reduce road traffic collisions and related casualties.

    Design

    Systematic review.

    Data sources

    Cochrane Injuries Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, Embase, Social Science Citation Index, TRANSPORT database, ZETOC, the internet (including websites of road safety and motoring organisations), and contact with key individuals and organisations.

    Main outcome measures

    Road traffic collisions, injuries, and deaths.

    Inclusion criteria

    Controlled trials and observational studies assessing the impact of fixed or mobile speed cameras on any of the selected outcomes.

    Results

    14 observational studies met the inclusion criteria; no randomised controlled trials were found. Most studies were before-after studies without controls (n = 8). All but one of the studies showed effectiveness of cameras up to three years or less after their introduction; one study showed sustained longer term effects (4.6 years after introduction). Reductions in outcomes across studies ranged from 5% to 69% for collisions, 12% to 65% for injuries, and 17% to 71% for deaths in the immediate vicinity of camera sites. The reductions over wider geographical areas were of a similar order of magnitude.

    Conclusions

    Existing research consistently shows that speed cameras are an effective intervention in reducing road traffic collisions and related casualties. The level of evidence is relatively poor, however, as most studies did not have satisfactory comparison groups or adequate control for potential confounders. Controlled introduction of speed cameras with careful data collection may offer improved evidence of their effectiveness in the future.

    Thus, I think that this forum should be able to consider the following questions:

    Why are there no randomised controlled trials? Such trials are neither difficult nor unethical to carry out so why have they not been done?

    Is it because the results might not support the assumed merit of the speed camera? Or is the driver a soft target for revenue generation?

    Perhaps these trials exist but have been suppressed?


    After all we are talking about hundreds of millions dollars in fines and fees revenue.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,552
    Forum member andres3 is going on record as saying he thinks all speed enforcement is a waste of resources.

    From that point, the only natural following assumption is that andres3 thinks people should be able to drive as FAST as they want to, WHENEVER they want to, under ANY circumstances, and NEVER be held accountable for that action.


    I think anyone and everyone should be allowed to drive as fast as is reasonable and safe to do so. On a clear day with high visability and nice warm sunshine, that may be 100 MPH when there are straight-aways with little to no traffic.

    If you are driving a Yugo, you should stay under 65 under those same conditions. If you have a Lambo, you could probably do 125 safely. You should always drive safely and prudently, depending on conditions. I'm saying most people don't need a sign with two numbers on it to tell them what that is (exception: curvy road with sharp turns).

    I can speak for California, since I've lived in the State for over 30 years. I find the local courts and CHP so corrupt and filled with unethical people among their ranks that it would provide MORE benefits to get rid of all of them (traffic related enforcement) than it would have negative effects. In other words, the benefits would greatly outweigh the faults to do away with traffic enforcement in California all together. The pluses outnumber the minuses.

    We still need law and order to enforce REAL crimes, but the way the Vehicle Code is written, and speed limits are set currently, only encourages lazy unethical behaviour among law enforcement.

    Frankly, I have no respect for cops in CA and I have little more for municipal courts or traffic courts.

    Serve and Protect? It is more like Harass & Extort than serve and protect.

    Is my solution to get rid of them extreme? Yes. Are the problems within those departments severe? Yes.

    From what I've seen, CHP officers lack good judgment and power of observation is lacking, however, Photo radar and cameras does not seem to do any better, in fact, it does worse!
    '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
    In recent weeks, officers have twice been photographed speeding past a camera and extending a middle finger, an act that police supervisors interpreted as a gesture of defiance.

    Sounds like they don't like machines taking away their jobs. :)

    And a gentle reminder - we're here to discuss photo radar, not other members.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    Most people drive safely and reasonably provided conditions are right. They should concentrate their efforts on UNSAFE negligent/reckless/drunk drivers, not speeders that are driving perfectly safely.

    If you're going to make it a point to quote somebody, then at least have the decency to include the entire quote. Any reasonable person, reading the entire quote, would probably agree that the part of the quote you omitted would cover some speeders (ie those who are negligent or reckless). Any sane person would agree that at some point speeding does become reckless...
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    So may be THIS is why the Arizona politician's love photo radar. Now I do not care too much about what other may think in this forum, but this has to raise concerns of tempting corruption in at least my mind.

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2712.asp

    Photo Tickets Pad Campaign Coffers of Arizona Politicians

    Arizona politicians have collected $36,265,795 in campaign cash from a tax on speeding tickets since 1999.

    A tax levied on speeding tickets funds the re-election efforts of two-thirds of Arizona's politicians and provides lawmakers with a personal financial incentive to protect controversial photo enforcement programs. In 1999, a ten percent surcharge was imposed on all traffic tickets to create the "Citizens Clean Election Fund." The fund allows politicians to avoid tedious fundraising efforts.

    After raising just $5 each from 220 people in a district, candidates for public office qualify for public financing money to match private expenditures. In effect, these lawmakers collect $16.50 for their campaigns each time a photo radar ticket is issued on an Arizona freeway.

    This adds up to big money. In 2008, traffic tickets generated $10,095,771 in revenue for the clean elections fund. Out of this amount, $7,710,739 million was disbursed to lawmakers and candidates during the primary and general elections -- an average of $72,063 each. In just the past four months, the new freeway speed camera program has already added another $3.3 million to the total amount collected for lawmakers. Over the past four election cycles, Arizona politicians collected a total of $36,265,795 in campaign cash from the tax on speeding tickets. Opponents of the state photo ticketing program are crying foul.

    "Photo radar pays for politicians to get elected," Shawn Dow, a volunteer for the activist group CameraFraud.com, told TheNewspaper. "Voters want the cameras gone but the politicians want them to stay since it pays for their election. This is the reason that the people believe our government is corrupt."

    Dow raised the election funding issue before the state House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last Thursday while testifying against House Bill 2170. This legislation is portrayed as a repeal of former Governor Janet Napolitano's freeway photo program, but the text of the proposal actually allows freeway photo ticketing to continue against truckers and other holders of commercial vehicle licenses.

    Some of the biggest supporters of photo radar are recipients of significant ticket funding.

    "Photo-radar tickets aren't issued," state Senator Rebecca Rios (D-Apache Junction) told the Arizona Republic in February 2008. "They're earned."

    Rios herself earned $35,634 in campaign funds from speeding tickets last year. Other legislators appear less supportive of photo radar by introducing legislation that make minor modifications to the way programs are run. State Representative John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills), for example, introduced House Bill 2722 last year which would have mandated that the profits from any local jurisdiction's use of a speed camera on a state highway be directed into the Arizona Highway Patrol Fund so that it could be used to fund additional traffic ticketing details. Kavanagh has taken $156,654 in campaign funding from speeding tickets.

    The clean elections fund does have other sources of revenue besides traffic tickets. A $5 check-off on income tax forms generated about $6 million which was spent on "voter education" efforts directed by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. Money left over in the fund from the off-years without elections goes into the general fund.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    I'll put in my two cents. We had an impeached President about 10 years ago, an impeached Governor last month, many scoundrel Senators and Reps such as dirty harrry and smiling nancy, crooked cops, etc. So, do we get rid of the framework of our society, government - no president, senators, reps, police? Of course not. Same applies to tools of law enforcement. Go after the perps.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I agree that we as a society need to go after the perps, but the question is HOW? And we need to keep at it constantly, since the "system" in turn constantly tries to see what it can get way with it without arousing too much of a response.

    One thing is clear: Our system, imperfect as it is, is still WAAAAAAAAY better than any other out there. We do still need tools of government, and that includes enforcement, incuding speed limits.

    I think we need to consider OBD3-GPS rather than photo radar. That technology has its own concerns, but there might be a way to make it work within the framework of our Constitution.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    I'll take photo radar over some kind of GPS that government might implement.

    Given that some States might consider GPS for charging for miles travelled on roads and the proposed federal medical citizen data base, our Constitution may be violated in near future. Photo radar pales as an issue compared to these items.

    With photo radar, one is not asked "why" you were on a certain road and speeding. With GPS, a pandora box could be opened whereby govt could ask "why" you put on the miles that you do "and" why were you going to certain places.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    The interesting thing is that some of what you say is a concern with OBD3-GPS is also a concern with photo radar.

    The only difference is that in one system, the surveillance is done by instruments on the roadside and operated by a private contractor, and by on-board instruments paid for the the vehicle owner in the other.

    Once a system of photo radars is in place, the addition of ANPR technology is a simple software upgrade, and will for all purposes be sufficient to track vehicles in real-time just like on-board OBD3-GPS. (I have posted links in previous posts for anybody interested.)

    In any case, the effect of such ubiquitous traffic monitoring systems has far-reaching effects, way beyond mere traffic safety. We as a society may not like where we end up if we start down this particular road I have no doubt.

    As an example, the use of ANPR technology leads itself very nicely to automated sureveillance of the entire population at all times as stated in this interesting document:

    http://whereismydata.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/police-anpr-2004-2009.pdf
    (and for those not interested in wading through the entire document, although recommended, it is item #18 on page 9 of 23)

    Of course, the rationales of if you have nothing to hide and this will target only criminals are all arguments that have been used and abused before. And of course, once the tools are in place, mission creep like this:

    http://www.info4security.com/story.asp?sectioncode=9&storycode=4120257&c=2

    is very easy. And if you think that is not possible here, please read up on our own proposed OBD3-GPS.

    And as an example of what the system might look like in the USA, please see:

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/24/2472.asp.

    However, this quote demonstrates the many many uses of photo radar and ANPR technology very nicely:

    from: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/07/19/headgheadgheadg-200-9146- - 6-21368951/

    (not quoted completely)

    .....

    Superintendent Liane James from South Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “With ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), there is literally nowhere to hide – we use mobile as well as fixed units, meaning criminals can never second guess when we are watching. “ANPR technology means we can identify people wanted for a whole range of offences, from possession of drugs to benefit fraud and disqualified drivers.”
    ...........

    Do we really want photo radar and ANPR to lay the basis of such a society? And no, I am being perfectly serious. :)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Technology improves ALL the time, so we can enjoy systems like this, all for our safety and protection of course. :)

    from: http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/view_press_release_printer_friendly.php?rID=5730- - 2

    July 18, 2008

    SmartReg Guardian

    SmartReg Guardian mobile license plate reader

    SMARTREG GUARDIAN THE WORLD'S MOST ADVANCED MOBILE VEHICLE PLATE RECOGNITION SYSTEM FOR POLICE ENFORCEMENT

    -- PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNOLOGIES, international supplier of ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) systems, today announced the official release of SMARTREG GUARDIAN, the world's most advanced standalone mobile vehicle plate recognition system for police enforcement. --

    /24-7PressRelease/ - DUBLIN, IRELAND, July 18, 2008 - SMARTREG GUARDIAN is a compact, "point and capture", digital camera system designed to automatically read vehicle license plates for intelligence monitoring, surveillance and enforcement. The system permits police enforcement agencies to rapidly deploy vehicle recognition cameras anywhere, anytime without any special setup or configuration requirements!

    Traditional license plate recognition systems (ANPR) systems in use today, typically operate from within the police vehicle or from a fixed installation. SMARTREG GUARDIAN's simple "plug and play" design, offers a new level in portability and flexibility not seen before in the industry. Both compact and lightweight, the system is small enough to fit inside a briefcase. SMARTREG GUARDIAN is powered from a compact battery source allowing the system to operate in both urban and rural locations, independent of an existing mains power supply or fixed telecoms. Integrated IR illumination ensures that the system operates both day and night. Vehicle data, recorded by the system, is transmitted wirelessly, either locally, to a mobile display terminal, laptop or handheld device, or remotely, via GPRS, to a regional office for processing. Integrated GPS ensures that all recorded images are geographically tagged to identify the location of the vehicle for evidential purposes.

    With multiple systems working together, SMARTREG GUARDIAN can also be used to provide average speed measurements and real-time vehicle statistics.

    SMARTREG GUARDIAN is compliant to the UK police NAAS standards.

    GRAHAM FOGARTY (MANAGING DIRECTOR): "ANPR continues to provide a very effective policing tool in denying criminals access to the roads. With SMARTREG GUARDIAN, police enforcement and traffic agencies can rapidly deploy systems to a given location and receive real-time information on all vehicle activity instantaneously. Particularly in the run up to the London Olympics, we believe SMARTREG GUARDIAN will play a vital role in crime prevention and the monitoring of criminal activity..

    About Parking and traffic technologies

    PARKING AND TRAFFIC TECHNOLOGIES specialise in the development, design and manufacture of intelligent systems for vehicle related markets. We provide traffic information, traffic calming and enforcement technologies to the traffic, police and parking authorities. From traffic sensors to back office systems, we provide our customers with a comprehensive end-to-end solution. Through continuous investment in technology and development, we continue to serve both the domestic and international markets.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    or may be, we all need to protect the environment with OBD3-GPS, in addition to keeping us safe:

    http://www.me.umn.edu/~byronr/vw/obd3.txt

    OBDII is a very sophisticated and capable system for
    detecting emissions problems. But when it comes to getting
    motorists to fix emission problems, it's no more effective than
    OBDI. Unless there's some means of enforcement, such as checking
    the MIL light during a mandatory inspection, OBDII is just
    another idiot light.
    Currently under development are plans for OBDIII, which would
    take OBDII a step further by adding telemetry. Using miniature
    radio transponder technology similar to that which is already
    being used for automatic electronic toll collection systems, an
    OBDIII-equipped vehicle would be able to report emissions
    problems directly to a regulatory agency
    . The transponder would
    communicate the vehicle VIN number and any diagnostic codes that
    were present. The system could be set up to automatically report
    an emissions problem via a cellular or satellite link the instant
    the MIL light comes on, or to answer a query from a cellular,
    satellite or roadside signal as to its current emissions
    performance status.
    What makes this approach so attractive to regulators is its
    effectiveness and cost savings
    . Under the current system, the
    entire vehicle fleet in an area or state has to be inspected once
    every year or two to identify the 30% or so vehicles that have
    emissions problems. With remote monitoring via the onboard
    telemetry on an OBDIII-equipped vehicle, the need for periodic
    inspections could be eliminated because only those vehicles that
    reported problems would have to be tested.
    On one hand, OBDIII with its telemetry reporting of emission
    problems would save consumers the inconvenience and cost of
    having to subject their vehicle to an annual or biennial
    emissions test. As long as their vehicle reported no emission
    problems, there'd be no need to test it. On the other hand,
    should an emissions problem be detected, it would be much harder
    to avoid having it fixed -- which is the goal of all clean air
    programs anyway. By zeroing in on the vehicles that are actually
    causing the most pollution, significant gains could be made in
    improving our nation's air quality. But as it is now, polluters
    may escape detection and repair for up to two years in areas that
    have biennial inspections. And in areas that have no inspection
    programs, there's no way to identify such vehicles. OBDIII would
    change all that.
    According to Mark Carlock with California's Air Resources
    Board, the technology exists now to make OBDIII possible. "The
    idea is to streamline the inspection process by only inspecting
    those vehicles that really need it." Carlock says the technology
    to do so is "no big deal." But he concedes that it would be the
    model year 2000 at the soonest before OBDIII might actually be
    required on new vehicles.
    A prototype system built by GM Hughes Electronics has already
    been evaluated by ARB that uses a roadside transmitter to
    interrogate vehicles as they pass by.
    The system uses ultra low
    power 10 milliwatt receiver stations and 1 milliwatt transmitters
    (which is about 1,000 times less power than a typical cellular
    telephone) with a broadcast frequency of 915 Mhz. The system is
    reportedly capable of retrieving information from 8 lanes of
    bumper-to-bumper traffic whizzing by at speeds up to 100 mph!
    When the vehicle receiver hears the query signal from a
    stationary or portable roadside transmitter, it transmits back an
    answer in the form of the vehicle's 17-digit VIN number plus an
    "okay" signal or any trouble codes that may be present. The
    information can then be used to identify vehicles that are in
    violation of clean air statutes so a notice can be sent that
    repairs and/or smog testing is required. Or, the information
    could be used on the spot to identify vehicles for a pullover
    roadside emissions check or issuing an emissions citation.
    The projected cost of such a system would be $50 per vehicle,
    says Carlock, based on similar transponders that are in use for
    electronic toll collecting. The transponders are about the size
    of a small calculator.
    The same basic approach could also be used with existing
    cellular phone links (local station networks) and/or satellite
    systems. To keep motorists from tampering with or disabling
    their telemetry systems, vehicles could be interrogated randomly
    or on a scheduled basis to monitor their condition. The OBDIII
    telemetry could also be combined with global positioning system
    (GPS) technology to document or monitor the whereabouts of
    vehicles.

    Orbiting 11,000 miles above the earth's surface are 24
    military satellites that make up the Navstar global positioning
    system. By timing radio signals from these satellites, the
    position of a vehicle, boat or plane anywhere on the earth can be
    fixed within a few meters. The GPS system is currently used by
    many fleets for tracking the whereabouts of their vehicles as
    well as by onboard navigation systems for pinpointing a vehicle's
    location on an electronic map.
    The advantages of using a satellite based telemetry system
    for OBDIII rather than a roadside system are:
    * Greater coverage of the entire vehicle population for more
    accurate surveillance. Vehicles could be monitored and queried
    no matter where they were, even while sitting in a garage or
    driveway. There'd be no way to avoid the watchful eye of the
    emissions police.
    * Being able to locate vehicles that are in violation of
    clean air statutes, either for "demographic studies" or to track
    down and arrest violators.
    * Being able to monitor the whereabouts of vehicles for
    purposes other than emissions surveillance such as recovering
    stolen vehicles (like today's LoJack anti-theft system), keeping
    tabs on suspected drug dealers, gang members and other
    undesirables.
    * Being able to disable vehicles that belong to emission
    scofflaws by transmitting a secret code. Law enforcement
    officers might also be able to use such a code to disable a
    vehicle fleeing from a crime scene or one that belonged to
    someone with a backlog of unpaid traffic violations.

    The specter of having Big Brother in every engine compartment
    and driving a vehicle that rats on itself anytime it pollutes is
    not one that would appeal to many motorists. So the merits of
    OBDIII would have to be sold to the public based on its cost
    savings, convenience and ability to make a real difference in air
    quality. Even so, any serious attempt to require OBDIII in the
    year 2000 or beyond will run afoul of Fourth Amendment issues
    over rights of privacy and protection from government search and
    seizure.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd.

    Does the government have the right to snoop under your
    hood anytime it chooses to do so, or to monitor the whereabouts
    of your vehicle? These issues will have to be debated and
    resolved before OBDIII stands a chance of being accepted. Given
    the current political climate, such drastic changes seem
    unlikely.
    Another change that might come with OBDIII would be even
    closer scrutiny of vehicle emissions. The misfire detection
    algorithms currently required by OBDII only watch for misfires
    during driving conditions that occur during the federal driving
    cycle, which covers idle to 55 mph and moderate acceleration. It
    does not monitor misfires during wide open throttle acceleration.
    Full range misfire detection will be required for 1997 models.
    OBDIII could go even further by requiring "fly-by-wire" throttle
    controls to reduce the possibility of misfires on the coming
    generation of low emission and ultra low emission vehicles.
    So until OBDIII winds its way through the regulatory process,
    all we have to worry about is diagnosing and repairing
    OBDII-equipped vehicles and all the non-OBD vehicles that came
    before them.

    I could go on, but here is one story I'd rather you read for yourself if so inclined:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/2718124/Watch-out-theres-a-spy-in-your-car.h- tml
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I'll save you a few mouse clicks. :)

    from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/2718124/Watch-out-theres-a-spy-in-your-car.h- - - - tml

    Watch out, there's a spy in your car

    With a link to the computer under the bonnet, your satellite navigation system could soon be issuing orders rather than guidance, as Mark Hales reports

    By Mark Hales
    Last Updated: 3:15PM BST 04 Oct 2002

    The debate about road pricing via satellite (Motoring, August 3) may have a resolution rather sooner than Prof David Begg (Chairman, Commission for Integrated Transport - for) and Austin Williams (Chairman, Transport Research Group - against) have suggested. Begg's earnest proposition was that technology could help solve traffic congestion, a problem that afflicts us all and is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions. Williams's more cynical account said that not only was the suggestion flawed technically, but that its use could also constitute an illegal invasion of civil liberty. There was also the mention of Big Brother - in the Orwellian rather than the Channel 4 sense - which was once the best metaphor for official invasion of that liberty by stealth, and for reasons other than our own benefit.

    But rather like any debate about speed cameras, it is always difficult to advance the argument against when greater safety is the stated aim. And if the road pricing/global positioning system (GPS) could be shown to be feasible and the benefits distributed responsibly and fairly, it would again be hard to advance the "no" argument. The trouble is - as Williams just avoided saying - the public doesn't trust a political establishment that behaves increasingly like a business. Big Brother, Big Business. Like the pigs on Animal Farm, it's becoming hard to tell the difference.

    The chances are that automatic road charges via satellite won't happen just yet, or at least not as an imposition by the state. But since most people on the inside believe the Government has decided to do it anyway and the only question is how long it will take to sway public opinion, the administration might yet have no need of its usual gyroscopic tactics. Most of the necessary technology is already fitted to modern cars and the politicians could simply keep quiet and let the market do the job for them...

    This not so novel notion occurred to me during a recent visit to the Lotus factory, where I was to drive one of the high-performance Elise MkII variants. I had asked Chief Powertrain Engineer Mike Summerfield why it had taken so long to introduce the higher performance version when the engine technology was almost identical to that of the previous model. Lotus are also freelance boffins and contract engineers for a great many of the planet's major motor manufacturers, and the response was that refining the on-board diagnostics (OBD) took so long these days. A minor upgrade such as extracting another 10 horsepower from the engine could take anywhere between 12 and 18 months because they simply can't take the risk of false alarms when the legislation is so tight. In addition, said Summerfield, "it has to work anywhere the driver might take the car: altitude, temperature, anywhere. It all has to be tested."

    When you discover that just three sparks missing out of 100 will cause the emissions to go out of limits and a consistent 20 could damage the catalytic converter you begin to see that the margin for error is not great.

    The current OBD level required by legislation for new petrol-engined cars sold in Europe is EOBD (the Euro version of the US OBD2) which is primarily concerned with emissions, but it was nevertheless surprising to discover that only about 40 per cent of the engine's management is concerned with control, while the other 60 per cent is purely diagnostic. In other words the larger percentage is there to flag up when emissions are about to exceed the permitted levels and to record the conditions which existed at the time.

    Cars fitted with EOBD are not yet due for MoT testing but at some time in the near future the machine that sticks a catheter up the exhaust to taste the poison will no longer be required. Instead, the MoT man will go the modern route and plug in his computer, whereupon the numbers will scroll on to his screen. Which, of course, sounds like progress. But as Summerfield also explains, that only says whether the car is compliant at the time of the MoT, or if it has been out of limits at some time before.

    The real problem - as they have discovered in America - is to get the driver to do something about excessive emissions. "The car doesn't feel any different," says Summerfield, "in fact in some cases it might feel livelier. And while some people pay attention to a light on the dashboard, there are a lot who don't."

    One option is to switch the engine into a "get you home mode" so that the car feels bad and the driver is motivated to get it fixed. Another is OBD3 - which is at present under discussion in America for possible legislation by 2010. This will link OBD2 with a GPS unit, which knows its position anywhere on the planet, and a mobile phone - an uncannily similar arrangement to that advanced by Begg as a means of road pricing. In America, however, the idea is that the engine management sends a message to the mobile, which calls the manufacturer. The manufacturer then knows what the problem is and where you are, and flashes a message on the screen to say where you should go to get it fixed in the minimum time. In times of lesser crisis, it could also tell you simple things like when a service or an MoT test is due, and so on.

    Again, this sounds like progress, but you don't need to be a genius to work out the implications. Simple ones like a message on the navigation screen, accompanied by husky female tones: "Your car will need a service in 300 kilometres - may we recommend JB Smith of Newark", is only a short step to a frenetic: "Greeeat deals on new cars. We are already willing to offer you £10,000 for yours because we see it has only covered 8,623 miles, 8,624, 8,625" Or: "Lose weight the easy way, while you sleep", or even: "Meet singles. Try dating the easy way". All the delightful entreaties you thought you had left behind with your fax and email - and I should mention that the last two were copied direct, not made up.

    contd.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd.

    But the other implications are rather more disturbing. The OBD would know you covered a total of 30 miles at speeds between 40 and 150mph on Tuesday August 14, sufficient to get a motorcyclist imprisoned earlier this year. The GPS, however, would also know you were at Silverstone, so no immediate problem there. But then a letter arrives in the post. "Dear Sir. It has come to our notice that you have either removed your catalyst or it has failed and the tyres have a rolling diameter of 250cm rather than the approved 268mm. Please sign and return the enclosed Statutory Off Road Notification. Your car is not legal for road use until it has been recertified at an approved facility. The fee for this is £400. You have 14 days to comply or risk a fine of £10,000".

    As one who has already been fined because he didn't realise the authorities wanted to know his car was off the road, and who this week received an invitation to pay £60 for breaking a speed limit he hadn't even realised was in place, this sounds more like realism than petulant cynicism. And as Summerfield says, most people don't realise that if an airbag detonates on a car fitted with OBD2, the essential details - including road speed - will be recorded. That is information the manufacturers need to make sure the device has functioned correctly. Hard to take issue with that, but, as with the breathalyser, an accident is good reason for the authorities to demand any information normally required by consent. Civil liberties again.

    "OBD is there for a very good reason," adds Summerfield, "and it's the legislation which drives manufacturers to make it more clever. The old variety just told you a wire had fallen off, whereas the new tells you why it fell off. But to improve the product, we need to record what the car was doing, how fast it was going and where you were. That is all essential information which at the moment we don't have access to."

    Summerfield is also convinced that it won't be legislation that creates the access. It will be the market which drives the telematics side, and by this he means the addional mobile communications and the link to satellite navigation. Items, he says, that manufacturers won't fit unless people want them, because of the cost.

    Since even middle-spec cars are now fitted with satellite navigation and, as Begg points out, more than 90 per cent of the population has a mobile phone, it's already clear what people want. And given the public appetite for new technology, it's fair to assume that they will want telematic linking, which will be be presented as a wizzy gizmo at minimal additional cost. "The information is already there in most modern cars," concludes Summerfield, "it's just a case of processing it."

    It's also a case of who processes it and for what reason, which is where we came in. You can't really argue with anything which makes travel safer, cleaner or cheaper. And we might be better off if stolen cars could be disabled before the police have to chase them. Or if cars could link up and travel as a train on one lane of the motorway. The possibilities are many and available sooner rather than later. The real question is, do you trust the people who might administrate them?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, here is a nice glimpse of our motoring future: (Please note that these are somebody else thoughts, identified here only as SFC)

    Submitted by SFC (not verified) on Thu, 2008-07-31 10:29.

    "I think your overall approach to categorizing the future possibilities is excellent. However, I think you have underestimated a couple of downsides. First, the fear of loss of privacy and increased govt control will be massive, and there will be plenty of people who will play upon that fear for their own ends.

    At present, there are many areas of the country where the majority (in some cases the vast majority) of drivers are breaking the law on a regular basis (see LA freeways whenever they aren't a parking lot). This is usually, but not only, the speed limit. The idea that a car will not go faster than the speed limit will irritate a large portion of the population, especially given the arbitrary and often ignorant way speed limits are set today (far too low, often with revenue generation in mind, or in the false belief that it will significantly alter safety statistics). Without a vastly more realistic regulation policy for the roadways, law abiding robocars will be shunned by many.

    The idea of being tracked precisely by your car's communications with the road network will also scare those curious enough to look into it. One only need look at OBD3 and GM's work on car to car networking to see the near term direction of this path. I agree that people are already traced and observed far more than they realize (credit cards, cell phones, cameras, etc.), but many are not conscious of it. I think it will be much more difficult to minimize that concern with the road network and vehicles you envision.

    In the end, I think a significant proportion of the population will eventually adopt such vehicles for convenience, cost reasons (such as higher legislated fees for non-robo vehicles - I'm sure that many govts will use that as a "nudge" to get people into more easily controlled transport), and other factors. Let's face it, most consumers are very herd oriented (sheep?). But barring the legislation out of existence of human driven vehicles, a significant portion of the population will want to continue driving themselves without outside inteference."
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    That system will NEVER be accepted in the USA.

    You think the people who object to one single snapshot in public while they are IN THE ACT OF BREAKING THE LAW would EVER ever ever accept a "black box" inside their car, monitored by a police agency?

    BA-HA !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    The future with OBD-3 is coming:

    from "Meeting Minutes - Transitioning I/M Workgroup Remote IBD Protocol Technical Subgroup Meeting" held February 17, 2009:

    Clearinghouse Document Repository Status
    • Documents will be posted on the OBD Clearinghouse website: www.obdclearinghouse.com
    • The designated area on the website should be set up COB on 2/17/09.
    • A link for the “technical workgroup” will be on left column of the page.
    • The subgroup is looking for documents or data on what’s going on in other states/jurisdictions.
    • Gene Tierney, Vince Mow, or Allen Lyons can post documents.
    • An account is not needed to view posted documents.
    • Vince will talk to Maryland to see if they will agree to post some of their work.
    • Posted documents need to be OK for public viewing.
    • The subgroup charter and meeting minutes can be posted there as well.

    Current Wireless OBD II Pilot Activity

    • Pilot program activity is currently taking place in California, Oregon, and Illinois.
    • Nevada is in the process of developing a demonstration program that use 3 technologies (Networkfleet, Davis Instruments and Applus Autologic). 150 vehicles will be fitted.


    Availability and Relevance of VII Communication Protocols

    • VII communications based loosely on Standard 802.11
    • SAE J2735 is a message set dictionary. Gene Tierney and Richard Joy have seen the document, but haven’t found much that is emission-related in it. It seems mostly safety-related.
    • Unless there is more relevant information in the document, the subgroup will probably be doing its own work in defining message sets. We should advise SAE of our work in case it is appropriate for it to be included in the document.
    • FCC allocated 75mhz of spectrum for vehicle telecommunications.

    Need I go on? If anybody is feeling particularly geeky, please read up on US Patent 6225898 - Vehicle diagnosis system having transponder for OBD III at:

    http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6225898/description.html
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    If anybody thinks that it will never happen in the USA, here are the people working on it right now so that we all can benefit from increased safety, all for our benefit of course. :)

    http://www.autologicco.com/

    http://www.davis.com/

    and especially:

    http://www.firstcomm.net/networkcar.htm

    Networkfleet, Davis Instruments and Applus Autologic have supplied technology that is presently installed and running on 150 vehicles in Nevada, and the whole system will tie in with the recently allocated 75mhz of spectrum for vehicle telecommunications by the FCC. (Remember the spectrum auction after analog TV was switched off?)

    What the Communication Protocol SAE J2735 will do is still being decided, but "haven’t found much that is emission-related in it." "It seems mostly safety-related." for things like speed enforcement ONLY of course. :)
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,682
    The Orwellian surveillance grid is working so well for the limeys, no reason it shouldn't be multiplied exponentially and applied here. We will all be so safe!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is an old article about the UK experience, but still relevant to show just how well the system is working for the limeys: :)

    from: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/oct2003/nf20031017_2392_db025.htm

    OCTOBER 17, 2003

    PRIVACY MATTERS

    By Jane Black

    Smile, You're on Surveillance Camera

    Brits angry over intrusive "security" measures are taking matters into their own hands. John Ashcroft might want to take note

    On Oct. 9, a pipe bomb exploded under a traffic-monitoring camera in North Belfast. An act of terrorism? More than likely, it was just another average British citizen furious about the ubiquitous surveillance that has sprung up in Britain over the last decade.

    It wasn't the first time a "speed cam" has come under attack. The destruction of these surveillance cameras -- which cost between 30,000 to 50,000 British pounds each (between $50,000 and $80,000) -- has become a near-weekly occurrence in the British Isles. Farmers in Somerset have been charged with using speed cams and closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTV) for target practice. In Cambridgeshire, vandals set one afire. Earlier this month, one creative hooligan knocked down a speed cam by attaching a rope from the back of his car to the camera's pole and driving away -- a mini reenactment of the toppling of Saddam's statue in Baghdad last spring.

    A cynic might argue the vandals are motivated more by anger over receiving speeding tickets than by any invasion of privacy. But when the characteristically reserved Brits start acting like rowdy Texans, you know a backlash is building. Britain has 4,500 speed cams. The country's more than 2.5 million CCTV cameras catch each British resident as many as 300 times each day.

    "SMOKE AND MIRRORS." And yet, very little evidence shows that speed cams reduce road deaths or that CCTV deters crime. It's only on the rare occasion that CCTV helps police catch criminals: The arrest of the two 10-year-old boys who abducted and murdered 3-year-old Jamie Bulger from a shopping mall in 1993 was one highly publicized exception. But these were naive criminals, not savvy enough to steer clear of CCTV cameras.

    Instead, there's an overwhelming feeling that too often surveillance is used not to make the country safer but to monitor innocent people and, in the case of speed cams, raise much-needed tax revenues. "There's this notion starting to build in countries around the world that maybe we've been conned -- that these 'security measures' are smoke and mirrors," says Simon Davies, director of London-based advocacy group Privacy International. "People here are demanding a proper threat assessment. It's one area where Europe leads the trend."

    U.S. officials might want to take note of that. Two years after September 11, the Bush Administration, led by Attorney General John Ashcroft and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, are fast creating one of the most comprehensive, high-tech surveillance societies in the world.

    NO SAFER. The violence in Britain stems from widespread outrage that surveillance cameras don't do the job they purport to. Drivers complain that speed cameras are never placed where they should be -- outside schools, near athletic stadiums, in city centers -- but on straight stretches of road where the cops are most likely to catch someone for speeding. "Speed cameras are just another way of demonizing car drivers," British driver Chris Davies told the BBC. "We need less of them, [and they should be] in the right areas, based on facts."

    Indeed, according to the nonprofit Association of British Drivers (ABD), penalties and prosecutions from speed cams raise 66 million pounds ($110 million) annually. Meanwhile, road deaths continue to climb: From 1995 to 2001 (the latest figure available), the number of speed-cam tickets and prosecutions in Britain soared from around 207,000 to more than 1 million, while road deaths increased 4.5%, from 2,995 to 3,127.

    It's clear proof, says ABD Chairman Brian Gregory, that the switch from human traffic patrols, which can spot drunk or reckless drivers, to video surveillance has failed to make roads safer. This year, the ABD launched a campaign against speed cams, calling them "Weapons of Mass Persecution."

    SHINE A LIGHT. The technology came into vogue after two bombs, planted by the Irish Republican Army, exploded in London's financial district in the early '90s. The response: To create a "ring of steel" -- a network of CCTV cameras on the eight official entry gates to the City of London. The idea caught on. In 1994, 79 British cities were monitoring their central districts with a network of surveillance cameras. By 1998, 440 cities were wired. From 1996 to 1998, three-quarters of the Home Office's Crime Prevention budget was spent on CCTV cameras. Originally, citizens embraced the technology. Being watched at all times made them feel safe.

    Ten years later, it's clear CCTV has done little to clean up the streets. Study after study shows that CCTV simply displaces crime to areas where no cameras are present rather than preventing it. According to a June, 2002, report from crime-fighting nonprofit NACRO, CCTV cuts crime only by 5%, vs. 20% reduction achieved by brighter street lighting.

    Meanwhile, the authorities are getting creative with fines. Take the institution of a "congestion charge" in London. The idea: Charge drivers who enter the center of London during business hours 5 pounds, thereby encouraging residents to use public transportation. To enforce the fee, London authorities use a sophisticated license-plate-recognition system that tracks every car that enters the restricted area. If drivers don't alert officials they've entered, they're fined 50 pounds.

    AMERICAN EYE. Then, on Feb. 8 -- just a month after its introduction -- London newspaper The Observer revealed that the system was organized in cooperation with the intelligence services, which were using facial-recognition technology to monitor individual drivers. Suspicious motorists would be monitored not just at the point of entry but around the city.

    New public-transport cards also have raised alarm. The so-called Oyster cards each have a unique I.D. number linked to the owner's name. Every time the card is used, the location, time, and passenger name are recorded on the card's microchip. The London Transport Authority plans to retain information on journeys for "a number of years," it says. Under certain circumstances, such as a criminal investigation, the information will be released to law-enforcement agencies.

    contd.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Maybe supporters of the present regime will step forward and volunteer to have the OBD GPS systems initially installed in their cars. After all, they voted in this socialist bunch.

    But, seriously, the photo radar "properly" used and controlled by local government agencies (not suppliers/vendors) only operates when a law violation occurs at a particular geographical point. It does not track a citizen's movements 100 percent as would the GPS. Photo radar nowhere near the danger to citizens' rights as would be GPS tracker.

    I can just see some govt employee, put in place with one of the stimulus/porkulus programs going in now, email/write an owner of an obd-gps car: "I have analyzed your travel patterns over the last month and I see that you go to a shopping center in a nearby town 20 miles away 3 times per week. You are wasting a lot of gas and leaving a big carbon print. Our government "Guidance" (just like health plan) SUGGESTS that you cut your shopping trips to once per week. Please respond and comply with our Suggestion."
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,682
    And since then crime in the UK has been steadily rising...a surveillance grid does nothing more but enable those with control issues. It simply cannot replace valid law enforcement, and treating people without the respect the so-called "authorities" believe they deserve for themselves will only create resentment, and eventually violence - and I can't say those in control don't deserve it fully.

    Orwell is smiling and laughing right now.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd.

    Similar surveillance plans have been proposed or implemented in the U.S. In the wake of September 11, Washington (D.C.) police set up a centralized video-surveillance network that can zoom in on people from as far as a half-mile away. The network was installed without any notice to Congress or the local city council. And despite complaints from privacy groups, the system remains in place. The popular EZ Pass system, which allows commuters to speed quickly through toll booths, also permits extensive tracking without adequate promise of data protection, privacy advocates fear.

    Beyond outraged critics, however, such actions remain obscure. Americans who are being asked to exchange privacy for the promise of security might want to look at Britain. In democratic nations, the balance between liberty and security is a delicate one. American officials would be wise to take note of the wave of indignation sweeping across Britain -- or they could soon face a backlash of their own.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, my dear friend, the lure of total control is equally tempting to both parties of thugs we presently have.

    Step 1 is photo radar. Step 2 is ANPR. Step 3 is OBD3. At least that is what the evidence suggests. Call me paranoid, but the evidence does paint a picture that we ALL need to be concerned about.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, it is all being done for our safety.

    from: http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2006/12/06/news/local/doc4575161ff3a91237138467.- - txt

    Police get assist from eyes in the sky

    By Tory Brecht | Wednesday, December 6, 2006 12:47 AM CST |

    Its technological eyes will get keener and more numerous as the Davenport Police Department expands its neighborhood camera surveillance plan, according to Chief Mike Bladel.

    An undisclosed number of portable and mobile cameras soon will supplement a pair of operational fixed-site surveillance cameras.

    The new cameras then will be hooked into a citywide wireless network allowing police to view live streaming video from their squad cars.

    In addition, the department will begin recording its captured video, allowing it to use as evidence to prosecute crimes.


    “We want to be adaptable enough to respond to changing crime patterns,” Bladel told the city council’s committee-of-the-whole Monday. “Cameras, I’d like to warn you, are not a silver bullet. However, they can aid our police work.”

    Already, cameras mounted on the Heritage high-rise building on West 3rd Street and in the 400 block of Harrison Street have assisted in making arrests for prostitution, public consumption of alcohol and loitering, Bladel said.

    As technology improves, so does law enforcement’s ability to utilize it to crack down on crime, Bladel said.

    The chief was careful not to reveal too much, responding to Alderman Keith Meyer’s question about whether the camera on the Heritage building could zoom in on the face of someone walking on the Centennial Bridge: “We really don’t want to demonstrate to the public our full capabilities, but, yes, it would be our goal to identify people from a long distance, and that is an achievable goal.”

    Several aldermen said they had mixed feelings, with concerns about “Big Brother” warring with the clearly demonstrated ability of the technology to help combat street crime.

    “I know there are concerns from the public about the ‘Big Brother’ syndrome,” said Alderman Bill Lynn, 5th Ward.

    Bladel asked aldermen to think about the number of stores and businesses that videotape customers and the ubiquity of cell phones with video and digital cameras on them.

    “This technology is not going to go away,” he said. “We have to embrace it and hold each other accountable to use it in a responsible manner. The reality is, with the police department, public oversight is there. The council has never failed to hold me accountable to them.”

    The chief noted all the camera work thus far has been accomplished with no consulting fees and using only around $10,000 of a $100,000 neighborhood camera enforcement budget.

    The department is partnering with the Raytheon Company for a six-month trial of the wireless network, which expires in February, and cooperating with the Iowa Department of Transportation on other infrastructure needs for cameras. Once the Raytheon pilot program ends, the wireless network would have to be funded through the police department’s regular budget.

    “We’re doing it right, but it takes time,” Bladel said. “We’re pushing this as fast as we can, but we’re doing it systematically, which will save money in the long run.”

    Tory Brecht can be contacted at (563) 383-2329 or [email protected]

    Camera types

    The Davenport Police Department soon will be using three types of surveillance cameras. They are:

    Fixed — Camera is expected to stay in a location for an extended period of time, often bolted down.

    Mobile — Camera can be moved relatively quickly and placed covertly, typically in targeted neighborhoods. Usually is left in place for a brief period of time.

    Portable — Camera can be moved immediately and may be a visible deterrent.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    No Steps here. OBD would indeed be a tracking system used possibly/probably against citizens who have not comitted an offense. Photo radar, when applied correctly, documents an offense. Photo radar is triggered by a law violation.

    OBD could be used for fishing expeditions by a socialist/marxist govt, say for measuring your carbon footprint, or simply asking folks to explain their movements. When a citizen travels too much. or in places that don't fit the "Guidelines" for one's age, occupation, income level, sex, ethnicity, etc., then a citizen will have to explain in writing why they violated the Guidelines. Three violations of the Guidelines will cause drivers license revocation for one year.

    Rationale for "Guidelines" will be same as for upcoming health plan "Guidelines. It is for the overall good of society.

    Law breaker speeders will continue to rant about photo radar while the regime puts in Orwell obd-gps to track their movements. Ahhh, but the gps system will be sold to the swooning majority just like sales of the past in 2008. Think of con artists such as music man, elmer gantry and jim baker.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,682
    Why should photo radar be trusted to be applied correctly when we all know this GPS garbage will be applied with sinister motives?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    The reasons for an apparent lack of a general outcry have been alluded to some of my previous links. The policy appears to be to build up the infrastructure first, and then implement enforcement in steps, starting with the safety argument that is hard to resist (the old "how to boil a frog" scenario).

    Speed and Red light Cameras are indeed Step 1.

    Let's see what happened in Massachussetts:

    from: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/12/15/brookline_war- - - - y_of_surveillance_cameras/

    Brookline wary of surveillance cameras

    Residents resist installation push

    By Michael Levenson

    Globe Staff / December 15, 2008

    Even as eight other cities and towns across Greater Boston prepare to more than double, to 183, the number of security cameras monitoring their streets, Brookline is threatening to reject the cameras, as town officials confront a brewing rebellion of residents decrying the rise of a "surveillance society."

    A rejection would be unusual. Hundreds of cities and towns across the country - from Liberty, Kan., (population 95) to New York - have installed surveillance cameras funded by the US Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's technology and liberty program, said the city council in Washington, D.C., recently barred its mayor and police chief from accepting a federal grant to install the cameras. But he said he did not know of any other municipality in the country that had taken such a step.

    In considering a rejection of the cameras, Brookline is thrusting itself into a roiling international debate over the merits of surveillance cameras and the limits of privacy in public places.

    On one side are law enforcement officials who say the cameras can help them keep an eye on potential targets of terrorism, manage traffic during an emergency, and investigate street crime. On the other side are civil liberties groups and some residents who say the cameras could also be used to follow people going about their daily lives, even zooming in to see what books they are reading.

    "The overarching concern is what kind of society are we creating, where general police surveillance cameras are in operation," said Sarah Wunsch, an attorney for the ACLU. "You cannot assume that we will always be a free society, and we are putting the structures in place that would allow a very different United States of America from the one we have lived in."

    Wunsch, a Brookline resident, scoffed at the notion of the cameras' use as a traffic management tool during an emergency.

    "The people who live in town laugh at that because the town can't prevent gridlock at rush hour," she said. "To say these cameras are going to help traffic during an evacuation is, quite frankly, ludicrous. Using cameras for that purpose, most people think, is crazy."

    Brookline Police Chief Daniel C. O'Leary said the cameras could help manage traffic and investigate crime. "It's a valuable tool that I don't want to lose, and I think the value goes beyond just managing an evacuation," he said. "There are everyday uses that a lot of people could benefit from."

    He has proposed installing 12 cameras on the arms of traffic lights on Beacon Street, Route 9, and Longwood Avenue, among other locations. Police would monitor the cameras at headquarters and install a screen in the lobby to allow the public to view what the cameras are recording, he said. Footage would be stored for 30 days before it is automatically erased.

    Continued...
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    contd.

    from: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2008/12/15/brookline_war- - - y_of_surveillance_cameras/?page=2

    Page 2 of 2 --Even so, Nancy Daly, chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen, said she is worried about the potential for abuse. She cited an incident in 2004, when gruesome footage of a suicide captured by a police camera in a Bronx housing project was leaked to a website featuring violent videos.

    "This is pretty controversial here," she said. "We all have great respect for the chief, so I think people are reluctant to go against him on something he wants. But there are some serious issues involved here, so I think it's still up in the air."

    After two contentious hearings during which about 40 residents testified in opposition to the cameras, Daly said she is "leaning against" approval of the cameras and believes the board could reject them. A vote is scheduled for Jan. 6.

    The first batch of cameras in Greater Boston went up on roads, bridges, and buildings just before to the Democratic National Convention in 2004, after nine cities and towns received a $4.6 million grant from the Homeland Security Department.

    Boston installed 44 cameras, Chelsea 27, Everett 10, and Revere seven. Now, under the second phase of the program, Boston is to receive by spring 30 additional cameras, Chelsea an additional nine, Everett three more, and Revere nine more. In addition, Cambridge is to receive eight cameras, Quincy eight, Winthrop nine, Somerville seven, and Brookline its 12.

    The bulb-shaped Bosch IP cameras can tilt, zoom, and pan 360 degrees. One community is allowed to view scenes from another's network when it obtains permission from that community's police. In communities other than Brookline, the cameras were installed quietly and without a vote.

    "There was no debate in Boston," said Robert P. Dunford, superintendent in chief of police in Boston. "Obviously, there are some people who look at it as an invasion of privacy, but we're not looking at anything that's not already public."

    Boston's cameras, he said, monitor traffic for the Transportation Department in City Hall. An officer at headquarters also monitors the cameras 16 hours a day, and police have used the footage to investigate several shootings, he said. The city is now looking at ways to make its cameras swivel in the direction of shootings recorded by the acoustic gunshot detection system.

    "They've been very useful," said Brian A. Kyes, chief of police in Chelsea, which has used its cameras to investigate bank robberies, car accidents and shootings. "We're able to go back into the archive and capture some pertinent information for our investigation."

    "This is some of the price all of us to have pay for living in a free society, but a threatened society," said David B. Goldstein, Winthrop's police chief, who said his cameras will monitor Logan Airport, the Deer Island Sewage Treatment Plant, and the Belle Isle bridge.

    Michael Levenson can be reached at [email protected]

    © Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    First comes the NETWORK SOCIETY:

    Excerpt from: http://www.correntewire.com/the_surveillance_society_goes_global

    The Network Society

    As defined by Manuel Castells, “the network society (…) is made up of networks of production, power and experience, which construct a culture of virtuality in the global flows that transcend time and space” (1998:370). When economics, politics and culture become organized predominantly through networks, then, almost the totality of human experience becomes embedded in the network society. Darin Barney (2004) outlines the characteristics of the network society as follows:

    It is based on informational capitalism, that is, where economic activity is centered on the production and distribution of knowledge to foster innovation, flexibility and increased technological control over production processes (such as computerization of assembly lines).

    It is economically global. Companies, regions, cities, workplaces, markets and individual workers become flexible nodes. This economic arrangement puts labor at a disadvantage vis a vis capital since the latter flows more easily than the former. Labor is territorial and grounded whereas capital flows cross the globe through electronic networks.

    Human experience is based on ‘timeless time’ and ‘space of flows’ to use Castells’s formulation. Through electronic communication networks, human experience becomes detached from time and place. Individuals can communicate instantly across the globe. Unprecedented volumes of information are transmitted worldwide at a high speed. And as Barney puts it, the network society is ‘always on.’ Where people are geographically located becomes less important as their embeddedness in communication flows.

    Politically, power in the network society is defined as access to networks and control over flows. Being a node in a network is a source of power but one that involves a certain level of affluence to build the relevant infrastructure. In the network society, not all nodes are equal, a core node exercises more power than a semi-peripheral or peripheral node, whether we are talking about countries, firms, regions or individuals. Similarly, financial flows are more powerful than flows of ideas that fuel contemporary social movements (such the environmental or anti-globalization movements). Certain nodes are primarily producers (such as corporations) whereas others are mainly recipients (such as individuals using their internet access). Production involves more power than reception. Some nodes have access to more information (governments and corporations) than others (citizens). Finally, certain nodes (such as internet service providers) control what volume and quality of information other nodes (users) receive. In other words, access and control are sources of power and stratification in the network society which is by no means egalitarian.

    These lines of division over access and control, as well as between local roots and global flows are the main sources of conflict in the network society. Most human experience is still rooted in local conditions and environment. However, people also see themselves at the mercy of networks in which they have no access and global flows over which they have no control. This conflict is at the heart of the anti-globalization movement.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Then comes the SURVEILLANCE SOCIETY:

    Excerpt from: http://www.correntewire.com/the_surveillance_society_goes_global

    contd.

    The Surveillance Society

    The network society allows for the fast transmission of information. But what kind of information gets transmitted through information networks? A great deal of information flows relate to people in their statuses as citizens, workers and consumers. In post-industrial network societies, a great deal of activities from the state, employers and companies is devoted to collecting information about individuals to shape and influence behavior.

    This process of data-collection is now so thorough and widespread – thanks to information technology – that it is possible to talk about the network society as surveillance society. David Lyon defines surveillance as “any collection and processing of personal data, whether identifiable or not, for the purposes of influencing or managing those whose data have been garnered” (2001:2). The expression “surveillance society” was coined by sociologist Gary Marx (1985) as “all-encompassing use of computer surveillance technology in modern society for total social control” .

    Surveillance has always had two faces: care and control. Surveillance technology is often introduced in the name of security, to prevent all sorts of criminal and unacceptable behaviors in public and private places. Surveillance cameras are installed in malls, highways, in most large cities, in workplaces and schools in order to make people feel safer and prevent undesirable behaviors (the definition of which can vary). Behind the invocation of greater protection – care – however, the other side of surveillance is always present: behavior control.

    In-store video-surveillance, closed-circuit television (CCTV), metal detectors, fingerprinting, drug and DNA testing, pre-employment personality and health screening, highway toll passes, credit cards, cookies, spyware, clickstream and more generally searchable databases are all technologies that make anonymity almost completely impossible. In this context, the rise of the surveillance society has generated concerns about privacy, but, as David Lyon correctly notes, privacy is an individual matter, rather, the omnipresence of surveillance is a social matter that has deeper implications than privacy.

    A main social aspect of surveillance is its exponential growth thanks to information technologies. The state used to have almost a monopoly over surveillance. Most surveillance technology was used for state bureaucratic (social security numbers or national identification cards) and law enforcement purposes. In the current global context, surveillance has spread to practically all sectors of society as data flows move more freely from one area to another: for instance, employers can require criminal background checks on prospective employees from state databases.

    Conversely, in the United States, especially after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, phone and cable companies may be required to turn over customer information to the government. As David Lyon (2001:33) puts it, “The notion of surveillance society indicates that surveillance activities have long since spilled over the edges of government bureaucracies to flood every conceivable social conduit”. As a result, many other social actors, such as businesses, have become involved in the creation or use of surveillance.

    Surveillance has not only spread to the private sector but also gone global not because technology is available. Social factors are the driving force behind the expansion of surveillance. The first such factor is what David Lyon call “disappearing bodies.” Disappearing bodies refers to the fact that a significant part of our activities and interactions take place at the distance, without people actually being in each other’s presence. Electronic interactions and transactions make bodies disappear.

    Online shopping, instant messaging and live video streaming are all activities without physical space and bodies. Such disembodiment of interaction raises issues of trust: how does an employer know that employees working from home are actually working?

    How does the online store know that the customer has enough credit for a purchase? Surveillance technology, such as performance tracking – technology allowing an employer to monitor keyboard and online activity – as well as instant credit verification keep track of individuals even in disembodied situations. Similarly, with more and more people on the move worldwide (business travelers, tourists, economic and political refugees and migrants), transit areas such as airport terminals have intensified their surveillance apparatus in order to keep track of increasingly mobile bodies. The trust issue has become especially crucial in the context of fear of terrorist attacks.

    At the same time, our bodies have become increased objects of surveillance and information as well, mainly through biometrics – the range of technology used to measure human physical characteristics for identification purposes. Whether we want to or not, our bodies are major providers of surveillance data. The most traditional form of biometrics is fingerprinting as well as urine and blood tests.

    However improvement in medical and surveillance technology have opened an entire new field of data that can be extracted from the body without our knowledge and not just for law enforcement purposes but as part of everyday surveillance. The body can be used as a form of identification: some international airports use retinal scan on foreign visitors. Corporations use voice recognition software. The body itself becomes a password. Mall and public places use facial recognition software for comparison with video surveillance images.

    Employers have access to medical record to determine the potential health risks posed by prospective employees. They may also impose constraints on their employees’ bodies by requiring that employees lose weight or not smoke. Of course, all these different technologies are produced by private companies in such a booming market that it is possible to speak of the rise of a security-industrial complex.

    The emergence of the risk society is another major social factor that promoted the growth of surveillance. Globalization involves risks: political, economic, social and environmental. The global financial market is, by definition, unstable so investors rely on networked databases that can give them real time information on the different world stock exchanges as well as on wide ranges of economic indicators.

    Politically, major areas of the world are in chaos and fears of global terrorism are high. To monitor and control such risks, core countries have established means of monitoring communications on a glob
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    (overflow text)

    Politically, major areas of the world are in chaos and fears of global terrorism are high. To monitor and control such risks, core countries have established means of monitoring communications on a global scale – a process called “dataveillance”. Dataveillance refers to the “systematic monitoring of people’s actions or communications through the application of information technology” (Clarke, 1988). Giant databases have been created to intercept and process telephone conversations, faxes and emails that contain certain words or originate in parts of the world related to terrorism. Global agencies, such as INTERPOL, are in charge of such global surveillance.
Sign In or Register to comment.