Photo Radar

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  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    As predicted by many, people in three cities voted against red light cameras. There are primary sources from the local press for each city, but this source summarizes them in one place.

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/29/2950.asp

    Photo Enforcement Defeated at the Ballot Box in Texas, Ohio
    Voters in College Station, Texas as well as Chillicothe and Heath, Ohio vote to ban automated ticketing machines.

    Voters in three cities sent a clear message to local lawmakers yesterday by adopting charter amendments that ban photo enforcement. In addition to kicking two camera supporters from the city council, 72 percent of those voting in Chillicothe, Ohio approved a total prohibition on the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. In College Station, Texas the vote was much closer, but at the end of the night 52 percent wanted the red light cameras to come down. In Heath, Ohio 51 percent voted against the cameras. A total of nine cities nationwide have used the initiative process to ban camera enforcement since 1991, with camera proponents never having won a public vote.

    The triple defeat for the photo enforcement industry came despite a well-funded public relations effort in each of the cities. In Chillicothe, Redflex Traffic Systems sent a glossy mailer to every voter while the mayor demanded that the Ohio Supreme Court ban the public from even voting on the issue -- a move high court justices swiftly rejected. Citizens Against Photo Enforcement (CAPE), the group responsible for the ballot measure, claimed an additional victory as voters elected camera opponent Bruce Arnold, who won the seat of council president, Jeremy Siberell, who won the fifth ward and Dustin Proehl, the only incumbent to have voted against cameras. CAPE leader Rebecca Valentich told TheNewspaper that she was thrilled with the outcome.

    "We came together as individuals, and we united as a community," Valentich said. "The people have spoken, and very clearly. Our voices have been heard and thanks to the people and their strong voices, the cameras will be coming down. It is a huge victory, and one that we can all be proud of. And although our mayor has gone on record saying that he will fight the will of the people, his fight against the rights of the people will only bring a stronger united front from the community."

    In College Station, Texas the city's automated ticketing vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) bankrolled a front group to conduct mass mailings and push polling in an effort to save the program that would have earned the company more than $11 million over the life of the contract. The ATS-funded group reported raising $71,240 in contributions, but not one dollar came from anyone living in the local community. To supplement the vendor's effort, the city allocated taxpayer money to send red light camera promotional material to every voter. College Station activist Jim Ash, who led the fight to put the issue on the ballot, watched the results with a large group of supporters.

    "It has been nothing but celebration here," Ash told TheNewspaper minutes after the results became final.

    In Heath, voters were bombarded with the same advertisements from Redflex, but they failed to persuade a majority. Voters also defeated Mayor Richard Waugh who had introduced photo enforcement as the signature issue of his administration.

    "You can fight city hall and win, when you have a passion for what you believe in," We Demand a Vote spokesman Lori Lyons said in a statement.

    Yesterday's results are consistent with previous public votes on the topic. In April, eighty-six percent of the votes in Sulphur, Louisiana rejected speed cameras. In 2008, residents in Cincinnati, Ohio rejected red light cameras. Seventy-six percent of Steubenville, Ohio voters rejected photo radar in 2006. In the mid-1990s, speed cameras lost by a two-to-one margin in Peoria, Arizona and Batavia, Illinois. In 1997, voters in Anchorage, Alaska banned cameras even after the local authorities had removed them. In 2003, 64 percent of voters in Arlington, Texas voted down "traffic management cameras" that opponents at the time said could be converted into ticketing cameras.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    "Redflex, one of the big manufacturers of these cameras, posted a 48 percent jump in revenue last year while the rest of the economy tanked"

    Rise of stealthy traffic cameras fuels disgust (MSNBC)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    :) Redflex Holdings Limited was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in January 1997.Over the last decade, the Redflex Holdings Group has established itself as a world leader in traffic enforcement products and services, developing world leading enforcement camera technology, owning and operating the largest network of digital speed and red-light cameras in the world.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Hmm, I have a little bit in an Aussie ETF, and it's up ~65% year to date. Don't see RDF in the holdings list. You left money on the table. :P
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    Issuer Code RDF
    Securities ASX Code, Security Description ------------------------------ RDF, Ordinary Fully Paid
    Official Listing Date 20 January, 1997
    GICS Industry Group Software & Services
    Exempt Foreign? No
    Internet Address http://www.redflex.com.au/
    Registered Office Address ,31 Market Street,,,SOUTH MELBOURNE,VIC,AUSTRALIA,3205
    Head Office Telephone (03) 9674-1715
    Head Office Fax (03) 9699 3566
    Share Registry COMPUTERSHARE INVESTOR SERVICES PTY LIMITED
    ,YARRA FALLS,452 JOHNSTON STREET,,ABBOTSFORD,VIC,AUSTRALIA,3067
    Share Registry Telephone 1300 787 272

    Check further ;)http://www.asx.com.au/asx/research/listedCompanies.do?coName=R
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I try to avoid investing in evil companies. :D
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Not a very readable survey, but looks like a pretty comprehensive list of how the states are dealing with people suing over their tickets.

    Summary of decisions concerning automated enforcement
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Another state sees the light. The scammers will appeal of course, but at least the process is working albeit slowly.

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/30/3059.asp

    Florida Court Rules Red Light Cameras Illegal
    Miami-Dade County, Florida judge rules red light camera program violates state law.

    A Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judge has ruled that red light cameras may not be legally used to issue traffic citations in the state of Florida. Judge Gerald Bagley yesterday dismissed charges against motorist Richard Masone who had received a red light camera ticket in the mail from American Traffic Solutions (ATS). The company operates the program on behalf of the city of Aventura.

    "What I'm doing is pretty much tracking the advisory opinion offered by the attorney general that tickets should be issued by a law enforcement officer who has observed the action on the part of the alleged violator running a red light," Judge Bagley ruled from the bench. "So the fact that there is not any other components, if you will, to this unmanned camera, such as an officer or any other mechanism for observing the actions of the alleged violator, I find that to be invalid. That is the reason behind my ruling. Thank you. Have a great day."

    Immediately, the attorney for the city of Aventura indicated his intention to appeal the decision. Judge Bagley agreed to stay his order pending the outcome of the appeal. A formal written order in the case is forthcoming.

    "As you can imagine because of the impact of the ruling on certain aspects of the program, we are going to be asking to take an appeal," attorney Michael S. Popok told the judge. "We are going to take an appeal directly to the Third. It's of great public importance."

    In 2005, the state attorney general ruled that Section 316.002 of the Florida Statutes makes it illegal for a municipality "to pass or to attempt to enforce any ordinance" in conflict with the provisions of the state traffic code (view ruling). Although the state code has a provision mandating that traffic tickets be issued only by a police officer who witnessed the crime, several cities have ignored the requirement and claimed their ordinances treating red light running as a code violation were not subject to state law.

    Traffic camera vendors realized that they were on unsound legal ground in Florida, but a few have seized the opportunity to dominate the market of a major state. The largest photo enforcement firm operating in the US, Australia's Redflex Traffic Systems, refused to take the gamble.

    "Legal opinions indicate that automated enforcement in the state of Florida remains illegal," Redflex explained in an Australian Securities Exchange filing ( view statement, page 6, 1.8mb PDF). "Some competitors have proceeded at risk with early programs."

    Attorney Bret Lusskin argued the successful case, having been hired by Masone to fight Aventura almost one full year ago.

    "Aventura's red light program is totally illegal, and quite unfair," Lusskin said in a statement on filing the challenge. "They should have known better. In 2005, the Florida Attorney General wrote a letter publicly advising that programs like this would be illegal. They did it anyway."

    Aventura and other cities are hoping the legislature adopts a photo enforcement industry-backed proposal that would retroactively forgive cities that implemented red light camera programs contrary to state law. The measure narrowly failed last session.
  • graphicguygraphicguy Edmunds Poster EmeritusMember Posts: 13,085
    Of course ATS will appeal. If Florida outlaws these cameras, it's a good bet that other citizens in other states will challenge also. And, if the photo radar is ruled illegal.....ATS as a company goes away.

    The sooner the better, in my estimation.
    2021 Acura TLX A-Spec-Platinum White Pearl
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    Radar guns and Red light cameras are on my list to be supported because it takes down the driver who thinks he's above the law and consequently makes the road safer for the rest of us. :)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Another blurb:

    Arizona Drivers Rebel Against Highway Speed Cameras; Program a Financial Failure (Straightline)

    ATS could always sell their camera systems as a traffic engineering and safety aid.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    Having gone through the process of implementing a red-light photo enforcement program in Santa Clarita, Calif., as a member of that city's Planning Commission, I thought I would share a report on the status of this program today. Some will be surprised, some will not. But facts are facts.

    The city's photo red-light enforcement program has been very successful in reducing red-light violations, reducing broadside accidents and enhancing traffic safety at the eight high-risk intersections where the equipment is deployed.
    Accident data collected prior to and after implementation of the program showed that collisions involving red-light violations decreased by 58 percent, broadside collisions decreased 44 percent and injury collisions decreased 6 percent. Rear-end collisions did increase shortly after implementation of the program, but have recently returned to pre-program levels.

    For those who sincerely believe that these cameras produce a huge revenue stream for the city, Santa Clarita receives 30 percent of the overall violation fine. The remaining amount of 40 percent goes to the state and 30 percent to the county. From the city's share, about 60 percent goes to the vendor to pay for the citation processing.

    With that being said, the city still receives enough revenue from the program to cover the entire cost of the program. The city needs to make certain that the program pays for itself and does not create a new cost to the city. One thing to note is while the number of citations issued is high in the first few months, the number steadily declines after that. This is due to behavioral changes in drivers who become more cautious, which is the purpose of the program to begin with. ;)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    More proof that the mentality that "We need to monitor ALL traffic ALL the time - just to ensure YOUR safety, just TRUST us to do the right thing" is alive and well, and therefore truly dangerous in its insidiousness.

    from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/8632340.stm

    New speed cameras to use satellite technology
    Speed cameras which use a satellite positioning system and number plate recognition technology to track vehicles have been tested in England.

    The system was tried out on Salter Road in Southwark, south London and on the A374 in Cornwall.

    Details of the tests were revealed in evidence to the House of Commons Transport select committee by PIPS Technology, which devised the system,

    A Home Office spokeswoman declined to comment on the trials.

    The SpeedSpike system uses automatic number plate recognition and GPS to capture the positions of cars and then calculate an average speed over a distance.

    A record is made of vehicles found to be breaking speed limits.

    PIPS Technology said it could be used in a number of areas including motorways, A roads, urban "rat runs" and to enforce speed restrictions around schools.

    A spokesperson from the RAC Foundation said: "Casualty figures show that injury and death still occur on roads where the speed limit is 30mph or less.

    "Unfortunately, in urban environments where pedestrians and cyclists are present, it is still difficult to get some drivers understand why it is necessary to stick to the limit.

    "There have been some excellent safety campaigns which have influenced the driving styles of many drivers in built-up areas but to change attitudes in the few who still want to drive at inappropriate speed, cameras such as SpeedSpike have a role to play."

    Congestion charging

    Paul Watters, AA head of public affairs, said it members supported speed cameras but added: "We have some concerns about how far these systems extend along roads with many different speed limits impacting on a driver's journey, how well drivers understand them and how well the zones are signed.

    "With new complex technology comes the risk of errors and so the government must issue clear guidance on how these systems should be used."

    PIPS Technology, with headquarters in the US and offices in Eastleigh, Hampshire, created the Spike Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera used in the London congestion charging zone.

    The Spike won the Queen's Award for Innovation in 2005.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    More here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7608153/New-speed-camera- s-trap-motorists-from-space.html

    New speed cameras trap motorists from space
    A new type of speed cameras which can use satellites to measure average speed over long distances are being tested in Britain.

    By By Richard Savill
    Published: 6:30AM BST 20 Apr 2010

    The cameras, which combine number plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver, are similar to those used in roadworks.

    The AA said it believed the new system could cover a network of streets as opposed to a straight line, and was “probably geared up to zones in residential areas.”

    The Home Office is testing the cameras at two sites, one in Southwark, London, and the other A374 between Antony and Torpoint in Cornwall.

    The `SpeedSpike’ system, which calculates average speed between any two points in the network, has been developed by PIPS Technology Ltd, an American-owned company with a base in Hampshire.

    Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled "number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day". It also referred to the system's "low cost" and ease of installation.

    The system could be used for "main road enforcement for congestion reduction and speed enforcement", and could help to "eliminate rat-runs" and cut speeds outside schools, it added. It could also reduce the need for speed humps.

    The development of speed cameras has raised concerns about expanding state surveillance.

    The Home Office said it was unable to comment on the trials because of "commercial confidentiality".

    The AA said it would watch the system “carefully” but it did not believe there was anything sinister. “It is a natural evolution of the technology that is out there,” a spokesman said.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    And it will impact your driving - making the highways and byways safer.

    Prepare to submit and conform. ;)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Not without a fight! :)

    The highways and byways will be "safer", but at what cost? Does anyone really think that society will be better off with "fewer" accidents and loss of freedom that all-pervasive monitoring will entail?

    If anyone believes that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I can sell for real cheap! ;)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    What specifically are the freedoms to be lost by being monitored?

    Assertions are not facts.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, you have already posted that you do not want to read the 1800 odd posts in this thread, but I would suggest you read at least some of them.

    My "assertions" are based in facts and thought, but your education is not my responsibility as I deeply respect your rights to remain as knowledgeable or ignorant as you want to be on any topic or issue that may or may not be of any import to you! :)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    If you don't know, say so.

    Refering to 1800 posts only reveals opinions and assertions, not facts to answer the question.

    Like you, I don't know a lot about everything, but can in all fairness, expect a civil answer to an honest question without "rights to remain knowledgeable or ignorant" being tossed out in a very weak reply.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    edited April 2010
    Fair enough.

    :)
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Photo enforcement keeps expanding. What comes next, unrestricted tapping into your internet or cell phone, using thermal imaging to peer inside your house? It's a slippery slope and we're not supposed to be China or Iran here. Personally, I've seen no facts that show photo enforcement has any significant impact on anything except raising revenues without calling it a hidden tax increase. I always thought that in America there needed to be a reasonable cause to search (and photo enforcement is a form of search). Sorry buddy, add this to state laws allowing confiscation of personal property like vehicles and I find it reprehensible and dangerous to our civil liberties. Most of us have not consented to living in a socialistic society. Budget shortfalls don't trump respecting privacy and citizen rights. Further, contracting photo enforcement out can easily lead to companies rigging the equipment to increase their profitabilty. Look at all the fraud on Wall Street.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    If that's the best their space program can do, I see where they can chop some spending. However, I think a lot of this space and satellite stuff is over hyped. If the satellites are that good, how come we can't find Bin Laden? It took ground intelligence to find Sadam Hussein. I expect satellites will yield a lot of erroneous tickets. Of course that may be happening now with cameras. A cop has to prove the radar was recently calibrated in court. That's probably why most of the camera tickets are civil citations instead. Who really knows what the for profit companies that run them are doing? As more comes to light, it appears the banks have been ripping us off big time to make their executive bonuses rich, so I sure don't trust these camera firms either...add a few mph to the speeding reading, or deduct a few seconds on the yellow light and it can pad the revenues nicely since they tend to be commision based. If they get caught, they can just claim it was a calibration error or electronic glitch. Ka-Ching!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    edited April 2010
    A basic assumption in the use of automated enforcement is that the speed limits themselves have been determined properly and legally. Apparently, that is not always the case, imagine that! Who woulda thunk? :)

    So what was the argument again, is this charade for our safety or for revenue?

    from: http://detnews.com/article/20100427/METRO05/4270380/Many-speed-limits-set-too-lo- - - - - - w

    Last Updated: April 27. 2010 4:27PM
    Many speed limits set too low
    George Hunter / The Detroit News

    Metro Detroit motorists who exceed posted speed limits may not be breaking the law, because in many cases the limits themselves are unlawful, according to one of the state's top traffic cops.

    Four years after the passage of Public Act 85, which requires municipalities in Michigan to conduct studies to set proper speed limits, most cities, villages and townships have not complied, according to Lt. Gary Megge, head of the Michigan State Police Traffic Services Section.

    One likely reason, said Megge, whose section advises communities on how to set proper speed limits, is that communities want speeding ticket revenue, and failing to conduct the required speed studies allows them to keep enforcing their speed limits that Megge calls "artificially low."

    "I think money is part of it, and I find it reprehensible that communities aren't following the law," Megge said. "In many cases, the problem is the speed limit, not the motorist. Communities have to obey the law, too."

    A Detroit News review of 10 randomly selected Metro Detroit roadways identified as "speed traps" by the National Motorists Association, a grassroots advocacy group, found that no studies of those roadways have been conducted in accordance with the 2006 public act.

    Public roadways are the responsibility of communities, county road commissions or the Michigan Department of Transportation. By law, it's up to those entities to conduct studies on the roads that fall under their jurisdiction.

    Public Act 85 provides guidelines for determining proper speed limits. One option under the law would set the limit on the 85th percentile of free-flowing traffic on a road segment.

    Driver beat ticket in court
    Daniel Kennedy, a criminal justice professor at the University of Detroit-Mercy, said it's possible for "someone in a responsible position" to compel communities to adhere to the public act.

    "They would have to come up with a writ of mandamus, which means 'we command,' " he said. "That would force communities to obey state law."

    Driver Jim Walker of Lexington beat a traffic ticket in 2008 by proving in court that the posted 30 mph speed limit on Nixon Road in Ann Arbor had not been set in accordance with PA 85.

    He argued that because the city had not adopted the 2006 Uniform Traffic Code, by law the city must set limits using the access point method. Since the city hadn't done that, the ticket was thrown out.

    "The judge said he wasn't happy about it, but he had to throw the ticket out because we proved the speed limit wasn't legal," said Walker, 65, who helped another man beat a speeding ticket using the same argument. "The city appealed, but the judge dismissed the appeal."

    Steve Purdy, director of the National Motorists Association Michigan chapter, said prosecutors usually will dismiss tickets challenged under PA 85.

    "They don't want to establish a precedent, so they'll throw the ticket out or offer a deal where they give you an impeding traffic ticket rather than a speeding ticket," he said.

    Impeding traffic tickets usually carry higher fines than speeding tickets, Purdy said, but the tradeoff is no demerit points are attached to the driving record, meaning insurance rates do not increase.

    Raised limit drew protest
    The Macomb County Road Commission recently increased the speed limit on Metro Parkway between Jefferson and Dequindre in Sterling Heights to 55 mph, after conducting a speed study that showed the 40 and 50 mph posted limits were improper.

    The decision prompted the Sterling Heights City Council to adopt a resolution opposing the increase, because it hadn't been notified of the change.

    Sterling Heights spokesman Steve Guitar admitted the gesture was largely symbolic, since the speed limit increase was required by law.

    "They know it's the law," Guitar said. "They just wanted to go on record to say they were concerned." He said the apprehension about the increase was over safety, not the potential loss of revenue because the number of speeding tickets issued by police might drop.

    However, Ferndale Police Chief Michael Kitchen admitted revenue was the reason behind his recent decision to step up traffic enforcement.

    "We have to write more tickets in order to avoid layoffs," Kitchen said. "I don't like how this looks to the public at all, but the bottom line is: If you obey the speed limit, we won't give you a ticket."

    Kitchen admitted that the 35-mph speed limit on the most heavily-driven roadway in Ferndale -- Woodward Avenue near Nine Mile -- is likely too low.

    "That speed limit would probably be 45 mph if they ever did a speed study," said Kitchen, adding that Woodward falls under MDOT's jurisdiction.

    MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi said no speed study has been done on that stretch of Woodward since PA 85 was passed.

    In Troy, the city's Traffic Improvement Association said it plans to conduct speed studies on several stretches of road, including Rochester Road near Maple, where the speed limit is 35 mph. That stretch was identified by the National Motorists Association as a speed trap.

    "We're hoping to get those studies done this spring," said Troy Police Lt. David Livingston.

    Eureka's 45 mph is suspect
    Megge said he plans to carry out a speed study later this month on Eureka Road near Interstate 275 in Romulus, where the posted speed limit is 45 mph. Megge said police have written a rash of tickets there.

    "That's a county road, and we're working with (the Wayne County Road Commission) to see if that's a valid speed limit," Megge said. "Any time you have police issuing an inordinate number of tickets, it probably means the speed limit is set artificially low."

    Sgt. Donald Smith, head of the Romulus Police traffic bureau, said that stretch of Eureka is a "high-crash area."

    "There is a fair amount of enforcement there, but that's because there are a lot of crashes there," he said. Last year, 23 accidents occurred at the intersection of Eureka and Middle Belt, Smith said.

    But Megge said there's a misconception that driving faster results in more crashes.

    "It's absolutely not true," he said. "What's dangerous is when someone drives at an inappropriate speed."


    (continued..)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    edited April 2010
    continued....

    State Police cannot force communities to comply with the public act, Megge said.

    "If a speed limit hasn't properly been set, and someone exceeds it, the driver is in violation of the number on the sign," Megge said. "But if they're driving at a speed that's realistic, do they deserve a $200 fine? Personally, I say they do not.

    "I know if I got a ticket on a road where the speed limit wasn't set properly, I'd fight it."

    [email protected] (313) 222-2134
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    Radar guns and Red light cameras are on my list to be supported because it takes down the driver who thinks he's above the law and consequently makes the road safer for the rest of us.

    Actually, it's the radar gun and camera supporters that think they are above the law and the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Contempt for unconstitutional laws and enforcement in no way makes our roads safer.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    and injury collisions decreased 6 percent.

    Wow!!! That's a whopper!!! a whole 6%, you are amazing!!! Keep up the good work !!! :mad: :sick:

    Did you know there are proven scientific studies that show that just increasing the yellow light duration by 1 second will prove to be at least 89% more effective than the video cameras themselves? That's right, you eliminate 95% of the violations by simply increasing the yellow light by one second, and at no cost to the taxpayers and motorists of this great nation.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    Some of your fears are alreadly coming true. In the INSANE State of Arizona, where they think Unconstitutional use of photo cameras and photo radar are good ideas for traffic enforcement of speeding and red lights, they have also recently declared that Police Officers are to stop, detain, question, and harass anyone that they are suspicious of as being an illegal immigrant.

    Grant the Police too much power, give an inch, they'll take a mile. I guess in Arizona they feel that the Police should have unlimited power to violate Civil Rights, the Bill of Rights, and our Constitution.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    Speed cameras are a cost effective way to "control" dangerous speeding drivers in these zones.

    However cost effective they may be (or may not be) that doesn't change the illegal and Unconstitutional nature of speed cameras and photo enforcement.

    The ends rarely justify illegal means, and in this case, they certainly do not.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    Nothing wrong in using technology to help enforce laws when manpower is inadequate to continuously monitor drivers while workers active in construction zones.

    Nothing wrong with using technology, as long as it is manned and controlled by a qualified officer of the law. I don't want hearsay to be allowed in my court rooms in my country. If no one's taking the picture or taking the video, then it is unmanned and therefore hearsay unverifiable evidence. No good in a court room. So the manpower problem is still unsolved.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    So, what's wrong with the violators contributing to the municipalities?

    The problem is that camera's cause way too many innocent people to be accused of a crime wrongfully and inaccurately. Too many possibilities for errors to be committed. Too many chances for inaccuracies to accumulate. Mistaken identity, mistaken vehicle identity are all too common.

    Photo enforcement is way too inefficient and way too inaccurate to be used LEGALLY in any respectable Court of Law.

    It's hard enough to "prove your innocense" the way traffic court is set up, with no option for fair jury trials in CA. Camera's only make it worse as you lose your constitutional right to question a witness. No witness, no case!
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Member Posts: 25,968
    edited April 2010
    >they have also recently declared that Police Officers are to stop, detain, question, and harass anyone that they are suspicious of as being an illegal immigrant.

    That is not a correct statement of what the law says. The police only can stop for another reasonable contact. They do not just look for someone they think might be illegal; that's the rhetoric coming from the anti-camp.

    2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited April 2010
    "The problem is that the law (1) provides no standard for police as to what other than race constitutes reasonable suspicion; (2) requires police to make the reasonable suspicion assessment "during any lawful contact" with any person."

    Forbes Op Ed

    Sounds like universal harassment to me. Sort of like photo radar. :P

    But the immigation talk is happening over in Forget Bushisms, Biden Gaffes, We have Obama blunders.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    Sounds like universal harassment to me. Sort of like photo radar.

    Exactly. It doesn't surprise me in the least bit that it was Arizona that passed such a misguided law as the recent "show me your green card for no reason at all," right of the police. Afterall, that is the state that passed Photo Radar as something even remotely legal.

    First it's photo radar, next it's racist harrasment laws empowering the police, finally it's camera's in your bedroom to make sure you don't do any illegal sexual acts in private. :surprise: I've heard oral sex is illegal in some states. Let's enforce that law with 4 video camera's in every bedroom, think of all the revenue you could generate!!! Go Arizona!
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    confusing Criminal law with Civil Law, trying to impose the Criminal law on Civil law situations. For the Complainant who doesn't like unmanned photo cameras, they are like parking meters. They don't have to be "manned" to be used effectively.

    As for the immigrunts: When they have entered according to our laws, Welcome.

    When they have entered illegally, round em up, fly them over middle Mexico and drop them in parachutes they packed themselves.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    But that's exactly the problem, in most states traffic laws are logically criminal laws. PC 19.7 says that all rules of the court that apply to misdemeanor cases shall apply to infraction cases absent an express or specific law and rule to the contrary. There are specific laws taking away your right to a jury trial, and taking away your right to public counsel, but not other specifics that I know of.

    How can disobeying the "law" be a civil matter anyway?

    Unlike parking meters, photo radar and cameras do need to be "manned" to be used effectively and accurately. Furthermore, ever heard of meter maids? Sounds like a manned operation to me. But the parking ticket business is a big sham and scam anyway, I certainly don't want traffic tickets going the way of unfair parking tickets.

    The problem isn't with illegal immigrants being deported, it's with my fellow citizens being harassed and interrogated for no reason whatsoever. How do you differentiate the legal immigrants from the illegal ones? Unless they were a big red I on their shirt, I don't see this as feasible.
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    euphonium - Do you contract out your cameras? If so, how do you know the contractor is being honest and not manipulating some of the results to increase their commission amount (most of these vendors get a percentage of the revenue action)? After the exposed shenanigans on Wall Street, Toyota and defense contractor logistics support in war zones (just to name a few recent ones), I'm not too trusting of most companies anymore without verification. I'd trust the cameras more if the police department ran the whole thing, but still find them too Orwellian for me.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    Vendor fees for the operation are worth the results of catching wrongdoers. Refering to the shenanigans on Wall Street, gives the impression you paint with a very broad brush. Think rifle, not shotgun.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAMember Posts: 12,694
    edited May 2010
    Someone who's actually running red lights in a dangerous manner is really running the red light and not trying to beat the yellow which poses little to no danger or risk to anyone.

    However, the one running a red without regard to timing is the dangerous one where side impact collisions are possible.

    Don't you worry that your cameras don't detain, punish, and rectify an offending driver right away? That dangerous driver is allowed to go on and run the next light, and the next light, and the next one. Heck, it's probably over a week until he's even notified he did anything wrong that he got "caught" for in the first place. I prefer an officer removing the offending dangerous vehicle from the road, even if only for 10 minutes while he writes him or her up. The act of receiving a ticket in person immediately will probably change that driver's driving habits immediately, even if only temporarily.

    That's a heck of a lot better than allowing that driver to roam freely without a care in the world until he is mailed (snail mail mind you) a fake citation from Red Flex.

    These scameras don't even have the decency to send you an official notice by Certified or Registered mail!
    '15 Audi Misano Red Pearl S4, '16 Audi TTS Daytona Gray Pearl, Wife's '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    Police Officers are to stop, detain, question, and harass anyone that they are suspicious of as being an illegal immigrant.


    First, that's NOT what the law says.
    Second, what's wrong with a state taking lawful measures to protect its own citizens? There's nothing unlawful about a police officer asking for proper identification when making contact with someone he reasonably suspects of wrongdoing. Every time you get stopped for a moving violation, the officer asks for your license and registration. Hopefully, he'll also ask for proof of insurance. I want cops asking those questions so that people who have had their licenses taken away, or have stolen the car they're driving, or don't have insurance, will be dealt with accordingly. It protects us all. If the person stopped doesn't have a valid drivers license in AZ, he's probably one of two things--a drunk or an illegal alien. The former, I don't want on the road and the latter I don't want in my country.

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE. IF THEY DON'T WANT TO BE "HASSLED" THEN THEY SHOULD GO BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

    And by the way, I just booked my summer vacation to Phoenix. Screw the idiots who are going to boycott the only state with the stones to stand up against La Raza!
  • vinnynyvinnyny Member Posts: 764
    edited May 2010
    Answer: Legal residents stopped while driving will either have a valid drivers' license or a valid green card. Legal resident aliens are already required to carry their green card with them at all times. If you're a legal immigrant, you must carry the appropriate documentation so that you can prove it.

    The only real solution is to secure our border the same way Mexico secures its own southern border--with soldiers empowered to defend their country.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    "Think rifle, not shotgun"

    Either way a shifty contractor working on commission can quickly put a bullet in my wallet without just cause. How do you assure your sales commissioned contractor isn't ripping off your citizens through manipulating results? If you want cameras, put the police in charge of all of it, not some for profit outfit that may be motivated to maximize profits at citizens expense. In fact, why not let your citizens decide the whole matter through a referendum rather than city/county government dictating the decision for them?
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    referendums are unneccessary because the local government representatives are elected by the populace to administrate the laws. Referendums devalue the power of the elected representatives. If you don't like the decisions of the powers you elected, you have your chance at the next election to replace them.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited May 2010
    While I agree with you about referendums, there's another "pre-election" remedy too.

    Recalls. :)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    I would agree with "Recalls", but lost faith in that process when it failed with Slick Willie.

    Chelsea is getting married this Summer & he has to lose 15 lbs to "look good".

    Makes you wonder how many lbs old Thunder Thighs has to lard off to look good. :P
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    People have to want the guy out. Clinton could still beat the Bushes.

    Back to the topic (but still political):

    Missouri Senate Votes To Ban Photo Enforcement (theNewspaper.com)

    "The Missouri state Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. The measure's champion, state Senator Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis), had failed in previous efforts to convince his colleagues to end the use of automated ticketing machines. This year, however, he was emboldened by the state supreme court's decision last month to strike down Springfield's photo ticketing as illegal."
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    "referendums are unnecessary because the local government representatives are elected by the populace to administrate the laws. Referendums devalue the power of the elected representatives. If you don't like the decisions of the powers you elected, you have your chance at the next election to replace them"

    Good government-speak and theory. I actually agree with this on most routine matters. However, I think the citizens should be allowed to vote directly on unusual hot button, controversial matters of significance that affect their taxes or wallet, be it large new infrastructure projects, major school curriculum or construction changes or camera enforcement. These are outside of the normal business representatives are elected to decide and have significant impact on the electorate. Use of cameras has very divisive opinions on infringement of privacy and individual rights. I would think any representative who understands they were elected, not coronated, would agree and hope the bureaucracy understands they ultimately work for their taxpayers, not their elected officials.. I think these type of issues are better, and more cleanly resolved by direct referendum than constant political and court battling (and probably less expensively resolved as well). The citizens the politicians govern aren't stupid or incapable of analyzing and deciding these matters, and will likely better accept controversial decisions decided this way rather than legislated. Maybe I've been lucky, but the places I've lived over the years have all had referendums on major matters (we don't use cameras so that matter is mute here).

    Since you haven't answered my question, I presume you do not have any independent audit or verification procedures for areas like camera calibration. I think that is a disservice to your residents and a potential due diligence mistake as well. What happens if the cameras are determined to be improperly calibrated at some point in the future such as a whistle blower or court decision? Just because your city contracts the camera out doesn't relieve them of responsibility. The failure to independently audit and verify will only weaken your position and precludes any ability to catch and resolve potential issues up front. The city becomes the de facto prime, while the vendor is a subcontractor which means the city is primarily liable to return all of the collected fines. You may, or may not get some of the monies back from the vendor. Your tax payers will likely end up footing much of the bill. As Reagan astutely said "trust, but verify".
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Member Posts: 3,425
    From a member of the Santa Clarita Planning Commission:

    Having gone through the process of implementing a red-light photo enforcement program in Santa Clarita, Calif., as a member of that city's Planning Commission, I thought I would share a report on the status of this program today. Some will be surprised, some will not. But facts are facts.
    The city's photo red-light enforcement program has been very successful in reducing red-light violations, reducing broadside accidents and enhancing traffic safety at the eight high-risk intersections where the equipment is deployed.
    Accident data collected prior to and after implementation of the program showed that collisions involving red-light violations decreased by 58 percent, broadside collisions decreased 44 percent and injury collisions decreased 6 percent. Rear-end collisions did increase shortly after implementation of the program, but have recently returned to pre-program levels.
    For those who sincerely believe that these cameras produce a huge revenue stream for the city, Santa Clarita receives 30 percent of the overall violation fine. The remaining amount of 40 percent goes to the state and 30 percent to the county. From the city's share, about 60 percent goes to the vendor to pay for the citation processing.
    With that being said, the city still receives enough revenue from the program to cover the entire cost of the program. The city needs to make certain that the program pays for itself and does not create a new cost to the city. One thing to note is while the number of citations issued is high in the first few months, the number steadily declines after that. This is due to behavioral changes in drivers who become more cautious, which is the purpose of the program to begin with.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    There are many things that government can do to increase safety. Do I want them - in 1 word - NO! Examples:

    Why not just make the maximum speed-limit in the country 30mph? That surely would lead to less accidents right?

    Why not ban smoking?

    The government is not here to try and make our lives "the safest" they can be. The government is here to protect our liberties and allow people to have an enjoyable life, as they define it; not as the government or the majority defines it.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    ...the scam WILL be stopped. :)

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/31/3130.asp

    Maryland: Town Residents Vote To Ban Speed Cameras
    Sykesville, Maryland becomes the tenth jurisdiction to ban speed cameras by referendum.

    Sykesville, Maryland yesterday became the tenth jurisdiction to reject the use of photo enforcement by referendum. The town was to be the first in Carroll County to operate automated ticketing machines after leaders approved an ordinance designating three speed camera zones on February 22. These plans fell through after a group of residents collected more than enough signatures within the thirty-day deadline to put an ordinance repeal on the ballot. Sixty-one percent of Sykesville voters insisted on repealing the use of speed cameras.

    The results are directly contrary to polling data released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In a 2008 report on the nearby Montgomery County speed camera program, the insurance company-backed group claimed sixty-two percent of residents supported the use of automated ticketing machines. The institute has a significant financial interest in the issue as states like Arizona, California and Illinois apply license points to certain types of photo tickets. A similar incentive drove town officials to spend taxpayer money in an attempt to convince voters to keep the cameras.

    "We have received a number of emails and phone calls from residents who have expressed concern about outside special interest groups that have knocked on your door gathering signatures on a petition to oppose the adopted ordinance," Mayor Michael P. Miller wrote in a taxpayer-funded letter to all residents before the vote. "Some of you have indicated that they were spreading misinformation about several issues including the town's rationale and intent for adopting the ordinance to allow photo enforcement."

    The petitions, in fact, were circulated by a group of Sykesville residents led by Chris Martin. Similar citizen-led efforts have succeeded in every test at the ballot box. Last year, eighty-six percent of Sulphur, Louisiana rejected speed cameras; 72 percent said no in Chillicothe, Ohio; Heath, Ohio and College Station, Texas also rejected cameras. In 2008, residents in Cincinnati, Ohio rejected red light cameras. Seventy-six percent of Steubenville, Ohio voters rejected photo radar in 2006. In the mid-1990s, speed cameras lost by a two-to-one margin in Peoria, Arizona and Batavia, Illinois. In 1997, voters in Anchorage, Alaska banned cameras even after the local authorities had removed them. In 2003, 64 percent of voters in Arlington, Texas voted down "traffic management cameras" that opponents at the time said could be converted into ticketing cameras.
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