Photo Radar

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  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    And if you are still awake, here is how it all ties in: :)

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

    contd.

    Finally, many research institutes around the world monitor various ecological phenomena such as global warming or the hole in the ozone layer to predict future environmental conditions and their social impact. Most surveillance, public or private, has to do with managing risk in the sense that the more information is gathered by the right agencies, the more we can reduce uncertainties related to global conditions.

    According to David Lyon (2001), the major social function of surveillance is as a sorting mechanism. Surveillance as social sorting refers to the use of data to identify, to classify, to order and to control entire populations: using searchable databases, such as zip codes and internet activities, “marketers sift and sort populations according to their spending patterns, then treat different clusters accordingly.

    Groups likely to be valuable to marketers get special attention, special deals, and efficient after-sales service, while others, not among the creamed-off categories, must make do with less information and inferior service” (Lyon, 2003:14).

    This form of discrimination – also called digital redlining or weblining – reflects the use of surveillance to include or exclude entire populations from certain advantages. Based on information abstracted from databases, credit card companies can provide or deny access to credit. Insurance companies can also provide or refuse coverage is information reveals that certain categories of the population represent too high a risk. For instance, genetic testing that can potentially reveal a predisposition to certain incurable diseases, such as Huntington, can be used by health care providers to refuse coverage to individuals with the “wrong” genes.

    At the same time, the use of searchable databases is used commercially to provide individualized service. For instance, many online stores, such as Amazon.com, automatically use purchase records to provide individualized recommendations and offers to their customers in hope of increasing the number of volumes purchased.

    In a sense, every online purchase made by an individual creates a sum of information regarding lifestyle, spending habits, hobbies and preferences. Such information, if used judiciously by marketers, creates a greater certainty of what this individual will buy in the future, thereby reducing the basic risk involved in any business: will people buy what a company offers? While mass advertising is still used, more and more businesses now use the wealth of information available in databases to provide individualized marketing.

    As David Lyon (2003) puts it, the same surveillance technology creates categorical suspicion in one type of social situations – in law enforcement and security business – and categorical seduction in others – marketing.

    Categorical suspicion refers to the control function of surveillance whereby entire categories of people are subject to intensified surveillance due to their characteristics, such as Muslims and Arab travelers after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Categorical seduction refers to a similar process used in commerce to entice certain categories of shoppers (those with the “appropriate” credit level, lifestyle and buying habits) into particular forms of consumption.

    Both processes result in the blurring of the boundaries between public and private behavior creating what David Brin (1998) calls a transparent society. The concept of transparent society extends Goffman’s notion of total institution to the entire society. In such a society, there is no place to hide: the privacy of one’s home is an illusion as our most private environments are wired into global networks and even our bodies become providers of information fed into the global society.

    Is it time to re-define totalitarianism yet? Let me make the guess that one of the latest forms of social inequalities will the power and capacity to avoid extensive surveillance, that is where privacy will become a possession of the upper classes.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    GPS surveillance will more likely initially be put in trial states such as OR and WASH. Isn't OR already thinking about some kind of gps? Aren't the treehugger folks there more likely to fall for a regime scheme such as to monitor carbon to save our planet? If regime leader gets Algore to approve obd-gps, its a done deal.

    But on photo radar, remember that properly used, it documents a violation of a law. Only lawbreakers fear photo radar. When obd-gps comes, the stimulus/porkulus new govt workers will get plenty of make-work by monitoring and analyzing movements of folks. Instead of just lawbreakers fearing photo radar, now good law-abiding folks like myself will have to fear that we are not following "Guidlines" when driving our cars.

    I will only be concerned, but not for personal reasons, about photo radar if the regime requisitions photo radar data on ongoing basis from the States for their analysis. Perhaps they will try to somehow link it with the GPS surveilance. Photo radar data should remain with the States.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,702
    Again, when both radar and GPS can be used for a sinister surveillance grid, why does one assume the photo radar is being used "properly"? Do you really trust the regime no matter which person the special interests have allowed into the oval office?

    Photo radar can just as easily be used to monitor and analyze movements. In fact, it would require a little more labor, which is just what the idiots in charge of the economy believe is a cure.

    This whole system has nothing in the world to do with safety, and everything to do with money and power. Lies of safety appease the braying masses, the regressive idea of a law being just simply because it is a law ensures progress is dead.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,348
    "...Our government "Guidance" (just like health plan) SUGGESTS..."

    It you're comparing it to some of the health proposals I've heard it should go something like this:

    "Our government "Guidance" SUGGESTS that since you are old you should go home and die instead of driving around shopping. Save the gas for the younger shoppers who will have longer to enjoy their purchases." :mad:

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

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,554
    Traffic accidents and fatalities on the rise since the installation of cameras for traffic enforcment.

    No surprise there. Camera's make mediocre drivers go crazy and drive terribly.

    Photo RADAR does NOT improve safety one iota.
    Photo Red Light intersections are an accident waiting to happen.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Yeah. That is part of the guidance. When the regime decides that only American brand cars are to be supported, then drivers in their WD40s, or E85 mercedes will be at risk. All these w's and e's will be taxed or hounded off the road by a combo of gps and other means. Why should America and its drivers be supporting a car brand other than American? The regime will press this point.

    Photo radar is a nothing in the scheme of things that is coming in our world. It is just a blip. In years to come and with gps monitoring our every move, drivers will wish for the good old days of only photo radar. How simple was that. Only had to stay 9 under the posted limit. Any dummy could do that.

    Now is the time to stand up for State controlled and properly executed photo radar to catch the scofflaws. No need to take this national and in a national data base. Law-abiding drivers should write their governors and show their suppport for photo radar and its goal of punishing law-breaking speeders.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    I guess that this mediocre driver goes crazy and drives terribly when encountering any photo radar. Do these kind of drivers deserve to have licenses if so unstable? Maybe we need some kind of physcological (sp) testing on all drivers licenses for speeding and to also test for selfish/childish need to use cell phone while driving.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,702
    But you forget, those WD40s and E85s tend to be driven by people with greater than average money, and no matter the claims of the regime at hand, laws in the long run always favor money....so that part of the plan doesn't seem likely. You get the justice you pay for, remember, this is America.

    Photo radar is an asinine and illogical way to manage traffic laws, and is an easy piece in a puzzle of a repressive Orwellian surveillance grid. Nothing more.

    "State controlled" and "properly executed" are mutually exclusive.

    Just stay in the right lane, and all will be well.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,702
    Perhaps people who blindly defer to all laws also need psychological testing, along with those who camp out in the left lane and play traffic patrol deputy in their squashy sofacar, as well as those who want someone to "pay" for a crime no matter if that person can be proven to have committed it.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    One tidbit of interest:

    "Officials say the cameras monitor intersections around the clock and keep police and the public safe.

    A traffic enforcement officer often would have to cross the red light, too, to catch a violator, putting the officer and other drivers in even more danger, Capt. McLain said."

    Cameras record 1,000 violations at Cleveland lights (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here one even better at 12,000 Australian dollars an hour fine rate. Egads, the whole population must be berserk! We MUST step up photo enforcement to ensure public safety! (Making the intersection safer by proper traffic engineering would of course be even BETTER, but where's the money in THAT?) :)

    Of course that has to be the rationale to build up the infrastructure which will then of course be used to lay the foundation of the surveillance society. What does it say when a process criminalizes even increasing sections of a generally law-abiding population?

    Please note the tidbit at the end about how the driver of the deputy premier took the fall for his boss.

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25059317-5010760,00.html

    Gold Coast speed camera racks up $12,000 an hour

    Patrick Lion
    February 15, 2009 11:00pm

    QUEENSLAND'S busiest speed camera is netting the State Government almost $12,000 an hour as motorists are slapped with a fine every 40 seconds.

    The Courier-Mail can reveal the "rat run" on a Gold Coast street caught 90 motorists an hour last year – almost double the strike rate of the next busiest camera.

    Queensland police figures showing the top 20 camera sites during 2007-08 also are set to reignite the debate over whether a proposal to advertise mobile camera locations should be implemented.

    The camera in Wardoo St, Southport, was in use for only 43 hours and netted about $506,000, according to calculations based on average breaches before a 33 per cent hike in fines on January 1.

    But well-known sites such as the state's most-used location, outside a KFC outlet on Kelvin Grove Rd, in Brisbane's inner north, collected only $418,000 over 670 hours.

    Motorists were so aware of the virtually advertised camera it detected only four motorists an hour for $626 average revenue, a similar rate to the three fixed cameras.

    Police Minister Judy Spence yesterday defended the Wardoo St jackpot, saying its selection was based on factors including crash data, complaints about speeding and police knowledge – as were all sites.

    "Revenue raising is never a consideration when choosing sites," she said.

    "This street is known as a 'rat run' by drivers on the Gold Coast and the large number of detections is a result of this traffic volume."

    The figures show that the state's second-busiest camera, on the Pacific Motorway at Daisy Hill, caught drivers at a rate of 51 motorists an hour.

    The Gateway Motorway, at Eagle Farm, notched 48 detections an hour.

    RACQ spokesman Gary Fites yesterday said the Kelvin Grove Rd camera seemed "to be a pretty successful site in terms of modifying behaviour".

    The State Government will commission another six fixed speed camera sites this year with initial reports suggesting two each on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, one in Toowoomba and one in Ipswich.

    Red-lights snap for cash

    THE list of Queensland's busiest red-light cameras gives an insight into how the State Government positions its limited number of cameras.

    The traffic lights at the intersection of Ipswich Rd and Cornwall St, at Annerley on Brisbane's southside, had the highest rate of detections during 2007-08.

    They recorded almost double the second-busiest site with 18.1 detections a day.

    The Government has only 34 cameras to alternate between 136 camera box locations across the state. Motorists are normally unaware which red light cameras are in use.

    Figures suggest the camera locations with the highest recordings are more likely to be used more often.

    The second-busiest camera was located at the intersection of Lutwyche Rd and Bradshaw St, at Lutwyche, on the northside. It averaged 10.4 detections a day.

    Police Minister Judy Spence yesterday attributed the high detection rate on Ipswich Rd to heavy traffic volume.

    "A red-light camera will only be installed at an intersection that has a history of crashes directly related to drivers disobeying traffic signals," Ms Spence said. "There can be other physical aspects at an intersection where crashes occur that may mean a red light camera cannot be installed."

    The limousine of Deputy Premier Paul Lucas was snapped at the Ipswich Rd intersection when he was transport minister.

    His chauffeur paid the fine but Mr Lucas later admitted he may have been driving the vehicle at the time of the offence.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    By God, those Brits must all drive like lunatics! Look at the fines! We need more cameras to step UP enforcement! ! What was that saying about self-fulfilling prophecies? Nevermind that such a rate of violation may mean the need for better road engineering and a traffic survey to determine the 85th percentile speed, but wher'e the money in THAT? :)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1564745/Top-100-speed-cameras-fine-driver- - - s-18m.html

    Top 100 speed cameras fine drivers £18m

    Last Updated: 2:26AM BST 02 Oct 2007

    The country's most "flash-happy" speed cameras have been revealed, with the top 100 last year responsible for dishing out a million penalty points.

    A survey has found these cameras alone brought in more than £18 million in the past 12 months - with one of them snaring a speeding driver every two minutes.

    The investigation, using Freedom of Information laws, has revealed for the first time how the yellow and grey Gatso cameras have caught so many drivers - and exactly where the busiest cameras are sited.

    The rural county of Wiltshire was the place that speeding motorists should fear most.

    In just one year, its top 10 cameras issued 42,417 fixed penalty notices between them, amounting to £2.5 million in fines and some 127,000 penalty points. Each penalty sees drivers fined £60 - plus three penalty points. A 30-mile stretch of the A303 across Salisbury Plain is included four times in the county's top 10 cameras.

    Paul Smith, the founder of driving campaign site Safespeed.org.uk, said: "These 100 sites will convince the public that speed cameras are only about money and never about safety. Drivers know - as if by instinct - that speed cameras don't help them drive more safely."

    In all, the top 100 sites in the study issued 312,995 fixed penalties in one year - more than £18 million in total.

    The UK is now watched by more than 6,000 fixed and mobile cameras, which the Department for Transport says have cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on the road. However, the DfT is now re-evaluating how it calculates these statistics.

    Overall, 21 Safety Camera Partnerships provided a complete response to the request.

    Camera hotspots

    These are the areas of England and Wales with the highest total of fixed penalty notices from their 10 busiest sites, with the number of fixed penalty notices.

    1 Wiltshire 42,417
    2 Essex 35,859
    3 South Wales 35,213
    4 Leicestershire 32,549
    5 Gtr Manchester 29,805
    6 London 28,621
    7 Lancashire 28,467
    8 Northumbria 27,851
    9 West Mercia 27,423
    10 Cheshire 24,790
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Sounds like the citizens of TENN approve the red llight cameras. And, according to the AG there, the cameras do not violate constituional rights. Seems llike they have a different twist on how the tickets are issued.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    As far as the TN AG's opinion is concerned:

    from: http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/silence/archives/2008/12/tn_opinion_on_r.shtml

    (excerpt)

    TN opinion on revenue-light cameras is not a court ruling

    Contrary to what has been reported elsewhere (WBIR Channel 10 at 6 p.m. Tuesday) yesterday's state attorney general's opinion is not a ruling. It is an opinion. I can go down to the courthouse and get you 900 others and they'd all carry the same legal authority - nada.

    As this commenter pointed out: The AG's opinion is of little use. Only courts decide what is legal and illegal.

    And there's this at the same link: Everybody remember that it was the AG's opinion that term limits in Knoxville wasn't legal too. It took the Supreme Court to overturn his opinion. I guess they'll have to do it on this one too.

    Here is a nice report about photo enforcement in TN if anybody's interested, with figures, charts and references:

    http://www.tennesseepolicy.org/files/pdf/Red%20Light%20Cameras%20in%20the%20Volu- - nteer%20State.pdf

    From the bottom of page 6 is this quote:

    "Despite this hurdle, in March 2008, Judge Thomas Philips of the U.S. District Court for Eastern Tennessee sent a clear message regarding the constitutionality of these devices in Williams v.Redflex. In his order granting dismissal of the case on procedural grounds, Judge Philips stated, “Although this plaintiff lacks standing, the court is constrained to observe that the Red Light Photo Enforcement Program raises numerous constitutional questions.”

    The reference is #30: Satterfield, Jamie. "Judge rejects red light lawsuit." Knoxville News Sentinel 22 Mar. 2008.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    It is as simple as adding one second to the yellow for a reduction in accidents, but where's the money in THAT? (Please note the large text providing clear grounds for suspecting financial considerations and collusion wrapped in the guise of safety, as usual.)

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2713.asp

    Georgia: Red Light Cameras Struggle in Face of Longer Yellow

    Lilburn, Georgia suspends red light camera program after extended yellow time cut violations by 80 percent.

    On January 1, a new Georgia law kicked in forcing a one-second increase in the duration of the yellow warning light at intersections with red light cameras. The result has been devastating for red light camera makers as violations -- and revenue -- immediately plunged for the months of January, February and March. Last week, the city of Norcross dumped photo enforcement. Now the UK-owned red light camera maker Lasercraft is offering its customers a 90-day suspension of service to prevent cities from dropping their automated ticketing contracts. The cities of Lilburn and Snellville accepted this offer yesterday and suspended their red light camera programs.

    "With the passage of House Bill 77, effective January 1, 2009, there has been a precipitous decline in the number of citations issued through the program," Lilburn Police Chief J.B. Davidson wrote in a memo to the city council.

    The mandated increase in signal time created dramatic and instant results. In 2008, Lasercraft issued an average of 1,559 citations each month. In January, that number dropped 80 percent to just 313. Norcross also saw an 80 percent drop in violations. According to a 2001 report by the Office of the U.S. House Majority Leader, the findings in Lilburn and Norcross are not coincidental. The report argued that changes in national signal timing guidelines systematically reduced the amount of warning time available to motorists. It argued further that those with a financial incentive in using enforcement to deal with the additional violations created may have played a role in the changes (view report).

    "This strongly suggests that inadequate yellow time is the major cause of red-light entries," the Congressional report stated. "If the vast majority of red light entries occur in the first second after the yellow light expires, it is reasonable to assume an additional second of yellow time on that light will yield a nearly 80 percent decrease in red light entries."

    To date, Lilburn's three red light camera intersections have issued 57,528 tickets worth $4,026,960. Thanks to the longer yellow, however, monthly income from the program dropped $80,000 forcing Lasercraft to pause to discover what more might be done.

    "The program vendor has proposed a plan to suspend the program for a ninety-day period, and the vendor will waive all Lasercraft charges during the suspension period," Davidson wrote.

    Lilburn voted to accept the suspension to give Lasercraft time to come up with a plan to increase the number of citations. In a letter to Davidson, Lasercraft officials hinted that deactivating some cameras and presumably moving them to higher volume intersections could be part of the solution.

    "In ninety days, on or before June 7th, the city and Lasercraft will meet to review the most current citation counts and make a decision as to reactivation of approaches, continuation of the suspension period, or de-commission of the program," Lasercraft Regional Director Ty Sellers wrote.

    Lasercraft's letter also implied that violations may increase as drivers adapt to the longer yellow. This has not proved true in places such as Fairfax County, Virginia where the benefit of an increased yellow time appeared permanent. A 1985 report by the Institute of Transportation Engineers summarized the best opinion of experts as confirming the permanence of the benefit view report in PDF, see page 8).

    "Research has consistently shown that drivers do not, in fact, adapt to the length of the yellow," the ITE report stated.

    Although it is too early to draw any conclusions, accident data for January and February appear positive for the intersections with longer yellow. A copy of the Lasercraft letter and the police chief's memo to city council are available in a 325k PDF file at the source link below.

    Source: Details on Suspension of Red Light Camera Program (City of Lilburn, Georgia and Lasercraft, 3/10/2009)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    AZ City Photo Radar/Red Light Camera system saving LIVES but not MONEY:

    "If the road is safer, then the program is achieving its goal,"

    While the state and some Valley cities report huge profits from photo radar, Mesa's program is actually costing the city money, but city officials say the program is worth the cost because it enhances public safety.

    The city lost $390,000 last calendar year on the program, which comes on the heels of a $281,000 deficit the year before.

    A significant loss also occurred during the start up year of 2006, when the program was expanded and the city switched contractors.

    But while the losses have climbed, the number of fatalities on city streets has decreased dramatically. There were 67 fatalities in 2005, compared with 29 last year.

    City officials are reluctant to attribute the decline to red light cameras, but they say the cost of photo radar is money well spent.

    "If we know the program is producing public safety results, it's an acceptable loss. The goal is public safety," said Mesa police Sgt. Andy Nesbit, who administers the program.

    Nesbit said the operating deficits stem from a combination of factors:

    When the Loop 202 was completed in east Mesa, the incidence of red light runners dropped at Higley and Brown roads and Higley and McKellipsroad, making those cameras less productive.

    Road improvements at Power and Baseline roads removed problems at a troublesome intersection where 7,000 drivers a year were running red lights. The improvements increased safety but cut revenue.

    The city loses about $150,000 a year on the costs of serving summonses to drivers who never pay their fines.

    Mesa police are looking for ways to reduce the losses while redeploying cameras to crack down on red light runners and speeders in school zones. The cost-saving efforts include going out to bid in September on a new process-serving contract for the photo radar program.

    Documents from the city of Mesa court system show there were nearly 40,000 citations issued in 2008, with slightly more than half coming from red-light cameras and the rest from speed cameras. However only about 11,000 of those citations were paid, and an additional 13,000 went to traffic school. In all, the city received about $2.4 million from the program.

    On the expense side, the city paid out about $1.7 million for the red light camera program costs; $159, 000 for intersection speed cameras; $230,000 for photo radar vans; $261,000 in process service fees; and nearly $450,000 in court and police expenses in running the program.

    A critic of the program, D.T. Arneson of Mesa, a photo radar opponent and volunteer with CameraFRAUD.com, said Mesa's program is "mind-boggling."

    "Only the government could take a complete moneymaker and lose money at it," he said. "The truth of the matter is its all about the money," with the contractor, American Traffic Solutions, still making plenty of money.

    With Mesa still suffering through a fiscal crisis, "I can think of a lot of jobs that $380,000 could go to right now," Arneson said.

    In contrast to Mesa, Tempe said its photo radar program made $1.56 million in 2008 and Chandler reports it made about $50,000. The Tempe and Chandler contracts are based on fees calculated per ticket.

    Mesa's contract, however, is based on flat fees paid for each photo radar device. Lenny Montanaro, Mesa's deputy court administrator, said he uses a more detailed formula than other cities to calculate the true costs of photo radar, including the salaries of court employees and time spent on hearings.

    Mesa signed a five-year contract with ATS in 2006, expanding the number of cameras from 17 to 34 after a record 67 traffic fatalities in 2005 turned into a rallying cry for improved highway safety. The previous record was 39 a decade earlier.

    But when the expanded program was approved, it also was supposed to either break even or make a small profit. The digital cameras represented a higher level of technology, with clearer images to identify drivers.

    Sean Casey, 14, a Rhodes student, became a symbol of the highway carnage when he was killed crossing Baseline Road at Longmore on Sept. 23, 2005 while on his way home from football practice.

    The boy was struck by a car driven by a woman who ran a red light. His father, Don, advocated for the safety crackdown.

    Eventually, the city launched an experiment with mid-block photo radar cameras in August 2008. A traffic study showed the cameras reduced the average speed from 47 mph to 36 mph during school hours, when the speed limit is 35 mph.

    "The goal is to suppress red light running," Nesbit said, not to reduce $380,000 in losses for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. "Priority number one is safety. Priority number two is cost neutral to the city."

    He said a driver going 36 mph can stop 60 feet sooner for a pedestrian, about four car lengths, than a driver going 47 mph.

    Traffic engineering improvements at new east Mesa intersections, at Power and Baseline roads and at Power and Main Street, vastly reduced the number of violations but also cut revenues, Nesbit said.

    During a construction project last year at Power and Baseline, there were as many as 7,000 violations in one year, he said, with drivers heading south on Power running the red light to turn east on Baseline Road during rush hour.

    After the project was completed, violations dropped to zero and the cameras were removed, Nesbit said.

    The same pattern occurred at Power and Main. Before a change in the timing of lights, the cameras recorded 17 to 20 red light runners a day. Violations dropped to about 20 a month after the improvements.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    A shaky legal foundation, but the lure of easy money is too much for MOST petty officials to resist. Maybe the Missouri Police Officers' Association is a bunch of loonies too? :)

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2714.asp

    Missouri Cops Oppose Red Light Cameras

    Police in St. Louis, Missouri oppose red light camera program that legal advisors to camera firm operates illegally.

    The St. Louis, Missouri Police Officers' Association on Monday spoke out against the use of red light cameras as a revenue raising tool. The police union adopted a resolution opposing automated ticketing as state lawmakers consider measures that would authorize use of the devices statewide. The group representing rank-and-file police officers stands in opposition to the high-ranking officials represented by the Missouri Police Chiefs' Association.

    "Police chiefs serve at the pleasure of the mayor -- they're political jobs," said Jesse Irwin, co-founder of Missourians against Red Light Cameras. "I'm not surprised that the Missouri Police Chiefs' organization would be for the cameras. I'm also not surprised that the men and women out on the street enforcing the law would be against them -- they don't work."

    Irwin's organization claims to have 500 members willing to circulate a petition that will force a referendum on the red light camera issue in St. Louis. The group is joined by Don't Tread on Me, another band of photo enforcement opponents in the city of Arnold who yesterday circulated documents showing that American Traffic Solutions (ATS) knew from the start that its ticketing program rested on a weak legal foundation. A May 2005 letter from ATS' law firm, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, explained that Missouri law does not allow red light cameras to issue tickets that carry only a monetary penalty. Six months later, Arnold became the first city in the state issuing automated fines with ATS in charge of the program.

    "We do not believe, however, that the municipalities possess the authority to adopt an ordinance that would permit the municipality to circumvent the Missouri Director of Revenue's point system for the suspension and revocation motor vehicle licenses," Stinson Morrison Hecker attorney Stephen P. Chinn wrote. "Under current Missouri law, every court with jurisdiction over any state laws or county or municipal ordinances regulating the operation of vehicles on highways must report, to the Missouri Highway Patrol, a record of any plea or finding of guilty of any person convicted of any moving violation under the state, county or municipal regulations within ten days after the record is made... The mandatory language used in the text of the statute supports a conclusion that an ordinance of this nature would conflict with state law."

    The legal opinion noted that a number of Jackson County judges also spoke out publicly against a 1992 photo radar proposal on the grounds that ignoring license points violated state law. Despite the clarity of the statutes involved, nearly two dozen Missouri cities have established automated ticketing programs that do not issue license points.

    "It is appalling to think that the city council at that time had legal advice from ATS' own legal counsel stating what they were intending to do was illegal, and yet they disregarded it at the thought of how much cash these cameras could bring in to city coffers," Arnold City Councilman Matthew Hay said in a statement.

    Although red light camera tickets in Missouri are vulnerable to court challenge, legislation including Senate Bill 58 and House Bill 241 would authorize their use.

    An ATS spokesman said there was "nothing new" in the charges brought by the St. Louis and Arnold activists.

    A copy of the legal opinion is available in a 500k PDF file at the source link below.

    Source: Municipal authority to adopt automated traffic enforcement measures in Missouri (Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP, 3/11/2009)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    And from the land of Big Brother with the most experience with speed cameras is this Department for Transport's Highways Agency funded study which was released only after an Freedom of Information request.

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/06/602.asp

    UK Study: Speed Cameras Increase Injury Accidents

    Full text of suppressed UK government study shows speed cameras increase accidents 31 percent on freeways, 55 percent in work zones.

    The UK Department for Transport funded, then suppressed, a study that shows a 55 percent increase in injury accidents when speed cameras are used on highway work zones and a 31 percent increase when used on freeways without construction projects. According to the Transport Research Laboratory, the "non-works [personal injury accident] rate is significantly higher for the sites with speed cameras than the rate for sites without."

    An analysis of this data, buried on page 43 of the report, yields the following result:

    Effect on Personal Injury Accidents
    Enforcement Type Construction Zone No Construction

    Conventional speed cameras 55% increase 31% increase
    Speed-averaging cameras (SPECS) 4.5% increase 6.7% increase
    Police patrols 27% reduction 10% reduction

    View Table 3.18 in original format

    Although the Department for Transport's Highways Agency funded the study, no information regarding these results was ever made public until a Freedom of Information Act request was honored earlier this month. The Transport Research Laboratory attempted to suppress the UK taxpayer-funded study further by charging £40 (US $72) for access to the results. Moreover, the study's executive summary calculates only the aggregate accident rate including the benefit of manned police patrol cars in the work zones. The significant decrease in accidents from a human police presence was used to offset the increase in camera accidents.

    "It is outrageous that this sort of information has been hidden from the public," said Safe Speed road safety campaign founder Paul Smith whose FOIA request uncovered the study's existence. "We have all seen strange driver behaviour where fixed speed cameras operate. This report highlights the dangers. We're not surprised to see this information -- we have know for years that speed cameras were the wrong road safety strategy, and it's a huge relief to see the truth coming out so clearly"

    The TRL study compared accident reports covering 29 highway construction zone projects over 730km of road from November 2001 to July 2003 with an equivalent period without the construction zones, controlling for changes in traffic volume. In the US, the state of Illinois plans to implement a similar freeway work zone speed camera program within the next few months.

    The full text of this taxpayer-funded public policy document is available in 620K PDF format at the source link below.

    Source: Safety Performance of Traffic Management at Major Motorway Road Works (Transport Research Laboratories, 8/5/2005)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is an interesting Op-Ed from The Washington Times about the lure of easy money and corruption of the officials entrusted with upholding our laws:

    from: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/27/stimulating-big-brother-in-a-fla- - sh/

    DIAMOND: Stimulating Big Brother in a flash
    Congress funds traffic cameras nationwide

    Richard Diamond
    Friday, February 27, 2009

    OP-ED:

    Much of the discontent with the recently adopted economic stimulus bill has focused on the package's enormous cost. While the most expensive projects attract the most attention, taxpayers also will be affected by the small-dollar items of the sort found on the U.S. Conference of Mayors' wish list.

    Take Alexandria, for example. Officials there put in a $32,000 request for federal money to equip 10 motorcycles with new moving radar units that will allow traffic police to set up mobile speed traps. According to the city's request, this project will create one "shovel-ready" new job.

    It's not clear what kind of job that might be. It seems unlikely that hundreds of visitors and tourists will be eager to return to the area and support local business after running into the ticketing team. Instead, the scheme will transfer wealth from the pockets of productive citizens into the hands of municipal bureaucracy.

    In these tough times, that's just what cities want. Increasing revenue in the guise of safety - or even now in the name of homeland security - is the order of the day. Lorain, Ohio, for example, wants $250,000 to equip 10 police cars with license-plate recognition cameras. The more ambitious plan of Oakland, Calif., is to take $1.5 million in federal cash to ring the city with this technology, which records and identifies every passing vehicle.

    In theory, these systems allow police to locate stolen cars and rescue abducted children. In reality, cities use plate-recognition systems to scan for vehicles that can be impounded because their owners failed to pay a few parking tickets or have some late library books. Add towing and storage fees to the original ticket and penalties that must be paid for the car's return and each "hit" from a license-plate recognition system can bring in a tidy sum.

    Nobody better understands the lucrative new aspect of "homeland security" than President Obama's new Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. As governor of Arizona, Miss Napolitano signed a contract with an Australian company, Redflex Traffic Systems, to blanket the state's freeways with up to 200 speed cameras.

    The ambitious plan was slipped into a state budget bill last June as a means of generating $150 million in new revenue to help close the $1 billion budget gap with "non-tax increase revenue generation."

    This inspired Maryland's Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is about to deploy the same fully automated speed traps on the Capital Beltway and other freeways throughout the state.

    Instead of protecting the homeland, however, Mr. O'Malley's cameras will protect his bureaucracy's revenue stream. Each privately operated photo-radar van is expected to issue tickets at a rate of one-per-minute. On a typical deployment schedule, that's 96,000 tickets a year. Any time state officials need another $3.8 million in revenue, they just need to pick up the phone to order another van.

    Maryland will need a worker just to count all the money it rakes in. Perhaps that will be the job created by the stimulus package.

    There is one other example that stands out. Glendale Heights, Ill., is asking Congress for $67,000 in stimulus money to hire someone to look at the pictures generated by its red-light camera system. Those cameras will be purchased with another $96,000 in stimulus money.

    If the District of Columbia's experience is any evidence, Glendale Heights won't be disappointed. Over the course of a decade, red-light and speed cameras in the nation's capital have generated more than a quarter-billion dollars' worth of tickets. While this sounds like a lot, it still falls short when compared to the sums generated in Europe - which sets the revenue standard that bureaucrats across American want to emulate.

    With more than 6,000 speed cameras deployed, England issues 2 million tickets each year. France generated $600 million in revenue from tickets last year alone. Total revenue from all types of fines in Italy topped a staggering $2 billion in 2007.

    How did Italy's total rise so high? Most observers credit the "T-Red" system of red-light cameras. Municipalities willing to shave a few seconds off the yellow warning time at intersections were instantly rewarded with a quadrupling of fine revenue as drivers found themselves trapped, photographed and billed. The camera contractors responsible for the programs ensured, behind closed doors, that key city officials shared personally in the financial success.

    The party didn't last long. Last month, an ambitious prosecutor grew fed up with the corruption. He ordered the arrest of photo-ticketing executives implicated in the plot. Another 100 local officials are under investigation.

    Most shocking of all, many of the practices under scrutiny in Italy now - especially on signal timing - are actually common in the United States. The difference is that while Italy is putting its ravenous local officials in jail, we are rewarding ours with federal bailout dollars.

    Richard Diamond is a member of the board of directors of the National Motorists Association Foundation.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is whole litany of causes that support the contention that it is IMPOSSIBLE to have photo radar work correctly as claimed for safety in a LEGAL manner. Just look at these AT LEAST 286,000 drivers illegally fined over 10 million GBP (about $15-20 million dollars). What is worrisome is that ALL sorts of reasons go into these illegal prosecutions.

    Why would our experience in the US be any different?

    excerpt from: http://www.abd.org.uk/talivan_incompetence.htm

    (all "cockups" (ah that wonderful British term :) ) listed have references on the link if anybody is interested)

    CockUp Illegal prosecutions Illegal fines
    2007 Feb–Sep — Lancs — Speed cameras incorrectly calibrated 300 £18,000
    2006 — Devon — A30 Illegal speed limit 170 £10,200
    2006 Jul — Cleveland — Illegal form 240,000 £9M
    2005 Jun — London — Mis-placed SPECS 5,600 £335,800
    2005 Jun — Lincolnshire — Street lighting 2,637 £158,220
    2005 Jun — Dorset — Illegal form Total (Not including cases pending*) 285,779 £ 10,466,220

    If you stole £10M from the public you'd end up in jail.

    Note: Some dates refer to when the cockup first came to notice in the courts or the press, the illegal acts are often many months or even years earlier.

    Bungling ineptitude?
    Over-enthusiasm?
    Deliberately malpractice?
    Or sympomatic of the attitude of the police towards drivers?
    You decide...
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, duh .... of course if you remove the financial interest, all sorts of people with their finger in the pie are not as interested anymore.

    from: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/article2781340.ece

    The Times November 1, 2007

    Public outrage leads to first fall in number of speed-camera fines
    Ben Webster Transport Editor

    The number of drivers caught by speed cameras has fallen for the first time, according to government figures which reveal that widespread complaints about excessive enforcement have finally forced a retreat by police and local authorities.

    All of the main types of motoring offence, including illegal parking and driving without insurance or an MoT certificate, have declined. For the first time in more than a decade drivers are less likely to be given a penalty than in the previous year.

    The RAC Foundation said that the figures, published by the Ministry of Justice and relating to 2005, marked a big change in the relationship between motorists and the enforcement authorities. Edmund King, the executive director of the foundation, said: “This shows the outcry by millions of drivers has finally paid off and forced councils and police to exercise more discretion. There is no doubt that enforcement was getting out of hand, particularly with the use of speed cameras.

    “The authorities have finally realised that showing a small degree of flexibility can be more effective than huge numbers of fines, even though they are making less money.”

    There were 438 offences per 1,000 licensed vehicles in 2005, down from 466 in 2004. The total number of motoring offences fell by 450,000 to 13 million. The number of speed-camera fines had been increasing since 1995 at the rate of about 200,000 a year, but in 2005 it fell by 40,000, from 1.91 million to 1.87 million.

    Richard Brunstrom, the former head of road policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers, had predicted four years ago that the number of camera fines would carry on growing until it reached three million a year. But the number is likely to have continued falling in 2006 because the policy that allowed police to keep a proportion of the fines to pay for more cameras ended in April of that year.

    The number of drivers being automatically disqualified for receiving 12 penalty points within three years also fell to the lowest level for more than a decade, down 2,000 to 29,000. However, it is unclear whether this was because drivers slowed down or because they persuaded someone to take the points for them.

    Parking fines fell sharply in 2005 after several years of substantial year-on-year increases. The number reduced from 8.5 to 8.2 million. As with speed camera fines, parking penalties are likely to continue to fall because the Government issued guidelines this year that prevent local authorities from setting targets for the issuing of tickets by private parking companies.

    Police focused more attention in 2005 on more serious motoring offences, with a 5 per cent increase in the number of breath tests to 607,000 and a 35 per cent rise in careless driving prosecutions to 186,000. Penalties for using mobile phones at the wheel also rose in 2005, up 53,000 to 126,800, but this was because forces had taken time to begin penalising the new offence.

    The figures revealed a discrepancy in the number of breath tests being carried out by different forces, despite a guideline that states every driver involved in a collision must be tested. West Midlands Police carried out only 270 tests per 100,000 population compared with 3,200 in North Wales. The forces with the highest rates of positive tests per 100,000 population were South Yorkshire, Thames Valley, Dorset, South Wales, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    More DUH! If one removes the financial gain, petty local officials soon see the "light"! It takes a wise man indeed to learn from others' experiences, no? :)

    from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1079884/Speed-cameras-face-end-road-Town- - s-join-rush-ditch-money-making-machines.html

    Speed cameras face the end of the road: Towns join rush to ditch money-making machines

    By Matthew Drake and Ray Massey

    Last updated at 3:01 PM on 24th October 2008

    Towns all over the country are joining the rush to get rid of fixed speed cameras.

    Portsmouth, Walsall and Birmingham may copy Swindon in ripping out the hated cameras, and others are expected to follow suit.

    Tory-run Swindon Borough Council became the first to ditch the yellow boxes after councillor Peter Greenhalgh objected to central Government receiving all the cash from fines while Swindon council pays £320,000 a year for the cameras' upkeep.

    Mr Greenhalgh said the fact that 70 people were killed on Swindon's streets in 2007-08 was proof that speed cameras were not making roads safer.

    He suggested that cash should be spent on other safety measures, including training for motorists, better street lighting and reduced speed limits in problem areas.

    On Thursday the Liberal Democrat leader of Portsmouth City Council, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said speed cameras could be scrapped there too.

    He said: 'We pay £380,000 a year of public money for six fixed speed cameras. I don't think that is good value for money. It costs £40,000 to provide an extra copper. I could buy an awful lot of coppers for £380,000.

    'There is a feeling around the country that speed cameras are not great value for money. I have had informal discussions about this with colleagues on other councils, mainly Liberal Democrat. But this is not a party political issue. This is just common sense.'

    Anthony Harris, Walsall Council's transport chief, said all 47 speed cameras in the district could be pulled down.

    He said: 'It's about establishing respect with the motorist. These cameras have no impact on speeding and drivers understandably view them as traps to siphon off money for the Government.

    'In most cases the motorist has no idea he has been caught for at least two weeks. Who is that helping?' David Sparks of the Local Government Association, which represents all councils in England and Wales, confirmed that other councils were investigating scrapping cameras and predicted a move towards electronic speed warning signs.

    He said: 'There's a reluctance to deploy speed cameras because of the cost.'
    Meanwhile, the AA highlighted figures in answer to a Tory question showing a decline of 20 per cent in the number of traffic police in England and Wales over the last decade. There are now 1,507 fewer patrolling the roads.

    Until recently, speed camera 'partnerships' - comprising councils, police, courts, and road safety groups - kept the revenue from the cameras to invest in road safety, principally more cameras.

    After massive criticism, the Government decided that the millions generated from the cameras would go directly into Treasury coffers in return for road safety grants to councils
    .
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    It is a naked money grab hiding under a guise of safety.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-410515/Speed-cameras-milking-innocent-pu- - - blic.html

    Speed cameras and the milking of an innocent public

    Last updated at 15:44 15 October 2006

    How appropriate that the people who operate the nasty and oppressive speed-camera system should themselves have been caught in a trap and captured on film. Thinking they were speaking to fellow sharks, they unwisely revealed their teeth, and their greedy appetites.

    We now know for certain that their pretended concern for road safety is almost entirely faked. These devices are there to raise money, first for the 'partnerships' that operate them and then for the ever-hungry Treasury. And it is not just a little money but 'buckets of it', so much so that the courts can barely cope with the burden of collecting it all.

    Goals for the number of prosecutions are set in advance. Businessmen and school-run mothers are deliberately targeted as they struggle to keep the economy going on our congested, roadworks infested highways. Perhaps the most cynical detail is the revelation that speed checks are sometimes deliberately set up on quiet roads, so that 'partnerships' can avoid over-running their quotas.

    The Mail on Sunday has argued from the start that the speed-camera network is a tax masquerading as a safety measure.

    Since it was inaugurated, proper police traffic patrols have virtually vanished and all forms of dangerous and inconsiderate driving have increased, while hundreds of thousands of responsible, careful motorists have been unfairly criminalised for what are often trivial breaches of arbitrary speed limits.

    Pious lectures on the supposed safety benefits of cameras can no longer have any force. The truth is out. While it may well be that some cameras save lives, many more are machines for milking the innocent public. The whole policy needs to be urgently re-examined in the light of these revelations.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "Here is whole litany of causes that support the contention that it is IMPOSSIBLE to have photo radar work correctly as claimed for safety in a LEGAL manner."

    You can post 2 million stories like this, and that contention will never be true because there are and have been systems running for years which have not been declared illegal by the courts or mis-run.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    More evidence about money over safety:

    excerpt from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/simonheffer/4273499/Harriet-Harman- - -If-youre-middle-class-you-cant-work-here.html

    Beware – accident-prone speed camera at work

    One of my readers, like me, drives each morning past the speed camera at the bottom of the M11 in north-east London, and like me has noticed the number of accidents it causes. He made a freedom of information request and found that in the five-and-a-half years before it was installed there were fewer accidents and casualties than in the same period after its installation.

    My correspondent finds it amusing that this camera is run by “The Essex Casualty Reduction Partnership”, which seems to have a case to answer under the Trades Descriptions Act. The money raised hasn’t been disclosed for “operational reasons”. Police admit there have been more accidents, which they blame on “drivers braking”. No doubt they would rather we didn’t, so the cash register could ring more.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Infallible evidence? Heck no, but what is a wrong prosecution compared to all the money rolling?

    Just try and think of all the other drivers who paid up simply because there was a bus in the field of view of the camera going the other way, or other similar circumstances. How about wide angle camera monitoring multiple lanes, with increasing cosine errors of measurement based on geometry?

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/cardiff-news/tm_objectid=16530828&method=full&- - siteid=50082&headline=driver-proves-the-camera-can-lie-name_page.html

    Driver proves the camera can lie

    Dec 29 2005 South Wales Echo

    A FATHER-OF-TWO is demanding an apology after proving a speed camera had almost trebled his actual speed.

    Engineer Bryn Carlyon was recorded at doing an apparent 46mph in a 30mph zone near the Gabalfa flyover in Cardiff.

    But after fighting a seven-month campaign to clear his name, the 47-year-old motorcyclist has proved his innocence with the help of photographic evidence from the camera which falsely recorded his speed.

    He used the road markings to measure how far he had travelled in the time that elapsed between the taking of the two pictures and found that his approximate speed was just 18mph.

    The father of two was summoned to Cardiff Magistrates Court, but had to request the photographic images after the prosecution failed to produce them in court.

    Although he has now received a formal apology from the Mid and South Wales Safety Camera Partnership, he is still working to overturn a decision that his case was dropped only due to insufficient evidence.

    "I need the verdict to say that this was not dropped through lack of evidence; it was dropped because it was a false prosecution," said Mr Carlyon.

    So many people could be in the same situation. It costs so much time and effort to get these cases proved, and I feel so sorry for others who fail to prove this. It could cost someone their job at the end of the day.

    The Safety Camera Partnership admitted that a bus on the opposite side of the road could have caused the camera which recorded Mr Carlyon's speed to produce a false reading.

    Mr Carlyon also demanded an apology from South Wales Police Chief Constable Barbara Wilding.

    He said: "I have heard nothing from her and I know she received my letter because I sent it recorded delivery.

    At the moment, this is still a stain on my character as the court case was simply dropped for lack of evidence.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Lying about the errors only makes it worse. The truth will come out, no matter what. :)

    http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/16/1668.asp

    UK: Official Lies About Faulty Speed Camera

    A Cumbria, UK speed camera official lies to hide the problems with a camera that went haywire.

    An official representative of the Cumbria, UK Speed Camera partnership was caught lying this week about a ticketing machine that flashed passing motorists, regardless of whether they had been speeding or not. Mourners in a slow-moving funeral procession Wednesday were disturbed by the camera on Salthouse Road in Barrow which left them to wonder whether they would find a ticket in the mail. At first, a spokesman told the North-West Evening Mail newspaper that the flashing was intentional.

    "It's a digital camera and we were just checking it was working properly," a spokesman said. "One of our technicians was working the camera to take random pictures so we could check that it was taking pictures properly and they were clear. We were not recording offences just making sure it was all working at certain times."

    This turned out not to be true. Spokesman Andy James admitted to the Evening Mail that, in fact, the camera flashing was due to a fault with the camera.

    "No-one will be prosecuted during the time the cameras are faulty," Jones said.

    Last July, another Cumbria camera went haywire, despite being certified as "100% accurate" by a speed camera vendor. Since the Cumbria speed camera partnership formed in 2003, fatal accidents have increased. The annual death toll in 2002, before cameras, was 49. Last year, 59 died on Cumbria roads.
    Source: Top cop caught by flash-happy camera (North-West Evening Mail (UK), 3/23/2007)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Faults caused by mere "high winds" are enough to cause faults, but who cares as long as the money rolls in, until an ELECTION comes up! And if the cameras could not ticket 13,000 drivers, what's to say that the 4,000 who were ticketed were given the fine correctly? Funny thing, this pesky DEMOCRACY. It may be slow, but it will work. :)

    I hope we do not have any high winds in Arizona, or any place in the USA. :)

    from: http://www.speedcameras.us/

    (excerpt)

    West Gate camera fault kept secret
    Clay Lucas

    May 23, 2008

    Victoria - PREMIER John Brumby said it did not matter if the public had been deceived into thinking that speed cameras on the West Gate Bridge were working — even though they had been switched off for two years.

    "I don't see why it matters whether they were or they weren't (operating)," Mr Brumby said. "The fact is that if people believed they were operating and that changed driver behaviour, that's a good thing."

    Two banks of speed cameras launched in October 2005 at one of Melbourne's worst traffic blackspots were secretly switched off five months later because they were made unreliable by high winds, it emerged yesterday.

    Of 17,000 motorists photographed speeding by the cameras, only 4000 received fines because the images generated were too blurred.

    Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Ken Lay told Fairfax Radio yesterday that police and the State Government had kept the camera malfunction a secret because authorities believed they were an effective deterrent.

    The speed cameras were turned off permanently in September 2006, two months before state elections.

    Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu asked yesterday if the timing was related to the looming 2006 election.

    "Who made the decision to switch off the cameras?" he asked. "Why wasn't it revealed? Was it because it was in that pre-election period?"

    Our Comments:

    It is astounding that Premier John Brumby finds nothing wrong with deceiving the public in this way. If deceiving the public about this issue is acceptable, what other lies are justified in his eyes? In my opinion, this is woolly thinking in the extreme.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Nevermind high winds, we surely do not have any big trucks on our roads, do we? Nevermind, as long the suckers pay up, who cares! :)

    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/3659

    (excerpt)

    Speed Camera Problems: Trucks Can Cause Speeding Ticket Errors
    David M. Bresnahan November 18, 2005

    WASHINGTON -- Drivers who get speeding tickets in the mail and claim they were not speeding have plenty of evidence that they may be right, according to a recent report that heavy trucks passing speed cameras cause false readings.

    Motorists who receive citations they believe are in error usually just pay the fine rather than give up a day or more of work to fight what they believe is a losing battle.

    "The typical driver who gets one of these speeding tickets in the mail believes it is pointless to fight because they think the judge will not listen to them. They think it is too hard to prove the automated system is making a mistake," explained Joe Scott from PhantomPlate, Inc. The company has many customers in Washington, D.C. where many of the cameras are in use.

    Vibrations by heavy vehicles were found to cause the speed camera to record a false reading of passing cars and trucks buy as much as 80 mph, according to the report. The same problem was discovered in New South Wales, Austrailia, according to a report in the Lancashire Evening Post.

    Speed cameras are used throughout the U.S. and many foreign countries. Officials acknowledge the problem, which they call the "shutter effect." Drivers who complain receive refunds, but there has been no effort to locate motorists who may have received a ticket in error but have not complained.

    "It stands to reason that the same problem with truck vibrations is causing unjust speeding tickets here," said Scott. "The only reason there are no reports of it here is because the unsuspecting public have not complained. The number of drivers getting unjustified speeding tickets could be many thousands, or even more," said Scott.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, DIGITALLY ENCRYPTED images should be acceptable for prosecution, notwithstanding the shaking of the camera by winds or trucks right? Wrong again! :)

    Chinese boffins provoke Oz speed camera kerfuffle

    By Lester Haines • Get more from this author

    Posted in Bootnotes, 11th August 2005 11:10 GMT

    Chinese scientists are the unlikely heroes of a New South Wales speeding case which saw a Sydney magistrate dismiss the charge against an alleged speed merchant because the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) could not prove that its vital photographic evidence was "secure", news.com.au reports.

    At the centre of the brouhaha lies the MD5 algorithm, used to "store the time, date, place, numberplate and speed of cars caught on camera", as smh.com.au explains.

    MD5 is intended to safeguard against tampering with this information by turning it into a 128-bit sequence of digits. However, the chaps from the China's Shandong University proved it was possible to alter the data and retain the same code, ie, the RTA could theoretically change, for example, the car's speed without any evidence of tampering.

    The whole thing came to a head when lawyer Denis Miralis used this possible abuse against the RTA in the case of a man allegedly caught speeding in a school zone last November. In June, Magistrate Lawrence Lawson gave the RTA eight weeks to produce an expert willing to testify that the photos had not been doctored. When the RTA failed, Lawson threw out the case and awarded the defendant AU$3,300 costs.

    Miralis immediately demanded an enquiry into all NSW's 110 speed cameras, declaring: "The integrity of all speed camera offences has been thrown into serious doubt and it appears that the RTA is unable to prove any contested speed camera matter because of a lack of admissible evidence."

    Unsurprisingly, the NSW Law Society admitted the judgment might "open the doors for other drivers caught by speed cameras to mount the same defence".

    As for MD5, encryption expert Nick Ellsmore said: "Since the [Chinese] research came out, we've been recommending that clients move away from MD5 and we've certainly recommended that people don't use it for new applications."
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    But despite all these errors, camera help improve safety right? And surely politicians will not lie to us in the USA like they were elsewhere. :)

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23368065-details/Speed+camera+safety+- - - record+in+doubt+as+watchdog+questions+statistics/article.do

    Speed camera safety record in doubt as watchdog questions statistics

    Speed camera policy was drawn into a new controversy after the Government's own statisticians cast doubt on the accuracy of official casualty figures.

    Statistics watchdogs warned that the decade of greatest speed-camera growth had not seen a massive reduction in deaths and injuries. Instead it had remained largely static and was now going up.

    Figures from hospitals suggest the true rate of death and serious injury could be half as many again as the number claimed by the Government which prefers to use lower figures provided by the police.

    But some studies go even further and suggest the true scale of the carnage could be double the level made public by the Government - undermining the road-safety justification for cameras and humps.

    The discrepancies led to angry claims last night (Sun) that ministers were seeking to 'sex up' their statistics with 'dodgy' figures in a bid to justify their controversial 'cash for cameras' policy.

    The row came as campaigners urged a new crackdown on young 'rogue' drivers - seen by many as the real lethal menace on British roads - by extending the age at which a learner may gain a full licence to 18.

    Speed cameras can't catch these 'rogues' but police patrols which could stop them have been axed, they note.

    Support for a minimum one year probationary period and tougher sentencing has been spearheaded by bereaved mother Elizabeth Davidson - whose 26 year old doctor daughter Margaret was killed by a speeding teenager.

    The shocking new evidence comes as ministers are set this Thursday to announce another 'fall' in the number of people killed and seriously injured to around 32,200 - down from 34,000 in 2004 and 47,000 decade ago.

    They will again claim that the proliferation of speed cameras - fining drivers £60 a time and adding three points on their licence - has played a central role in this alleged reduction.

    But critics and now Government statisticians say the figures are 'flawed' because police are 'under-reporting' the figures. So instead of ministers hitting targets on casualty reduction, the Government will miss them by a country mile.

    Police 'rely too much on raising cash'

    Motoring groups say police relied too much on cash-raising speed cameras which are unable to spot a dangerous, drunk, uninsured, or untaxed driver in an unroadworthy or stolen vehicle who is driving under the speed limit.

    Last year 6,000 speed cameras caught more than 2 million motorists, raising £120m a year for so-called 'Safety Camera Partnerships' comprising police, magistrates councils and road safety groups.

    At the same time there has been an 11 per cent cut in police patrols.

    Doubts over the Government's shaky accident figures were raised by the watchdog Statistics Commission. A briefing note voiced 'particular concern' that the Government is using the lesser police statistics to measure whether it is meeting its target for a 40 per cent reduction by 2010 in the numbers killed and seriously injured in road accidents.

    The Office of National Statistics said that the National Statistician Karen Dunhill had 'expressed her concern' over the issue.

    Latest police figures suggest that about 59.4 people per 100,000 are killed or seriously injured - down from 85.9 per 100,000 a decade ago.

    But figures based on hospital admissions have remained broadly constant over the period at about 90 per 100,000 are killed or seriously injured.

    A study by Oxford University researchers - published in the British Medical Journal - said hospital admission rates from traffic injuries had remained virtually unchanged between 1996 and 2004, but had risen slightly in 2004 from 90 per 100,000 to 91.1 per 100,000.

    A separate study by University College London and Swansea University called 'Under-reporting of Road Casualties' said the number seriously injured could be double the number recorded in police statistics, blaming 'misclassifying or misrecording' of injuries.

    Paul Smith of road safety group Safe Speed said:'So now we see the truth. The roads are not getting safer. Government road safety policy is being sexed-up by dodgy statistics.

    'The Department for Transport must immediately pull the plug on the failed and dangerous speed camera programme.'
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is a recent editorial from the April 2009 Car And Driver by Patrick Bedard:

    from: http://www.escortradar.com/recent-articles/CandD-Apr-2009-P_Bedard.pdf

    GIVE US THE DOUGH, AND NOBODY GETS HURT

    Question: Photo enforcement of traffic laws is about (choose one): A) spreading Kodak moments across the land; B) making highways safer; or C) the money?

    The correct answer is C, and all the arguments for B were knocked into the arroyo by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano last winter when the spendy Democrat discovered a $90 million gap in her new budget.

    Question: To close the gap, did she: A) sell a load of the state's distinctive, arms-up saguaro cactuses to California landscapers; B) pass the hat to wintering Canadians who were freeloading on Sonora Desert sunshine; or C) crank up a program to bolt down 60 robot speed traps along state highways and pour in another 40 radar vans to work as mobile ambushes?

    Again, the correct answer Is C.

    Back in Arizona's analog days of sweaty horses and dusty trails, men with guns would hide behind rocks, and when the stagecoach came along, they jumped out and demanded money. This was called highway robbery. Now the state installs robots with radar guns along roads. In this digital era, no horses are abused and no men jump out. The demand for $165 plus costs comes in the mail.

    And It's no longer called highway robbery. Now it's "balancing the budget". The pretense of safety here was never more than a thin veneer. In fact, the photo-enforcement package passed the Arizona legislature as part of a $9.9 billion budget bill. Napolitano's $90 million deficit zoomed to $165 million as 2008 progressed, and she zoomed the ticket program up to match.

    Harvest time in the field of robot revenue-raising started last autumn. In the first two months of operation, 40,401 tickets were mailed out, enough to bring in $6.7 million If everybody pays up. They won't, of course, but not because the cash-strapped legislators neglected to grease up the money machine.

    Item No. 1 of the grease job: no points on your license. Just hand over the dough, and nobody gets hurt. This gambit was promoted by American Traffic Solutions, one of the private"scamera" contractors, on the notion that it might improve the program's odds of political survival. The voters might not kick up a fuss if one check made the problem go away forever.

    However, a huge groan went up from insurance companies and their toadies in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They've been plumping for phototickets for years and, according to press reports, spending millions in advocacy, expecting that the points would give them an excuse to jack up premiums.

    Grease-job item No. 2: Instead of being a criminal citation, photo tickets were downgraded to civil offenses. That tweak conveniently side steps the legal requirement in criminal cases to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For a civil case, the state need only show that guilt was "likely". This is a great productivity enhancer because the vendor can eliminate the second camera, the one used to show the driver's face. It's likely be the vehicle owner who was driving, so he gets the ticket. Eliminating the messy due-process guarantees baked into criminal citations was expected to jack up the take by 40 percent for both the camera vendor and the state.

    Grease-job Item No. 3: The law dictating the attachment and display of license plates was amended to ban any frame or detail that obscures the name of the state at the top of the plate. It applies to Arizona registrations only, with fines ranging from $110to $200, and it is a primary-enforcement offense, which means that it's grounds for a bust. You don't suppose that has anything to do with easing plate recognition in photos, do you?

    The natives are growing restless. "At least a half-dozen speed cameras have been temporarily taken out of service by ordinary citizens using nothing more than Post-It notes and Silly String," reports theNewspaper.com. It doesn't take much to obscure the lens. This protest is wryly described as "Sticking It to the Man" by a grassroots opposition group calling itself CameraFRAUD.com.

    A huffy Lt. James Warriner of the Arizona Department of Public Safety says the culprits could be nailed for obstruction of government operations, criminal damage, or Interfering with official traffic-control devices, Incurring penalties up to six months in the slammer and/or $2500 in fines.

    No Silly String for Travis Munroe Townsend, 26, of Glendale, Arizona. Early in December, a sickle cop hiding under a Loop101 overpass at about midnight heard a loud clanking noise. "The officer then observed a man wielding a large pickax" at a traffic-camera Installation. "Any type of tampering with a photo-enforcement site can result in extremely serious, life-changing charges being filed against a person," said DPS director Roger Vanderpool. Townsend was booked on a Class 4 felony and could face three years In the big house, plus a fine as high as$150,000.

    More likely to bring the cameras down is the lawsuit by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, which contends that the camera program is unconstitutional because it didn't pass the legislature by the two-thirds majority required for all tax increases.

    Meantime, spendy Governor Napolitano is ducking out of her budget woesand heading to Washington as the president's new chief of Homeland Security. That's Washington, D.C., where a two-thirds majority has never been required to spray taxpayer money around.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Our legal system may not be as quick as one owuld like, but it will work eventually. However, the corrupting influences want to derail the process for as long as possible.

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2715.asp

    California Appellate Court Slams Sacramento Red Light Camera Program

    Appellate court rules Sacramento County, California red light camera program does not produce sufficient evidence to convict drivers.

    A decision issued last month by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court in Sacramento County, California would invalidate at least eighty percent of red light camera tickets in Sacramento if drivers were to bring their case to court and contest their citations. A three judge panel found the photo system did not generate evidence sufficient to convict local motorist David Graham, 38, of running a red light.

    "Sometimes you can fight city hall," said Graham. "Now those bozos will have to give me back every penny of the $371 they bilked me for the ticket."

    On March 2, 2008, Graham's 1995 Oldsmobile was photographed by a red light camera at the intersection of Power Inn Road and Folsom Boulevard. However, unlike most newer programs in California, the angle of the red light camera photographs in Sacramento County do not actually show the signal light in the photograph itself. Instead, a data box superimposed on the citation photo shows the letter "R" which indicates that the signal was red, according to Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), the for-profit company that operates the program. That was not sufficient evidence for the appellate court.

    "Without photographs showing appellant committing the violation, the system must be proven reliable beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the people to meet their burden of proof," Presiding Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard wrote.

    The police employee who testified in Graham's case, Officer Holt, said that he had examined logs that showed an ACS technician had maintained the camera properly and that there were no malfunctions. Graham used the California Rules of Evidence to challenge this claim as hearsay.

    "We have no way of knowing what the technician did to reach these conclusions, because that technician is not in court, and Officer Holt admits to having no direct, personal knowledge of what the technician did," Graham wrote in his brief to the court.

    The court noted that the first photograph on Graham's citation showed his Oldsmobile behind the limit line with cross traffic facing a red -- not a green -- light.

    "Given the evidence adduced at appellant's trial, this panel finds that a rational trier of fact could not reasonably find, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the light controlling appellant's entry into the intersection was red when he first crossed the limit line," Judge concluded. "Therefore, we find that substantial evidence does not support appellant's conviction. The conviction is reversed with directions to dismiss the complaint."

    Graham is now asking the court to publish his case so that it will have precedential value. California courts have protected red light camera programs in the past by holding similar decisions unpublished to prevent mass refunds from programs operating in ways that violate California law.

    A copy of the decision is available in a 150k PDF file at the source link below.

    Source: California v. Graham (California Superior Court, Appellate Division, 2/20/2009)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is another twist in the whole conflict of interest angle since it affects our noble judges also:

    from: http://www.motorists.org/blog/where-does-the-money-from-a-speeding-ticket-go/

    Where Does The Money From A Speeding Ticket Go?
    March 10th, 2009

    By James Baxter, NMA President

    In this land where reality and fiction are indistinguishable there is a dead legal principle that says judges and courts should not personally benefit from the results of their rulings. Obviously, there is a conflict of interest anytime a judge’s well being would be affected by his or her decision. On occasion, a judge is found guilty of taking bribes for deciding in favor of his benefactors.

    But, when the conflict of interest is systemic, universal, and worth billions of dollars it is also invisible!

    I’m talking about the adjudication of traffic tickets. Traffic tickets are the mother’s milk of the court system. Thousands of judges rule on traffic cases knowing full well that guilty verdicts pay their salary, fund their retirement systems, and build their courthouses.

    But nobody seems to see a conflict of interest in this system? The noble judges are apparently above the temptations the rest of humanity experiences?

    Here’s how a typical speeding ticket (in this case a ticket from Indiana that we paid though our Traffic Justice Program) is divvied up:

    State Courts: $49.00
    County Courts: $18.90
    City Courts: $2.10
    Law Enforcement Fee: $4.00
    Jury Fee: $2.00
    Highway Work Zone: $0.50 (??)
    Auto Record Keeping Fee: $7.00
    Document Storage Fee: $2.00
    Infractional Judgments: $99.50 The fine!
    Public Defense Administration Fee: $3.00
    Judicial Insurance Adjustment: $1.00
    Judicial Salaries Fee: $18.00: Do you think murderers and rapists pay this fee too?
    DNA Sample Processing Fee: $2.00 Very common service for traffic tickets.
    Court Administration Fee: $5.00

    Total Cost Of Ticket: $214.00

    This should help explain why average traffic ticket recipients start out with two strikes against them when they enter traffic court. The court system just can’t afford to offer real justice. If it did it would drown in its own workload and go broke in the process.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,554
    Makes a mockery of our justice system and disrespects the Constitution every weekday. People should not put up with our current Traffic Court Systems. I think we need to go back to the days of Jury trials so that the police know that bogus tickets will be fairly challenged in court in a costly trial (and therefore, deter them from issuing bogus tickets that have no safety implications).
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    If it is about safety and not money, then why not extend the yellow time interval?

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2720.asp

    Georgia Cities Ignoring Extended Yellow Law

    Atlanta ignores new Georgia law mandating longer intersection yellows. Violations increase at half of the city intersections with cameras.

    Some cities are refusing to comply with a new Georgia law mandating a one-second increase in the duration of the yellow warning period at intersections equipped with red light cameras. At least seven cities that made the required timing increase in January experienced an immediate 80 percent decrease in the number of violations. Of these, Duluth, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee put the brakes on their red light camera programs after the data made it clear that the programs would no longer make money. Rome is now leaning toward dropping its program as well.

    Cities like Atlanta, however, insist on maintaining their photo enforcement system. A spokesman for the city Department of Public Works confirmed to TheNewspaper that yellow times were not increased at any of the eight intersections that use red light cameras. As a result, half of the city's photo enforced intersections actually saw an increase, not a decrease, in violations in the space of a year. The number of tickets issued at Spring Street and North Avenue jumped from 415 in January 2008 to 504 in January 2009. During the same period, tickets increased from 37 to 46 at Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive, from 72 to 84 at Buford Highway and Lenox Road. Tickets doubled from 100 to 206 at Cleveland and Metropolitan.

    State Senator Jack Murphy (R-Cumming), sponsor of the amendment that created the yellow time provision, vowed to get to the bottom of Atlanta's refusal.

    "If they're not doing it, I'm going to find out why," Murphy told TheNewspaper. "Longer yellow was the intention of the bill. They set the yellow too low -- especially for left turns."

    Other cities like Roswell admit to ignoring the longer yellow requirement because the enforcement mechanism built into the law will not take effect until next year. In January, the legislature gave the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) authority to deny a permit to operate red light cameras to any city that fails to adhere to a number of legal requirements, including signal timing. Under the law, cities can operate without these permits until January 1, 2010. GDOT, moreover, plays no active role in monitoring the compliance of the twenty-three cities that use red light cameras. Instead, the agency relies on the public to uncover any problems.

    "Complaints about signal timing related to yellow clearance intervals should come directly to the Georgia Department of Transportation," State Traffic Engineer Keith Golden told TheNewspaper. "Our legislators... have tasked GDOT to be the agency responsible for monitoring the implementation of this countermeasure."

    Senator Murphy intends to follow up with Golden to see why he is not doing more to ensure cities comply the longer yellow law. Golden suggested cities have an alternative if they do not wish to change their signal timing.

    "It was suggested that the engineering calculated minimum values are just that -- a minimum and that we should not be designing for a minimum value if there is going to be a regulatory event tied to the value," Golden explained. "If a local jurisdiction determines that for operational issues they need the lower values -- there is no requirement that they install a red light running camera."

    The Impact of Longer Yellow

    Exceeding the minimum value by a second has decreased the desirability of running red light cameras by about 80 percent in compliant cities. Suwanee was first to end ticketing on January 19 after issuing just 68 citations under lengthened yellow (the equivalent of 110 tickets per month). This compared unfavorably to the 2008 average of 580 tickets per month which helped the city land $414,540 in revenue. In Duluth, the program issued 652 tickets in October compared to 215 last month. As a result, Duluth will let its contract for the program -- which generated 10,386 tickets worth $727,020 last year -- expire in May. In Dalton, 122 tickets were issued at the intersection of Highway 41 and Shugart Road after the light was increased in January. The previous year, the number of monthly tickets averaged 460.

    "The additional time on the yellow light has significantly reduced the number of citations because motorists have adequate time to get through the intersection," state Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville), primary sponsor of the new legislation, wrote in his weekly column. "Since most of these cities have stated that safety was the primary reason they installed red light cameras, they should be thrilled that citations have been significantly reduced; however, many are pulling the cameras out because they are no longer making a profit."

    North Carolina saw a similar reaction in 2007 when the state supreme court upheld a decision directing all of the profit in red light camera programs out of city general funds and into the state school system (read final opinion). Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greenville, Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh and Rocky Mount shut down their red light camera programs in the wake of the court's action.

    ** Snellville provided a chart showing a significant decrease in violations. Exact numbers were not immediately available.

    City Violation Drop

    Dalton 73%

    Duluth 67%

    Lilburn 80%

    Norcross 80%

    Rome 78%

    Snellville **

    Suwanee 81%
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Here is a VERY interesting use of traffic camera technology:

    Traffic Cams to ticket people for not having insurance

    Traffic cameras could help wipe out city's projected deficit

    March 16, 2009

    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

    Chicago could rake in “at least $200 million” a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today.

    The system pitched to the City Council’s Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That’s already happening daily in 13 states, but not here.

    The data would be entered into the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), the information-sharing network that links federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

    When a camera spots an uninsured vehicle driving on Chicago streets, a citation would automatically be generated and sent to the registered owner.

    Illinois’ mandatory insurance law carries a $500 fine. If Chicago levied a $300 fine and used its home-rule power to keep the money, the annual take would top $100 million. A $500 city fine would generate $357 million.

    “Certainly, it will be well in excess of $100 million. We think at least $200 million. And the upward projections are far higher,” said InsureNet president Dr. Jonathan Miller, whose company would charge the city a 30 percent collection fee.

    An estimated 24 percent of all vehicles on the nation’s roadways are not insured, adding $100a year to the annual insurance rate paid by responsible motorists.

    The Transportation Committee took no action on a proposal by Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) to use red-light cameras at 132 Chicago intersections to track down uninsured motorists.

    But, aldermen clearly had dollar signs in their eyes after hearing InsureNet’s pitch to enlist the city’s entire network of surveillance cameras — and install new ones at high-traffic locations — in the hunt for the uninsured.

    “You could put these cameras on the Dan Ryan. … You could have the same camera at the entrance to O’Hare Field’s parking lot where you have 10,000 cars parked. In theory, 20-some percent of those wouldn’t be insured and they’d all be in violation of a city ordinance,” Burke said.

    “Maybe that’s why the staggering amount of revenue you’ve suggested could be potentially achieved.”

    Transportation Committee Chairman Tom Allen (38th) agreed that InsureNet’s numbers were “eye-opening.” But, they’re based on a $500 fine and, “That’s a pretty big hit for people to pay,” Allen said.

    He added, “I like the idea. We’d all like people to have insurance. But, there is a certain group that, outside of putting people in prison, may never get insurance. It’s purely money.”


    My take: If it makes people buy insurance when they need to be, then it helps society by keeping insurance rates lower. (more customers, lower rates)

    Good idea !!!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, this is just more proof that the cameras are only the first step in a surveillance society. All we need is realtime monitoring of all traffic all the time everywhere, and lack of insurance is just one of the many many uses such a system can be used for. All for our safety and protection of course :)

    This quote really sums it up, doesn't it? :)

    from: http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/1479275,red-light-camera-uninsured-031609.- - article

    "But, aldermen clearly had dollar signs in their eyes after hearing InsureNet’s pitch to enlist the city’s entire network of surveillance cameras — and install new ones at high-traffic locations — in the hunt for the uninsured."

    Some more related information:

    from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Law_Enforcement_Telecommunications_System

    National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), is the International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network - a state-of-the-art secure information sharing system for state and local law enforcement agencies. It provides electronic messaging to allow information exchange between state, local, and federal agencies and support services to justice-related computer programs. The network is operated by Nlets, a non-profit corporation owned and operation by the states and funded solely by fees for service.

    The network operates primarily through a secure private network through which each state has an interface to the network, and all agencies within the state operate through this portal. The federal and international components operate very similarly. Users include all U.S. states and territories, Federal agencies with a justice mission, and certain international agencies. The primary operational site for the network is housed in Arizona, with a secure backup site located with the Idaho State Police in the Northwest U.S. for full continuity of operations in less than thirty minutes.

    Information exchange is voluntary and includes everything from motor vehicle registrations, driver's data, Interpol warrants, Canadian 'Hot File' records, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) databases, to state criminal history records. Nearly 90 million messages are sent each month.

    More information from: http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/soi/soi_ch4.htm#PAGE150

    (excerpt)

    NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TELECOMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM (NLETS)

    NLETS is a sophisticated message-switching network that links all law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in the United States; Puerto Rico; and, through a computerized link, to INTERPOL Canada. Agencies include state and local law enforcement agencies, motor vehicle and licensing departments, and a wide variety of federal enforcement agencies. The latter includes Customs, FBI, DOJ, Secret Service, USMS, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Department of State, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is also linked to NLETS.

    A great deal of information is available through the network, including the following:

    vehicle registrations by license or vehicle identification number;

    driver's license and driver history by name and birthdate or driver's license number (some states support driver's license queries by name only);

    criminal records by name and birthdate, state identification number, or FBI number;

    boat registrations by hull number, registration number, or name;

    snowmobile registrations by registration number, vehicle identification number, or owner's name and birthdate;

    hazardous material file data by UN number, which is an international recognized code for hazardous material;

    private aircraft tracking data by registration number or date range;

    aircraft registrations by registration number, serial number, or names of registrant;

    directory of participating agencies by originating agency identifier or location;

    registration information on diplomatic license plates;

    index to parole/probation and corrections information; and

    sex offenders registration information.

    Through an interface to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's Canadian Police Information Centre, many files are available, including the following:

    criminal history by name or FPS (Canadian national identification number);

    wanted persons by name and birthdate;

    stolen vehicles by license number or vehicle identification number;

    stolen articles by serial number;

    stolen guns by serial number;

    stolen securities by serial number, corporation name, issuer, or name of owner; and

    stolen boats/motors by license number, hull number, registration number, or name of owner.

    Users have the capability to send free-form messages to other users either individually or via a broadcast message.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,702
    Certainly people who can't pay insurance are going to be paying those fines, and surely the insurance companies will do a timely and accurate job of granting information to revenue collection/law enforcement...

    Lower rates...never going to happen.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, I posted some information previously how insurance companies supported the autoenforcement cameras in the hope that the points in licences would give them the excuse to raise insurance premiums.

    The conversion of these offences to no-point fines due to the due process limitations required for criminal infractions made that strategy not viable, so now something else has to be tried to widen the net for increasing revenue.

    This "mission creep" will be the death of our "free society", and it won't end here either. (I have also posted previously how overdue library books and parking tickets were traced and fined using autosurveillance too.)

    Ah, it just gets better and better doesn't it? All for our safety and protection of course! :)

    Some background information on InsureNet:

    from: http://www.theinsurenet.com/

    Welcome to the InsureNet

    Some form of Motor Vehicle Insurance is now mandatory in every U.S. State, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, however the losses sustained each year due to fraud and insufficient or incorrect data is in the tens of billions of dollars. These costs are passed on to policyholders and taxpayers. In response, InsureNet has developed a simple yet complete answer that delivers totally accurate, instant insurance status verification. An additional unique advantage is that this system is also non-invasive, ensuring protection for every insurer and policyholder.

    Nationally, it has been estimated that one driver in five is uninsured at any given time, but many now estimate that it is actually higher and everyone agrees that the rate is rising quickly. The difference between the number of vehicles in service as reported by NADA, (National Automobile Dealers Association – nada.org) and those insured as reported by III, (Insurance Information Institute – iii.org), and other sources, certainly appear to confirm the “more than one in five” estimate. All elements of insurance fraud, including the use of fake documents, backdated policies, repair scams, premium diversion and more, continues to grow each year. InsureNet addresses all problems created by these fraudulent practices while streamlining the entire vehicle insurance process. It provides dramatic benefits to insurers, governments and the public. It saves and provides the average State Government with hundreds of millions of dollars annually and saves the Insurance Industry even more......thus ensuring that those losses need not be passed on and enabling insurance rates to fall so that policyholders may benefit.

    InsureNet is provided without charge to every one of the over 35,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and also to every vehicle insurer. It is available without cost to all U.S. Citizens and Residents… by telephone, PDA or computer “24/7/365”. It is hosted by NLETS, the national law enforcement communications system. NLETS, now handling almost 100 million transactions each month and operational since 1961, has never been compromised. It is linked to the FBI, INTERPOL, and all Canadian Provinces. It is the means by which all state law enforcement agencies communicate interstate. The InsureNet technology assigns a "UC", (Unique Code), to each combination of policy and VIN, (Vehicle Identification Number), which becomes the "bridge" between insurers and government entities and records. No insurer is required to do anything more than they do already, (they can actually do less), and no special software, hardware or implementation is required. This new system is also far safer than what is done now, but is totally accurate, providing all parties with reliable, automatic, and totally safe data which is completely free of all personal details.

    What We Do

    InsureNet was founded for the sole purpose of providing Instant, Accurate Insurance Status Verification. This technology solves all related problems for not only Vehicle Insurance, but all other forms of insurance as well. Our system is the only answer ever developed that solves this problem and it is both proprietary and unique. All other systems have only out-dated, inaccurate, or untrustworthy data, or they are limited to a single insurer. Additionally, with the experience of our Founders dating back to 1980 on four Continents, we are a world leader in ID Verification, Smart Card, and Fully Automated “Small and Smart Code” Solutions. Our Board includes Rowland Day, widely known as the “Father” of Experian, and other notables.

    This unique, Instant Insurance Status Verification System benefits everyone and every organization associated with motor vehicle insurance, including policyholders, drivers, state and local law enforcement, vehicle registration, insurance commissioners and their staffs and also the courts. A long list of services is available for vehicle insurers as well and detailed brochures and other literature available describes those services in detail.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,702
    Free society, if it ever existed, is probably dead already anyway. A globalized new world order requires a surveillance grid.

    It's all about money and control, by the segment of society least capable of producing positive results and least capable of taking responsibility for their actions.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    fintail: Perhaps you will sleep better like I do after reading this :)

    Here is some information from InsureNet, indicating that one the cameras are in place, the next steps will include ANPR technology, and from there, the sky's the limit in what the system can do.

    http://www.theinsurenet.com/news/news008.html

    Intelligent Imaging Systems Technology Partnership

    InsureNet, Inc. (InsureNet) and Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS) have formed a partnership to blend their respective technologies in order to provide added functionality relating to vehicle insurance verification. IIS is a leading supplier of Smart Roadside™ solutions for the Transportation Safety and Security market. IIS’ automated electronic screening systems represent the evolution in effectiveness and efficiency of roadside law enforcement operations. With technology deployed in almost half the States and Provinces in North America, IIS is leading the way in helping public agencies use technology to improve highway safety and security.

    Smart Roadside™ electronic screening is based on the deployment of advanced roadside sensors including Automated License Plate Recognition, Automated USDOT Number Recognition, RFID, Radiation Detection, Laser Dimensioning, and Visual/Infrared Imaging systems. Originally developed for commercial vehicle e-screening enforcement operations, the modular Smart Roadside integrates easily with 3rd party sensors and with existing transportation screening infrastructure at ports of entry or open road data collection sites. IIS integrates existing roadside sensors and IIS sub-systems into a local screening station where data from passing vehicles is aggregated into individual vehicle files for processing.

    IIS Smart Roadside™ enterprise software networks multiple electronic screening sites and processes remote database queries through a managed central server. Roadside identification data (License Plate, USDOT numbers, RFID) are automatically routed through multiple back-end databases and screened against user-defined business rules to produce automated alerts that can then be displayed for local operators or be sent to a centralized center for processing.

    InsureNet’s Smart-Town initiatives blend perfectly with the IIS Smart Roadside™ elements, providing them with added functionality beyond safety credentialing, NCIC alerts and registration information for standard commercial vehicle electronic screening systems. InsureNet’s unique services offer unparalleled depth to IIS’ current electronic screening solution by adding instant, accurate insurance verification to Smart Roadside’s™ network of remote databases to link critical data to roadside enforcement operations.

    On the other side of this productive and totally synergistic relationship, Smart Roadside™ provides InsureNet with deployment-ready roadside technology and middleware infrastructure to electronically screen every vehicle that passes through a network of remote inspection sites. Smart Roadside™ has already integrated multiple technologies and 3rd party sensors into roadside screening sites and can quickly adapt previously deployed 3rd party sensors (ie. ALPR systems) into its network screening system. The Smart Roadside™ enterprise software centralizes roadside data collection, processing and storage. Current processing includes remote data query, screening and alert reporting functions in addition to administrative reporting functions. This software infrastructure represents a deployment-ready architecture that will both query the InsureNet back-end database for each roadside event and automatically transmit alert files to an InsureNet citation processing system.

    Per Brian Heath, President of IIS: “The IIS – InsureNet technology partnership represents an opportunity to deploy a broader electronic screening capability to the roadside for both commercial and passenger vehicles. Both partners contribute unique and complimentary technology sets that promote each other’s core business objectives. Together, InsureNet and IIS systems form a complete vehicle insurance verification solution for State agencies working to improve the safety and security of their transportation network.”

    Jonathan Miller, President of InsureNet, confirms the relationship’s benefits to both companies, and to the jurisdictions served currently and in the future. “There is no possible rationale to have more than one FBI or CPIC/RCMP, more than one NLETS, more than one InsureNet and frankly, there is simply no organization more highly regarded in their business than IIS so….we think, no reason for consideration of more than one source for total solutions. State and Provincial Governments can’t possibly do better than to look to the InsureNet-IIS Partnership for all their needs regarding roadway safety and security.”

    For more information, please visit the Intelligent Imaging Systems website at: www.intelligentimagingsystems.com.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Just think of all the uses of such a system, all for our safety and protectionn of course. :)

    from: http://www.intelligentimagingsystems.com/TTMS

    Travel-Time Measurement System (TTMS)

    Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS) sets new standards of precision in traffic monitoring by combining their proven range of innovative camera-illuminators, purpose-designed automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) processors and robust, high performance recognition software.

    Our Transportation Planning application can provide:

    • Real-time monitoring of road network performance and congestion
    • Up-to-the-minute and comprehensive historic travel-time, congestion and origin and destination management information to aid national, regional and city road authorities to achieve efficient control and management of their road networks
    • Information for strategic routing on road networks
    • Origin and destination and travel-time information for planning of future road networks and highway improvement schemes
    • Live monitoring of the effectiveness of traffic management schemes
    • Data to aid traffic management around obstacles such as road works, toll collection points, bridges and tunnels
    • Early warning of incidents
    • Comparative travel-time data for different types of traffic such as buses and cars
    • Travel-time information for dissemination through passenger and public travel information systems
    • Speed enforcement
    • Comprehensive travel-time data for dissemination to users to provide live traffic and travel information to drivers; live, accurate input for variable-message signs, radio and TV broadcasts, web-sites, mobile phones using WAP and SMS and automatic voice response services

    Related Technologies:

    Automatic License Plate Recognition

    and from:

    http://www.intelligentimagingsystems.com/ALPR

    Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR)

    Based on an industry-leading dual platform technology of visual optics and
    active infrared illumination, our Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology can be deployed in fixed or mobile solutions for a variety of applications.

    Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS) is an authorized integrator and reseller of PIPS Technology ALPR systems. Though we continue to be the exclusive distributor of PIPS ALPR solutions to the commercial vehicle marketplace, our ALPR solutions now extend into security, access control and transportation planning applications. PIPS is the world-leading supplier of ALPR systems, with over 10,000 installed systems in operation. IIS ALPR solutions are easily configured for integration into existing client systems, into larger integrated inspection solutions, or in stand-alone deployments.

    IIS and PIPS Technology also provide a host of engineered software
    solutions designed to deliver market-leading ALPR solutions to a variety of
    markets and for a diverse number of custom applications.

    Related Solutions:

    CMV License Plate Recognition
    Access Control
    Travel-Time Measurement System
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 53,702
    "On the other side of this productive and totally synergistic relationship, Smart Roadside™ provides InsureNet with deployment-ready roadside technology and middleware infrastructure to electronically screen every vehicle that passes through a network of remote inspection sites."

    Orwell is laughing his head off right now. I love the sweet corporate styled babble too..synergistic...another cookie cutter MBA apparently found a job. Surely this information could never be used for sinister or unethical motives.

    Makes me feel safe and secure knowing the problems on the road are being taken care of by genuine people. I'd sleep even better if they had a camera above my bed so they could ensure I am sleeping properly.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Exactly. If we as a people trade liberty for security, then we will surely have neither.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,554
    What ever happened to the "reasonable" factor and clause?

    Seems our government is beyond reason.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    The importance of due process and the burden of the state in proving guilt is shown by the following story. Regardless of the amount (about 10 million dollars) this was still basically a theft, with no violence involved.

    Why is it better to let perpetrators go free because the state cannot be sure who did the crime? Why not jail both suspects, or force them by any means including threat of fines and imprisonment, to tell the state who was responsible? Why should registered vehicle owners not be held to similar standards as prescribed by law?

    from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5011989/Suspected-robber- - - s-freed-after-German-court-admits-it-cannot-tell-twins-apart.html

    Suspected robbers freed after German court admits it cannot tell twins apart

    Twin brothers arrested in January under suspicion of having stolen jewellery from a luxury department store in Berlin have been freed after confusion over which one of them was the culprit, a court said Wednesday.

    Last Updated: 6:01PM GMT 18 Mar 2009

    "From the evidence we have, we can deduce that at least one of the brothers took part in the crime," the court wrote in a statement, "but it has not been possible to determine which one."

    The 27-year-old brothers had been accused of staging a daring heist, in which jewellery and watches reportedly worth up to six million euros (£5.6 million) was stolen from Europe's largest department store - KaDeWe - in the heart of the German capital.

    The robbers are thought to have abseiled into the shop through a skylight after scaling the side of the building.

    The brothers, from Lower Saxony, were arrested two weeks after the incident, but because their genetic information is so similar, traces of DNA found at the scene of the crime did not provide conclusive evidence for trial or conviction.

    Investigations are still under way, the court said.

    Last month, a pair of identical twins in Malaysia escaped being convicted and hanged on drugs charges, amid similar confusion.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    "Follow the money" as they say, and you will see a clear incentive to the judges in the sotry below to ensure their compliance. This is money grabbing corruption masquerading as safety surely. :)

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2721.asp

    New Mexico Increases Cost of Red Light Camera Tickets

    New Mexico lawmakers increase cost of red light camera tickets with profit sharing legislation.

    Facing increased budgetary pressure, the New Mexico state Legislature this week adopted legislation that will increase the cost of red light camera fines by a third, adding millions in extra revenue to state coffers. State Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-Belen) introduced Senate Bill 519 to extend revenue sharing provisions that previously only applied to the city of Albuquerque to other New Mexico cities. The measure passed unanimously in the state Senate and by a vote of 64-1 in the House.

    "Essentially, the increase in fees mostly offsets the new distribution formula in which Albuquerque retains 50 percent of the net receipts," the Legislative Finance Committee's fiscal analysis of Senate Bill 519 explained. "The increase of fees from $75 to $100 would yield an approximate annual increase in receipts of $2.3 million to $9.2 million, assuming a similar pattern of traffic violations."

    Currently, cities like Farmington, Las Cruces and Santa Fe plan to install red light cameras. The bill hikes the cost of a photo ticket from $75 to $100, laying out a complicated formula for dividing this money among the private contractors that run the program, the city and the state court system. Las Cruces, for example, will pocket $36 every time that its Australian red light camera vendor, Redflex, issues a ticket. Redflex will then keep a $28 per-ticket bounty. The state divides its share by sending $23.40 to the court automation fund, $7.20 to the "traffic safety fund" and $5.40 to the judicial education fund. Sending ticket funds to the courts helps to ensure good will among judges in the event of a serious legal challenge to the program.

    The bill represents a big win for the city of Albuquerque. A revised revenue sharing formula that applies only to Albuquerque will allocate less from the state's cut of funds to a DWI Drug Court fund and a Metropolitan Court Bond Guarantee fund. According to the legislative analysis, Albuquerque would pocket an extra $1,462,300 annually based on the formula change alone. The city will pocket an additional $2.3 million from the fine increase.

    Governor Bill Richardson (D) is likely to sign the bill into law by April. The text of the legislation is available in a 50k PDF file at the source link below.

    Source: Senate Bill 519 (New Mexico State Legislature, 3/19/2009)
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    Truly disgusting--and just the latest example of how perverse our politicians have become.

    On a separate note, I wonder how many additional police could be hired if the PD received $28 per ticket rather than a foreign company? Although the revenue motive would still be distasteful, at least real police officers would be available for other duties--you know, like stopping actual crimes and responding to emergencies.
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