Photo Radar

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  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    What is wrong with photo radar is the potential for abuse that has been realised time and again and mentality of helping to "control drivers" and "continuously monitor drivers" without regard to due process and civil liberty concerns.

    about "Potential abuse". OK, so we just give up on any use of the technology? If we can land a man on the moon, can we just possibly figure out methods to manage photo radar to reduce abuse to an acceptable minimum? Could we put the police agencies in total control of the system and minimize camera vendors' involvement?

    Should Illinois Tollway eliminate their 24/7 camera system for catching toll violators and instead raise tolls to pay for and put in occasional manned police monitoring? Or, alternatively, go backwards and put in manned toll collection at all toll stations?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    The basic issue with automatic enforcement of the law using photo radar or one of the many other systems I have posted information about before is the basic premise of constant surveillance.

    I am no Luddite for sure, but this is why this technology and others of similar ilk are irreconcilable with our Constitution in my opinion.

    Like I said, we will have to agree to disagree on this aspect. :)
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    The basic issue with automatic enforcement of the law using photo radar or one of the many other systems I have posted information about before is the basic premise of constant surveillance.

    Should we be offended by the constant surveillance when walking into a bank and going to the teller's cage? Bank I go to has many cameras and presumably operating and capturing my image on tape or dvr. I have never done anything against the law in a bank yet every time I go there I am presumably recorded on tape or dvr.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    People still walk into banks? Technology took care of that for me. :shades:

    People generally have different (lower) expectations of rights on private property.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,977
    > to document and fine toll payment violators.

    Paying toll or not is vastly different than speeding above a chosen number. Using them for documenting running the toll payment is a fiscal matter. Justified there.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,977
    As for highway workers, put a police car out in the construction zones. Use helicopters and airplanes. When people see others with flashing red/blue lights behind them, they slow down the next time they're in a construction zone.

    I noticed in past years when Indianapolis was working on I70 east of downtown, people were going the 45 or whatever the speed limit was. I passed two different Indianapolis police cars; one with a car stopped and the other sitting in a location to check with radar or laser the speed of traffic.

    Last construction death in this area was a cement truck backing over a worker sitting on the edge of the work area who didn't notice the beeping of the truck backing up toward him. Not connected with speeding at the I70/I75 interchange which has been under reconstruction for what seems like a decade now.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Paying toll or not is vastly different than speeding above a chosen number. Using them for documenting running the toll payment is a fiscal matter. Justified there.

    Not paying a toll is theft and is illegal. Speeding, especially 10+ over, is illegal. Speeding such as 25 over as I have seen/estimated, 70 in a 45 construction zone, is illegal and criminal, especially when at times workers are within 5-10 feet of the speeding vehicles.

    Having police cars, chasers, airplanes, helicopters constantly in 8-10 hour work day construction zones would be prohibitively expensive. Public information campaigns, prominent signage ahead of and in construction zones of camera enforcement would do a lot to mostly eliminate the idiot drivers that want to speed in these zones.

    Believe that fine for speeding in construction zones in Illinois is $375.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    We have a right to be secure in our persons against unreasonable searches and seizures. These rights cannot be violated but upon probable cause.

    Quite a simple but powerful concept really, but ignored by many for their own ulterior motives to the detriment of our great nation. Witness the gut wrenching issues related to the use of torture in the name of keeping us safe, and you may see the analogy.


    Our country has not performed torture to keep us safe. Torture, as has been recounted by Iraqui citizens when Hussein in power, and issue of photo radar for speeding, red lights or toll violators cannot be connected with analogy.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I respect your position in not being able to see the analogy about slippery slopes that I intended. :)

    On with discussing photo radar and automatic enforcement only ...... :)
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,865
    I was passing through a construction site today on my way to work. They had set up a radar device which clocked your speed and then displayed it under a "Your Speed Is". I was following several cars that were going the reduced limit of 55, as was I.

    As each of the cars in front of me passed this device the sign read "Your Speed Is 64, Slow Down". Then as I passed at EXACTLY 55, the sign said that I too was doing 64.

    This leads me to wonder about the accuracy of this type of technology. How many people are nailed by a malfunctioning photo radar and how would you prove that it was the device that's wrong.

    Seems that a human operator would pick up that his radar was not working correctly very quickly. A wacky photo radar might ticket hundreds of cars before it was noticed. :(

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

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,977
    There are several of those signs in use in Northern Kentucky on I71+I75 on the big hill to and fro the river. They give strange readings because the road is 4-6 lanes in spots where some are located.

    A police officer with eyes can tell approximately how fast a car is moving and then they are supposed to use their laser/radar to VERIFY the speed, rather than use the radar to get a high reading, verify that visually, and then give out a ticket. An office would see the car was not moving excessively fast.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Maine is the 14th state to ban photo enforcement. The rest will follow in due course. :)

    from: http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2009/June09/061509/061709-03.htm

    Maine bans use of ticket cameras

    Lawmakers in Maine say no thanks to revenue enhancements via ticket cameras. They are the 14th state to outlaw the enforcement tool.

    Maine Gov. John Baldacci signed into law a bill to prevent the state, or communities within the state, from tapping the use of photo enforcement to nab drivers breaking traffic laws. The state joins Mississippi and Montana in banning the technology this year.

    While traffic surveillance cameras are not in use in Maine, the new law was a proactive step taken to make sure they don’t start showing up around the state. The ban applies to red-light and speed cameras.

    Previously LD1234, the new rule makes an exception for cameras on the Maine Turnpike to help ensure payment at toll booths.

    The recent wave of states to prohibit the use of photo enforcement has been a blow to red-light and speed camera advocates who say the devices are about safety and using technology in a helpful way. Others say the devices free up police to address bigger issues.

    Opponents, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, question the claim that cameras are solely intended to keep people safe. Rep. Richard Cebra, R-Naples, shared that concern.

    “In many places around the country, these cameras have become nothing more than a moneymaker for municipalities,” he said in a written statement.

    There also is a question about the effectiveness of such cameras. Opponents argue they have the potential to distract drivers and cause more fender-bender accidents. In fact, multiple studies have found that crashes actually increased in cities with red-light cameras.

    “While on the surface these cameras may appear to increase public safety, recent studies have shown that they actually increase the occurrences of accidents at intersections where the public is aware that there is a camera,” Cebra said.

    To view other legislative activities of interest for Maine in 2009, click here.

    – By Keith Goble, state legislative editor
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    If you don't like photo radar, your shocks will love these.

    Mayor hits the gas on speed bumps in D.C. (WTOP)

    "Based on the number of speed bumps and the total miles of local roads, the District averages about one speed hump for every 1.5 miles.

    In Montgomery County, drivers encounter a speed bump about once every 2.2 miles. In Fairfax County, it's virtually bump-free with an average of one bump in every 14.5 miles."
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Member Posts: 4,116
    As in physics, to every stupid idea, there is an equal and opposite reaction:

    No Bumps

    "Sleeping policemen" are not a legitimate traffic calming device. Unfortunately, traffic calming requires a bit of planning, something most city counsels lack, so it requires a bit of a tear up to implement.

    I am currently searching for the page that had all the lawsuits from those that experienced personal injury or property damage as a result of the "speed hump," a case that is usually relatively easy to win given that "speed humps" aren't approved for roads.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I like this one:

    Gizmodo
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    More data on the "money grab hiding as safety" aspect of scameras, only this time with some unintended consequences. It's all about the money. :)

    from: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090629/0206575395.shtml

    Schaumburg Dumps Redlight Cameras After They Show No Safety Benefit
    from the good-for-them dept

    We've seen it in a few other places, but reader Don Gatza let's us know that Schaumburg, Illinois is the latest city to dump its redlight cameras. The city found that, despite promises to the contrary, the redlight cameras did not decrease accidents (not even the "t-bone" accidents that proponents of such cameras insist they help combat). The city claims that even though a single intersection generated 10,000 tickets and over a million in revenue in just a few months, it's going to drop the cameras, because "It was not our intent to use them as a revenue generator." If only other communities were so enlightened.

    Of course, there was a second potential factor in the decision as well. Apparently pissed off ticket recipients had been complaining and promising to stop shopping at Schaumberg businesses -- leading local businesses to fear a loss in customers and revenue. Of course, this is the same thing that towns with notorious speed traps have found: people avoid going there, harming local businesses. Hopefully more local businesses start recognizing that giving out automated tickets that do nothing to improve safety also tend to harm local businesses as well. In the meantime, if officials want to improve safety in Schaumburg intersections, studies have shown that the best way to do so is rather simple: increase the timing of yellow lights, and then add a longer pause between one direction turning red, and the perpendicular traffic's lights turning green.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    Good post, as always. I refer you back to my diatribe about Chandler, AZ. It's so riddled with [non-permissible content removed] boxes that people don't even like to go there anymore.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Yet more data on the "money grab hiding as safety" aspect of scameras. Funny how all the expereinces point to fact that it's all about the money.

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/28/2830.asp

    Maywood, California Dumps Red Light Cameras
    City council in Maywood, California decides to stop using Redflex to run a red light camera program.

    The Maywood, California City Council on Wednesday dumped the Australian company in charge of the city's red light camera program. Since 2004, Redflex Traffic Systems has had the right to issue tickets at the intersection of Slauson and Alamo. The council voted 3-2 not to renew the five-year agreement, against the wishes of city staff who proposed new "cost neutral" contract terms.

    "(The) city shall be obligated to pay the cumulative balance invoiced by Redflex, in accordance with terms set forth above, to the extent of gross cash received by the city from automated red light violations," the proposed new contract language stated.

    Tying the vendor's compensation to the amount of cash received violates a state law mandating flat-rate contracts for photo enforcement systems. A week before the council's vote, the editor of the Highwayrobbery.net website warned council members that an appellate ruling had already found similar contract language between the city of Fullerton and Nestor Traffic Systems (NTS) was illegal (view opinion). Accepting the new deal with Redflex could put the city at legal risk. In May, the city of Turlock also dumped red light cameras over fears regarding the cost neutrality.

    According to the proposed contract language, cost neutrality would not apply "if the signal amber timings at the photo enforced intersections are not set to the minimum requirements of CalTrans in California." In the past, photo ticketing companies prohibited the increasing of yellow warning times to ensure maximum revenue. If strictly interpreted, this provision would have the same effect by imposing a financial penalty if the city chose to extend the duration of yellow times.

    A 2004 Texas Transportation Institute study proved that going one-second beyond such bare minimum signal timings yielded a 53 percent reduction in tickets, but more importantly it reduced accidents by 40 percent (view report).
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    cameras have become nothing more than a moneymaker for municipalities,”

    So, what's wrong with the violators contributing to the municipalities?

    Observational cameras photograph you coming and going, driving and walking, and any technology that helps law enforcement is highly recommended by law abiding voters.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is a nice story from the Chicago Tribune, following the money in quite interesting and revelaing ways:

    Part 1:

    from: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-red-light-cameras-part-two-jul13,0,- - 6603390.story

    On Thanksgiving eve in 2005, a Metra express train plowed into five cars at the busy Grand Avenue crossing in west suburban Elmwood Park, leaving behind piles of twisted metal, 16 injured people and a golden, moneymaking opportunity for the politically connected.

    State lawmakers were quick to propose a crackdown on drivers who swerve around lowered crossing gates. But as so often happens in Springfield, one of the bills aimed at preventing a repeat of the near-tragedy experienced a metamorphosis during the legislative process. Thus emerged the 2006 law that brought red-light cameras to the suburbs.

    Advocates said it was all in the interest of safety. But in the fun-house mirror that is Illinois politics, explanations of how and why things get done are rarely so simple.

    Moving with a lightning speed befitting its name, a then-2-year-old British traffic camera-maker called RedSpeed latched onto savvy Illinois political insiders and came to dominate Chicago's lucrative suburban market even though it had never before operated in the U.S.

    So aggressive was the push that one suburban police chief recommended that his town hire RedSpeed a week before it was even incorporated in Illinois.

    Just as happened when Chicago debuted red-light cameras in 2003, the devices in the suburbs have infuriated drivers surprised by $100 tickets in the mail, fattened municipal treasuries and intensified a roaring debate about whether their purpose was to reduce crashes or extract cash from motorists.

    The spawning of RedSpeed may represent a textbook example of how to cash in on this state's clubby intersection of public policy and clout. But it's an Illinois story with an unusual foreign accent.

    The ownership of RedSpeed is obscured in public records, but the firm is part of a closely held Israeli-owned conglomerate that does most of its business in Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Republic that Americans perhaps know best -- maybe unfairly -- from the mockumentary "Borat."

    There are other curiosities. RedSpeed's sole U.S. operation is in west suburban Lombard, and it markets itself as the only Illinois-based firm in the highly technical red-light camera business. Yet the corporate structure is topped by a holding company whose CEO lives in Staten Island, N.Y., and works in the office of a Manhattan ophthalmologist.

    RedSpeed is not the only traffic camera company to benefit from the 2006 law, but it is by far the most successful. Company officials boast that they have lined up contracts with more than 50 Illinois municipalities -- more than all competitors combined. RedSpeed got a jump-start by quickly signing up a core group of suburbs -- among them Bellwood, Berwyn, Bolingbrook, Elmwood Park, Melrose Park and Rosemont -- with ties to a close network of clout-heavy lobbyists and former public officials.

    The company's sales director is Greg Zito, a former state senator from Melrose Park who also is a longtime Illinois lobbyist for British banking and credit card giant HSBC and the local loan giant it bought, Household International. Those two firms have long been a major source of campaign cash for the red-light legislation's chief sponsor, state Rep. Angelo "Skip" Saviano (R-Elmwood Park).

    RedSpeed also has become something of a gathering spot for associates of Zito and his longtime friend Al Ronan, another former Illinois lawmaker and a lobbyist for RedSpeed since 2007. Ronan -- who lobbied for the red-light camera legislation on behalf of Melrose Park -- was a name partner in a lobbying firm that pleaded guilty to federal bid-rigging charges in 2004, though Ronan personally was not charged. He also was a major fundraiser for both former Govs. George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich.

    According to minutes of meetings in several municipalities, the sales force pitching RedSpeed in Illinois has included Scott Okun, who once ran the Illinois Toll Highway Authority's I-Pass program but quit after being suspended in 2006 amid questions about a printing contract. Ronan's name appeared as political sponsor for Okun on a 2003 list of state job-seekers kept by Blagojevich's office. Another past Ronan political operative from Berwyn also has served as a RedSpeed salesman, according to village board minutes and interviews.

    Robert Liberman, managing director of RedSpeed-Illinois, said in an e-mail exchange that his firm's success here was a testament to "careful planning and well-managed strategies." That, Liberman added, has "allowed the growth, whilst rapid, to be managed so that the company is fiercely proud of its reputation and its ability to deliver on promises."

    The city of Chicago's red-light cameras come from a different vendor, Australian-owned Redflex, the largest company in the field with operations in several states. Ronan contended that the city and Redflex were the main forces behind the suburban camera push, not RedSpeed, which formally entered the Illinois market only after the legislation passed. Chicago officials, he argued, feared a legal challenge to the city's then-3-year-old program and were looking for legislative cover.

    "The suburbs got involved because the city wanted to be protected," said Ronan. "Suburban towns saw the city program as a success."

    Zito said his first involvement concerning RedSpeed came at the end of June 2006, a month after the red-light camera bill was signed into law. He said then- Naperville-based Current Technologies, a company whose owners became involved in RedSpeed-Illinois, asked him to help analyze the new legislation.

    Daniel Zaydman, the head of RedSpeed's British parent, declined to be interviewed for this article. Saviano did not respond to interview requests.

    Just how fast did RedSpeed move in Illinois? Less than two months after the red-light legislation was signed into law, Berwyn Police Chief William Kushner urged his city's mayor and council to hire the company, according to a memo dated July 11, 2006. RedSpeed incorporated in Illinois a week later -- on July 18, state records show.

    Kushner told the Tribune that he looked at other vendors but preferred RedSpeed because of its British track record and because its system could be used for railroad crossings as well as red-light intersections.

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

    Part 2:

    from: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-red-light-cameras-part-two-jul13,0,- - 6603390.story?page=2&track=rss

    Liberman said RedSpeed's British parent was first approached about coming to Illinois in March 2006 by Current Technologies, which had wired up Bellwood with police surveillance cameras. The legislation was still pending at the time.

    Current's owners are partners in the Illinois venture, Liberman said.

    The other half of the partnership involves a labyrinth of firms owned by Zaydman and relatives, all of whom are Israeli citizens. Aside from RedSpeed, most of the companies are based in Kazakhstan and involve a grab bag of specialties from traffic management to outdoor advertising to real estate, consulting, a medical clinic and a beauty salon.

    RedSpeed was launched in 2004 when the Zaydmans bought assets of a bankrupt British traffic equipment company. RedSpeed began with just five employees, according to a 2006 company news release.

    It since has become the exclusive supplier of digital traffic-enforcement cameras to London, a major component of its sales pitch to Illinois municipalities. But there is a crucial difference between the Illinois and British operations.

    In London, RedSpeed only installs and maintains equipment, but police operate it, according to transportation officials in the British capital. The company goes well beyond that here, selling itself as a turnkey operation that provides cameras, runs them, flags violators and collects fines. It is a quasi-police function, but local authorities get the final say on who is ticketed.

    As first introduced, Saviano's legislation addressed the kind of dangerous situation that may have contributed to the Elmwood Park Metra collision. It would have allowed the use of enforcement cameras to catch drivers who swerved around lowered railroad crossing gates.

    On the House floor, Saviano had the bill rewritten to authorize red-light cameras. Another version of the bill was pushed on a parallel track by now-Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), though it was the Saviano measure that became law.

    Considerable lobbying heat lined up behind the concept in addition to Ronan. Redflex lobbyists pushed for suburban cameras. Bellwood dispatched at least five emissaries, legislative records show, including two who have had a long history of doing lobbying work with Ronan. Bellwood's efforts paid off handsomely: The suburb netted more than $1.1 million in red-light camera revenue last year.

    The minutes of suburbs' meetings where Zito has appeared for RedSpeed on several occasions have identified him as an owner or founder of the company. Responding to questions from the Tribune, Zito said he is neither and described himself as an "independent, part-time consultant, offering assistance in the area of sales and marketing." Zito quit the Illinois Senate in 1991 to become an in-house lobbyist for Prospect Heights-based Household, later bought by HSBC. Since 1994, those financial firms have steered $53,000 in campaign cash to Saviano, more than to any other current member of the legislature, state records show.

    It's hardly unusual for financial firms in Illinois to help bankroll campaigns, and records show that Zito's HSBC has given away nearly $1.3 million in political donations over the last 15 years.

    But one of the smallest gifts stands out.

    On April 3, 2006, HSBC gave $500 to the political organization of Frank Pasquale, the mayor of Bellwood, which was soon to become RedSpeed's first customer. The banking giant had never before written Pasquale's campaign a check and has never done so since, state records show.

    April 3 was the day the General Assembly gave final approval for Saviano's red-light camera bill, a development that opened the suburban market to camera vendors like RedSpeed.

    Zito said the timing of the gift was "purely coincidental" and "occurred well before RedSpeed-Illinois' existence, either conceptually or officially."

    Tribune reporters Monique Garcia in Springfield and Laurie Goering in London contributed to this report.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    This is an interesting story since it relates to the use of photo cameras not to fine for violations, but to record ALL vehciles for POTENTIAL investigations. This is the sort of mission creep and the "thin edge of the wedge" issues related to automatic surveillance that riases grave concerns. Also note the old "if your are not doing anything illegal, you have nothing to fear" and "it is all for your safety" arguments, only this time as an excuse to record everybody's comings and goings with out even a pretence of any laws being broken.

    from: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/09/MNT6189U0U.DTL

    Tiburon may install license plate cameras
    Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    (07-09) 19:11 PDT -- Welcome to Tiburon.

    Click.

    Your presence has been noted.

    The posh and picturesque town that juts into San Francisco Bay is poised to do something unprecedented: use cameras to record the license plate number of every vehicle that crosses city limits.

    Some residents describe the plan as a commonsense way to thwart thieves, most of whom come from out of town. Others see an electronic border gate and worry that the project will only reinforce Tiburon's image of exclusivity and snootiness.

    "I personally don't see too much harm in it, because I have nothing to hide," commodities broker Paul Lambert, 64, said after a trip to Boardwalk Market in downtown Tiburon on a recent afternoon.

    "Yet," he said, "it still has the taint of Big Brother."

    Tiburon's camera idea is a marriage of technology, policing and distinct geography.

    Situated on a peninsula, Tiburon's hillside homes and waterfront shops are accessible by only two roads, allowing police to point the special cameras known as license plate readers at every lane that leads into and out of the town of 8,800.

    The readers, which use character recognition software, can compare plates to databases of cars that have been stolen or linked to crimes, then immediately notify police of matches, said Police Chief Michael Cronin.

    If someone burglarized a Tiburon home at 3 a.m. one morning, he said, detectives could consult the devices and find out who came to town in the hours before - and who rolled out soon after.

    'Very low-key'

    "It's very low-key," said Town Manager Peggy Curran. "The whole point of license plates is that people can be identified by them."

    If the Town Council gives final approval, Curran said, officials hope to install the readers on Tiburon Boulevard and Paradise Drive by late fall.

    Tiburon plans to spend grant funds on the project and ask two other governments that could benefit from it to contribute to an expected price tag of $100,000 - the city of Belvedere, a bump of land on the southeastern edge of Tiburon, and Marin County.

    Cronin called it a sound investment. He pointed to a frustrating twist in Tiburon crime: Residents feel so safe that they don't lock their cars and homes.

    In all of 2007 and 2008, Tiburon recorded 196 thefts, 37 burglaries and a dozen stolen cars. The chief said every alleged thief who was arrested in those years was from outside Tiburon.

    Findings Suspects

    Once the street cameras are installed, Cronin said, hunting a burglary suspect could be easier. "We'll look for a plate that came and went," he said. "That's going to give us a very short list to work on."

    Detectives could then check to see if any of the cars has been linked with crimes in the past. Between 300 and 400 cars use Tiburon Boulevard to travel in or out of the town from midnight to 6 a.m. on weekdays.

    "It's much more efficient than having an officer sit on the boulevard, watch passing cars and guess who might be a burglar," Cronin said.

    Nicole Ozer, who directs policy on technology for the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, isn't as supportive. She called the cameras a "needle in a haystack" approach that may waste money, invade privacy and invite unfair profiling.

    "To be under investigation simply because you entered or left Tiburon at a certain time is incredibly intrusive," Ozer said. "Innocent people should be able to go about their daily lives without being tracked and monitored."

    City leaders promise to prevent abuses. Information on which cars enter and leave town will not be available to the public, they said, and will be erased within 60 days. Police officers will be granted access to the information only during an investigation.

    License plate readers have exploded in popularity in recent years, but Tiburon would be one of the first to mount them at fixed locations - and perhaps the very first to record every car coming or going.

    California Highway Patrol officials have put the readers on 18 cruisers and at four fixed locations. CHP officers have seen a huge increase in recoveries of stolen cars since the devices were installed starting in August 2005, the agency said.

    Devices help CHP

    Through December, officials said, the CHP had used the devices to recover 1,739 cars and arrest 675 people.

    San Francisco gave the devices to police as well as parking control officers, allowing them to track cars parked for too long in one spot. Some cities use the cameras to assess anti-congestion tolls on motorists, while casino bosses get an alert when a high roller - or a cheater - pulls in.

    Outside Tiburon's Boardwalk Market, where a flyer in the window offered a $2,000 reward for the return of a stolen Pomeranian, residents seemed split on the plan.

    Robin Pryor, 66, of Belvedere said the most important issue was whether the cameras made people safer.

    "It's just like locking your door," Pryor said. "If they have reason for it to bother them, they shouldn't be coming in."

    But Fred Mayo, 62, who lives in Tiburon and owns a travel agency in Mill Valley, said the cameras would invade privacy. "Where does it end?" Mayo asked.

    He referred to the crime blotter in the local newspaper, which listed two incidents recently of kids tossing water balloons at cars, and noted, "It's not like Tiburon's a high-crime area."

    E-mail Demian Bulwa at [email protected]

    This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Here is more proof that once cameras are in place, Big Brother will find the temptation to add new roles for them irresistible. Do we really want this for our society?

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/28/2846.asp

    Louisiana: Speed Camera Company Runs Litter Camera Program
    Speed camera maker sets up program allowing Baton Rouge, Louisiana to issue $167 automated litter tickets.

    Speed camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) next month will use its automated ticketing expertise to run a litter camera program for Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Under first-of-its-kind initiative, city workers will drive around photographing neighborhoods with special cameras hooked into a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite tracking device. The workers will be looking to capture homes that might have litter, weeds or trash on their lawn so that a hefty fine can be imposed.

    "The mayor's office has put together a new enforcement program with a tough new ordinance and the high-tech services of American Traffic Solutions, the company under contract to operate the city-parish's red-light monitoring system," the mayor's office said in a statement. "ATS already uses video from cameras posted at key intersections to generate violation notices for the owners of vehicles that illegally run red lights."

    Fifteen "code enforcement specialists" this week began training on the program in which they will drive around looking to issue tickets to homeowners. The code specialists are paid at least $12.49 an hour and must have a valid driver's license, a GED and some experience working in construction to be hired. ATS will download the images that these specialists generate and then use an automated computer system to generate warning letters, tickets and hearing notices similar to those used in the traffic camera program.

    When "construction materials, litter, refuse, rubbish, appliances, junk vehicles, limbs, trees or other discarded materials or debris" are photographed at a home, a letter will be sent to the last address of record for the property owner. The situation must be remedied within fifteen days to escape the ticket. The penalty imposed by the program is the same as a red light camera citation -- $117 plus "court costs" of $50. If the owner is on vacation or the address on file is incorrect, Baton Rouge will hold a "litter court" administrative hearing where a municipal employee will find that it is "more probable than not" that the missing property owner is guilty. Residents will also be ticketed for putting out garbage cans before 4pm or failing to retrieve them before 6am.

    The ticket vans start rolling on August 1 and the litter court hearings open September 17.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,977
    >Here is more proof that once cameras are in place, Big Brother will find the temptation to add new roles for them irresistible. Do we really want this for our society?

    I suggest that the politicians try using cameras to capture drug dealers and buyers, prostitution areas' participants, politicians on the take for money and deals, and other things that our society actually needs cleaned up.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    I suggest that the politicians try using cameras to capture drug dealers and buyers, prostitution areas' participants, politicians on the take for money and deals, and other things that our society actually needs cleaned up.

    Let's campaign to get live web cams covering all of the hallways 24/7 in the US Senate and House office buildings. These are public buildings paid for by we taxpayers and we deserve to see who is coming and going. Obama promised us Transparency and this would be a good start.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    The latest news relates some observation is needed in some New Jersey political offices and synagogues as well as DC (Duh Capital) ;)
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,865
    Driving past my favorite construction zone doing 55 (speed limit) the inaccurate radar speed board told me "Your speed is 68, SLOW DOWN".

    I'm SO glad we don't have photo radar here. :)

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

  • pavelbarchukpavelbarchuk Member Posts: 14
    I dont have my front liscence plate, it saved me a bunch of tickets from speed radar photos and red light cameras. Most of the time, they dont get the back liscence plate, so i guess it works. But yea, people should slow down, speeding isnt good.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,865
    Today, same spot, same speed (55) my trusty radar speed sign said: YOUR SPEED IS 72 SLOW DOWN.

    I love this new fangled technology. :cry:

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

  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    From the land of the Union Jack, where automatic speed cameras are legion, one wonders what could be the next step? Well, wonder no more, here is an interesting story about how certain families deemed to be "anti-social" by their local councils will be monitored by cameras 24/7.

    This raises a deep issue: Once we go down the path of automatic enforcement of the law, and once technology makes 24/7 monitoring of the citizenry possible, the desire to market ever increasing levels of safety and "it is all for your own good" is much too strong for the powers-that-be to resist.

    We will lose out big time if that happens, please be forewarned! We have to make sure that automatic blind photo enforcement of the law does NOT happen in the US of A.

    from: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/115736

    UK NEWS

    SIN BINS FOR WORST FAMILIES
    Thursday July 23,2009
    By Alison Little

    THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

    The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

    They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

    Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks, while parents will be given help to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

    Around 2,000 families have gone through these Family Intervention Projects so far.

    But ministers want to target 20,000 more in the next two years, with each costing between £5,000 and £20,000 – a potential total bill of £400million.

    Ministers hope the move will reduce the number of youngsters who get drawn into crime because of their chaotic family lives, as portrayed in Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless.

    Sin bin projects operate in half of council areas already but Mr Balls wants every local authority to fund them.

    He said: “This is pretty tough and non-negotiable support for families to get to the root of the problem. There should be Family Intervention Projects in every local authority area because every area has families that need support.”

    But Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: “This is all much too little, much too late.

    “This Government has been in power for more than a decade during which time anti-social behaviour, family breakdown and problems like alcohol abuse and truancy have just got worse and worse.”

    Mr Balls also said responsible parents who make sure their children behave in school will get new rights to complain about those who allow their children to disrupt lessons.

    Pupils and their families will have to sign behaviour contracts known as Home School Agreements before the start of every year, which will set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.

    The updated Youth Crime Action Plan also called for a crackdown on violent girl gangs as well as drug and alcohol abuse among young women.

    But a decision to give ministers new powers to intervene with failing local authority Youth Offending Teams was criticised by council leaders.

    Les Lawrence, of the Local Government Association, said they did “crucial” work and such intervention was “completely unnecessary”.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Traffic cameras, be they of the red light variety or of the speed camera variety, are just the thin end of the wedge. Big Brother is not far behind. Paranoid you say? Here is a story from the UK, the world leader in photo enforcement.

    Will it ever happen here? All I ask that one looks for the potential issues related to our system of governemnt and law that would be posed if such a system were to be created here while reading the story. Notice how "it is all for safety" and the distinct lack of public input while implementing the system, not to mention grave privacy issues.

    from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/6011285/Average-motorist-caught-on-came- ra-100-times-a-year.html

    Average motorist caught on camera 100 times a year
    The average motorist has their car journeys recorded and stored by police almost 100 times a year, new figures show, furthering concerns over the growing surveillance state.

    By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
    Published: 7:00AM BST 12 Aug 2009

    Forces across the country have expanded a car surveillance operation that will soon record up to 50 million licence plates each day.

    The images captured on CCTV cameras - many of innocent motorists – are stored on a police database for up to two years, enabling officers to reconstruct journeys.


    Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that more than three billion licence plates may have been recorded nationwide in the past year.

    It means that the 34 million vehicles registered in Britain were captured and stored on average up to 100 times in 2008.

    Thousands of CCTV cameras across the country have been converted to read number plates, taking pictures of people's movements in cars on motorways, main roads, airports and town centres even if they are not suspected of a crime.

    Police say the system, called Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR), has proved an essential tool in fighting crime.

    Latest figures released yesterday showed that in Sussex police cameras read and stored more than 233 million vehicle number plates last year - a five-fold increase compared to the year before.

    Police registered "hits" on one in every 36 of the vehicles of "interest" - ranging from those with no insurance to ones linked to known criminals.

    However, the huge growth of ANPR has raised concerns from civil rights campaigners, who question how long the details are stored for and who has access to the material.

    Charles Hendry, Tory MP for Wealden, said: "There is a balance that needs to be struck between fighting crime and infringing the freedom of the law-abiding public.

    "We all accept number-plate recognition enables the police to track and arrest a significant number of criminals and to make our communities safer, but these increases are really startling.

    "But we need to know what use is made of this information and how long is it kept for?

    "Law-abiding people should feel they can go about their business without being snooped on by the State.

    "They should be able to do their shopping or drive to the railway station without their movements being tracked on a police computer."

    The director of Privacy International, Simon Davies, said the database gives police "extraordinary powers of surveillance". "This would never be allowed in any other democratic country," he said. "This is possibly one of the most valuable reserves of data imaginable."

    Recent figures in Devon and Cornwall, which showed that 64 million images were captured in 2008, were described as "astonishing" by the local MP.

    Colin Breed, the Liberal Democrat MP for South East Cornwall, claimed that the ANPR system had been expanded "by stealth".

    Geoffrey Cox, Tory MP for Torridge and West Devon, added that the cameras were part of an "invisible network of surveillance" that had been constructed over the past 10 years.

    Nationally, the latest figures from that 27 of 43 forces able to supply comparable data, showed that more than 2 billion number plates were read and stored last year. The combined figure for all forces is like to be in excess of 3 billion.

    The highest number of records were created by the Metropolitan Police with 342.8 million, followed by Sussex, then West Midlands Police with 267.6 million. Avon and Somerset logged 21.6 million registrations last year and Dorset 16.6 million.

    Police have been encouraged to "fully and strategically exploit" the database during investigations ranging from counter-terrorism to low-level crime.

    Officers can access the database to find uninsured cars, locate illegal "duplicate" licence plates and track the movements of criminals. For the first 90 days any police officer with the appropriate authority can check the information.

    After that period it is only accessible to serious crime and anti-terrorism detectives.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    They tell you all these wonderful platitudes about how traffic cameras can save the world from crime and all, but it is really just about $$$. They've jacked up taxes so high they had to find new revenue streams. In Illinois, all Chicago and Cook county know is how to blow money and raise taxes, even as they sell off their future assets to cover current day expenses. No politician there knows how to cut spending. I suppose too many patronage jobs would be on the line. The crime and safety line makes good PR to cover up the new tax revenue reality of it. I suppose the irony of the whole thing is that as the cameras get better, the same cops who talk about how great traffic cameras are will be laid off and replaced by the very cameras they sold the public on accepting. Sad, but its the new line of politics at work. Cash is king!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    For all the lofty claims about how cameras help enhance our safety, there is just no evidence that that is indeed the case. Take a read of this story from the Land of Big Brother:

    from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/6081549/One-crime-solved-for-every-- - 1000-CCTV-cameras-senior-officer-claims.html

    One crime solved for every 1,000 CCTV cameras, senior officer claims
    Just one crime is solved a year by every 1,000 CCTV cameras in Britain's largest force area, it was claimed today.
    Published: 1:59PM BST 24 Aug 2009

    A senior Scotland Yard officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, warned police must do more to head off a crisis in public confidence over the use of surveillance cameras.

    DCI Neville said officers need to improve their results to make captured images count against criminals.

    He said there are more than a million CCTV cameras in London and the Government has spent £500 million on the crime-fighting equipment.

    But he admitted just 1,000 crimes were solved in 2008 using CCTV images as officers fail to make the most of potentially vital evidence.

    Writing in an internal report, Mr Neville said people are filmed many times every day and have high expectations when they become victims of crime.

    But he suggested the reality is often disappointing as in some cases officers fail to bring criminals to justice even after they are caught on camera and identified.

    DCI Neville said CCTV played a role in capturing just eight out of 269 suspected robbers across London in one month.

    Critics of Britain's so-called ''surveillance state'' will seize on DCI Neville's comments as further evidence CCTV is not working in the fight against crime.

    The Government is considering whether every camera should be registered on centrally-held CCTV maps.

    Earlier this year a Home Office report found camera schemes have a ''modest impact'' on reducing crime.

    Researchers found cameras were most effective in preventing vehicle thefts and vandalism in car parks.

    Some local authorities have been forced to make freedom of information requests to police forces to try and work out if CCTV cameras are effective.

    The Metropolitan Police is piloting a scheme, known as Operation Javelin, to improve the use of images from existing cameras.

    Staff in 11 boroughs have formed dedicated Visual Images Identification and Detection Offices (VIIDO).

    They collect and label images before passing them to a central circulation unit that distributes them to officers, forces and the media.

    Some 5,260 images have been viewed so far this year with identification made in more than 1,000 cases.

    DCI Neville said the scheme should be expanded to force-wide as officers make the investigation of CCTV evidence as professional as fingerprints and DNA.

    David Davis, the former shadow home secretary said it is ''entirely unsurprising'' that the report highlights some shortcomings of CCTV.

    ''It should provoke a major and long overdue rethink on where the Home Office crime prevention budget is being spent," he said.

    ''CCTV leads to massive expense and minimum effectiveness. It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little or no improvement in security.

    ''The Metropolitan Police has been extraordinarily slow to act to deal with the ineffectiveness of CCTV, something true both in London and across the country.''

    Detective Superintendent Michael McNally, who commissioned the report, said improvements in the use of CCTV can be made.

    He told Sky News: ''There are some concerns, and that's why we have a number of projects that are on-going at the moment.

    ''CCTV, we recognise, is a really important part of investigation and prevention of crime, so how we retrieve that from the individual CCTV pods is really quite important.''

    A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ''The Metropolitan Police is currently the only police service to employ this method of CCTV tracking.''
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    image

    Bob blogs about the Maryland kids using speed cameras for revenge. Isn't technology grand? In my day we'd just call the cops and report that our teachers were driving "erratically." :shades:
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    That is an oldie but a goodie about how easy automated enforcement can lead to all sorts of pranks, some more serious than others.

    A cop making a stop can identify the vehicle to which a registration is issued to, and cross check with the VIN if needed on the spot, but a camera cannot.

    Just another point asserting that one cannot rely on cameras to do police work.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,865
    According to the Associated Press a 47 year-old flight attendant from Phoenix with a lead foot has racked up thousands of dollars' worth of speeding tickets. The police have been unable to get a conviction because the driver wears a monkey mask while driving making it impossible to ID the driver. More than 50 of the tickets have become invalid because they expired.

    Now cops have surveillance photos of the guy donning the monkey mask and want him to pay $6700 for 37 still valid tickets.

    I guess they spent some of the $23 million in revenue photo radar has generated to track him down.

    That's what I like about America, someone will always find a way to solve a problem. Personally, I'd like to see people hang tea bags in front of the camera lens. ;)

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

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    I suppose the irony of the whole thing is that as the cameras get better, the same cops who talk about how great traffic cameras are will be laid off and replaced by the very cameras they sold the public on accepting. No, they will be put to work cleaning up the crime in Chicago in prep for 2016 Olympics. Then after Olympics, the chump taxpayers in Chicago and Cook County will have to pony up with extra taxes to pay for all the underfunded Olympic infrastructure.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    You don't really believe that Chicago taxpayers will pay a dime for the Olympics, do you? Perhaps you didn't notice that Michelle Obama is leading the charge to get the olympics for her beloved town. You can bet there will be lots of stimulus monty flowing to IL to pay for the new infrastructure. It may be hidden money, but it will be there. The Obamas will bring home the bacon--you can count on it.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Perhaps you didn't notice that Michelle Obama is leading the charge to get the olympics for her beloved town.

    That's a joke. Olympics is about sports and love of country. Best representatives would be former Cub, Ernie Banks or former Bull, Michael Jordan or former Bear, Mike Ditka or current White Soxer, AJ Pierzinski, of last Chicago World Series. Maybe Chicago can deploy many hundreds of photo radar, red light cameras to pay for Olympics infrastructure.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    Good job! I love how smoothly you blended that photo radar comment in to keep it on topic! While sports personalities might help win the olympics for Chicago, Michelle will make sure the US taxpayers subsidize the whole thing (and leave behind lots of cool new office space for ACORN and other lefty groups). Do you think that if Michael Jordan got a photo radar ticket he would sign it for the judge? What would be worth more, the photo radar fine or the signed ticket?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Olympics is about sports

    Judging by the lobbying of the IOC, it's about the money, with sports being an afterthought.

    Photo radar companies don't lobby either. :shades:
  • asylumwsasasylumwsas Member Posts: 2
    First when you sight something like this please realise you don't know all of the facts. you were trying to prove a point of "speed kills" well if you are as knowledgable as you think you are you should know this doesn't have all the facts. Reason i'm replying to this is because my brother was the driver, yes speed was a factor but it was becaused he stroked out while driving. If you know about strokes you lose control of one side of your body. So his foot was literally stuck on the gas pedal. So you're point of kids thrill-seeking is not true in this statement. Also next time you try to prove a point when using an article like this make sure you know you're going to piss people off who was related to that person
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    We're sorry for your loss, and we always appreciate hearing "the rest of the story".
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    The cause of the Stroke was ?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    A man was driving when he saw the flash of a traffic camera. He
    Figured that his picture had been taken for exceeding the limit, even
    though He knew that he was not speeding... Just to be sure, he went
    around The block and passed the same spot, driving even more slowly,
    but again The camera flashed. Now he began to think that this was
    quite funny, so He drove even slower as he passed the area again,
    but the traffic camera Again flashed. He tried a fourth time with
    the same result. He did this a fifth Time and was now laughing when
    the camera flashed as he rolled past, this time At a snail's pace...
    Two weeks later, he got five tickets in the mail For driving without
    a seat belt. You can't fix stupid. ;):)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Snopes doesn't buy it.
  • asylumwsasasylumwsas Member Posts: 2
    not to go into much detail but he was a recovering cocaine addict, would have been 3 months clean 3 days after the crash, His blood pressure was dropping real low the days before the crash, (mother is a RN) so the cause of the stroke was basically due to the severe addiction he had to cocaine which damaged his heart, the loss of blood pressure was what caused the stroke
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    Thank you for the explanation. Hopefully, your reply will help deter the use of non prescribed drugs as you can't improve upon teaching by example.
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