Photo Radar

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Comments

  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,361
    xrunner2: Drivers that are not a danger? That is an opinion.

    Given that most drivers are exceeding the speed limit on limited access highways, and the fatality rates are at record lows, I'd say it's more than an opinion.

    xrunner2: If photo radar "gives" approx 10+ miles per hour lattitude, what is so hard about maintaining velocity control over one's vehicle to not exceed that margin? It would seem that drivers that cannot control their velocity are the danger.

    Drivers who focus on the speedometer because they are worried about tripping a photo radar camera worry me more than drivers who focus on the road ahead of them.

    xrunner2: Why is it so important or meaningful for some drivers to want to set their own speeds well beyond the posted? If their speed saves them a few or handful of minutes, how critical are those minutes in the overall scheme of a 24 hour day? What do they do with those minutes?

    Because it's safe, it makes driving more enjoyable, and virtually all of today's underposted speed limits on limited access highways are posted to raise revenue, not promote safety.

    The speed limit in Pennsylvania is 65 mph on major interstates. Exceeding that by 11 mph means one is traveling at 76 mph. The idea that people who are driving at 76 mph (let alone 80 mph) are a danger to themselves or others is, quite frankly, more than a little hard to swallow.

    And tha'ts not even considering states like Arizona and Texas, where the roads are flat, relatively straight and dry most of the time.

    It's 2009, not 1949. The Packard Custom Eight and Cadillac Series 62 no longer represent the height of automotive technology. Driving 80+ mph on most limited access highways (weather conditions permitting) is perfectly safe.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Well, allow me to pontificate........

    Courts have not shown photo radar snapshots to be an invasion of privacy. At least no cases I could find mention of.

    Laws have not been passed making photo radar snapshots an invasion of privacy.

    Court cases have multiple times ruled that "there is no expectation of privacy in the public arena" and you are obviously in the public domain when you are driving on public roads.

    In fact, lawsuits challenging police dash cameras as an invasion of privacy have failed, and everyone with common sense understands that a VIDEO of a person is far more "invasive" than one simple, single frontal snapshot of your torso.

    The Fourth Amendment says, "a privacy interest by guaranteeing the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” No mention of getting your picture taken in your iron horse, eh?

    The Arizona Constitution on this privacy issue states, “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” Nothing about driving a public car on a public road in that wording, is there?

    Over the years, many cases have been brought to court with privacy rights questions, and one by one courts have refused to rule on a citizens privacy expectation whether someone has been accidentally or purposely exposed to the public. In other words, once you hit the open road and expose yourself to public areas such as the freeways that have cameras waiting, you have no expectation of privacy.

    The photo radar program does not legally violate any said rights to privacy. To prove otherwise, one would have to prove that they had an expectation of privacy while driving the motor vehicle on the public highway and then society would have to agree that the claim is reasonable.

    What else do you require as "proof"?

    P.S. I would also like to add that your expectation of "privacy" in public should SURELY drop to ZERO the moment when you begin breaking the law.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    "Because it was illegally storing live video of everybody, without legal authority, and unknown to the legislature. "

    Well, that's not a normal function of the basic photo radar concept, now is it?

    I would never argue that storing anything illegally is OK.

    I would argue to the death that storing snapshots of speeders for the purpose of issuing speeding tickets to lawbreakers is OK, though.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Member Posts: 1,653
    Well, allow me to pontificate...

    pon·tifi·cate (pän tif′i kit, -kāt′; for v., -kāt′)
    intransitive verb -·cat′ed, -·cat′·ing
    1. to officiate as a pontiff
    2. to speak or act in a pompous or dogmatic way

    Good choice of words! :P
    (To be honest, I don't know what the rest of your post said, because I no longer have the patience to read them) :blush:
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that neither individuals in motor vehicles on public roads nor the license plates on those vehicles deserve privacy protections (Kendall, 2004).
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Dogmatic definition:

    Opinionated.

    And I am that.

    And if you skipped the rest of that post, you missed a good one. One of my best. ( Although the hosts took off my best one of the day. )
  • oregonboyoregonboy Member Posts: 1,653
    Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
    Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    dogmatic Synonyms

    dogmatic
    modif.

    1. Acting as though one possessed absolute truth

    dictatorial, doctrinaire, opinionated, arbitrary, overbearing, arrogant, egotistical, bigoted, fanatical, intolerant, imperious, magisterial, domineering, authoritarian, pontifical, positive, peremptory, oracular, tyrannical, fascistic, despotic, obstinate, confident, downright, unequivocal, definite, stubborn, determined, emphatic, insistent, obdurate, closed-minded, narrow-minded, wrongheaded, one-sided, wedded to an opinion, hidebound, high and mighty*, stiff-necked*, hard-shell*, pushy*, pigheaded*, bullheaded*; see also absolute 3, autocratic 1, obstinate.


    It just keeps getting better! :P
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Since this is such a limited forum with no real human interaction, and you insist on publishing your own version of the definition for your amusement, allow me to indicate which ones apply to me personally and which ones do not:

    Since I know myself personally and you do not, these are the ones which DO apply:

    opinionated, positive, confident, stubborn, determined.

    All others DO NOT apply.

    :):):)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Well, allow me to pontificate........

    So you are confirming the impression that you are pontificating in a pompous (i.e arrogant) and dogmatic (i.e. without logic) manner. Thank you for dropping your unsuccessful attempts at remaining objective.

    Courts have not shown photo radar snapshots to be an invasion of privacy. At least no cases I could find mention of.

    Laws have not been passed making photo radar snapshots an invasion of privacy.

    Court cases have multiple times ruled that "there is no expectation of privacy in the public arena" and you are obviously in the public domain when you are driving on public roads.

    In fact, lawsuits challenging police dash cameras as an invasion of privacy have failed, and everyone with common sense understands that a VIDEO of a person is far more "invasive" than one simple, single frontal snapshot of your torso.

    These are feeble, irrelevant and unsubstatiated statments not worthy of a response, not to mention attempted sarcasm, that is indicative of mounting frustration at persistently loosing logical arguments.

    The Fourth Amendment says, "a privacy interest by guaranteeing the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” No mention of getting your picture taken in your iron horse, eh?

    What do you think "to be secure in their persons ... ...and effects" means?

    The Arizona Constitution on this privacy issue states, “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.” Nothing about driving a public car on a public road in that wording, is there?

    Again "in his private affairs" includes driving in my private vehicle and going where I please without fear of being spied on. And if you want to be rigourous, if it doesn't say his or her shall we take it that the Arizona consitution does not supply these protections to all females?

    Over the years, many cases have been brought to court with privacy rights questions, and one by one courts have refused to rule on a citizens privacy expectation whether someone has been accidentally or purposely exposed to the public. In other words, once you hit the open road and expose yourself to public areas such as the freeways that have cameras waiting, you have no expectation of privacy.

    Please provide references that one can read and discuss intelligently.

    The photo radar program does not legally violate any said rights to privacy. To prove otherwise, one would have to prove that they had an expectation of privacy while driving the motor vehicle on the public highway and then society would have to agree that the claim is reasonable.

    Again, mere opionated dogma, without a shred of evidence presented in support.

    What else do you require as "proof"?

    Proof has to be more than your arguments dissected above, that's for sure!

    P.S. I would also like to add that your expectation of "privacy" in public should SURELY drop to ZERO the moment when you begin breaking the law.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "So you agree with with that you are pontificating in a pompus (i.e arrogant) and dogmatic (i.e. without logic). Thank you for dropping your unsuccessful attempts at remaining objective."

    Absolutely not, and I am offended at that notion sir !!!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Please don't be offended. These are your own words: "Allow me to pontificate..." and I am merely agreeing with you that you are indeed trying to pontificate. I am perfectly happy to allow you to do so if you so wish.

    If you feel the need to stop pontificating and start discussing, please continue.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "Please provide references that one can read and discuss intelligently."

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that neither individuals in motor vehicles on public roads nor the license plates on those vehicles deserve privacy protections (Kendall, 2004).

    If you keep this up, you are going to eventually realize I am right.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Jumping on my choice of wording instead of my points is kinda weak.

    I already posted what part of "pontificate" applies to me. See post #672.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I hope that you are able to make me realise the error of my way of thinking. I wll surely be wiser if that happens.

    But please allow yourself the same possibility!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    I will be back after running some errands. I look forward to a friendly discussion, that's all.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    If there has been a law passed or a court ruling in the USA which has determined that "photo radar snapshots taken in the interest of enforcing speeding laws" is a violation of privacy, please point me to it.

    I'd love to read the case literature.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Hey good job on taking a TRUE story proving a valid on-topic point and incorrectly attempting to prove a different, untrue, off-topic, facetious point with it !!

    Gold Star To You !!!
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    "The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that neither individuals in motor vehicles on public roads nor the license plates on those vehicles deserve privacy protections (Kendall, 2004)."

    Can you please provide a link to this decision. I have tried to find it, at findlaw.com, but there are only these opinions listed:

    from: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&navby=title&v1=kendall-

    U.S. SUPREME COURT Opinions
    Cases with title containing: kendall

    KENDALL v. AMERICAN AUTOMATIC LOOM CO
    198 U.S. 477 (1905)

    QUONG WING v. KIRKENDALL
    223 U.S. 59 (1912)

    KENDALL v. EWERT
    259 U.S. 139 (1922)

    PACIFIC TEL. & TEL. CO. v. KUYKENDALL
    265 U.S. 196 (1924)

    HOME TEL. & TEL. CO. OF SPOKANE v. KUYKENDALL
    265 U.S. 206 (1924)

    ERIE R CO v. KIRKENDALL
    266 U.S. 185 (1924)

    CHICAGO GREAT WESTERN R. CO. v. KENDALL
    266 U.S. 94 (1924)

    BUCK v. KUYKENDALL
    267 U.S. 307 (1925)

    STATE OF WASHINGTON EX REL. STIMSON LUMBER CO. v. KUYKENDALL
    275 U.S. 207 (1927)

    I am sure that there is a source that you may be able to provide so that we can read for ourselves what this opinion states germaine to our discussion.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Here's a 1995 excerpt of a book about photo radar (didn't realize it had been around since the mid-70's). Photographic Enforcement of Traffic Laws

    On page 31 there's a summary of state court decisions concerning ASE (automated speed enforcement) devices.

    Here's some more recent case summaries:

    Photo Red Light Case Law Synopsis USDOT

    Let's quit focusing on individuals in here please.
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Member Posts: 4,116
    Hey good job on taking a TRUE story proving a valid on-topic point and incorrectly attempting to prove a different, untrue, off-topic, facetious point with it !!

    Arizona 28-721
    B. On all roadways, a person driving a vehicle proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall drive the vehicle in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.

    How about enforcement of laws like this?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    steve_host: Thank you for the link.

    First of all, the reference is NOT as U.S. Suprme Court decision. It is merely a paper : Kendall, S. “Is Automated Enforcement Constitutional?”, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2004.

    The entire 45 page monograph can be read at: http://www.stopredlightrunning.com/pdfs/Focus%20on%20Safety.complete.FINAL..pdf

    Pertinent to the present discussion is Appendix 3, which I want to quote in its entirety:

    Appendix 3:

    Issues that Have Led to Legal Challenges to Automated Traffic Enforcement
    Privacy. The most common legal objection to photo enforcement is opponents’ claim that the use of electronic devices for traffic enforcement is an invasion of privacy, specifically as it relates to the Fourth Amendment, which states:
    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons
    or things to be seized.”

    To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on an issue directly related to automated traffic enforcement. However, the high court has been very clear with regard to the right to privacy on public streets. Driving, according to the Court, is a regulated activity on public roads where there is no personal
    expectation of privacy.

    According to a 2004 legal analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “U.S. Supreme Court case law is clear that the use of automated enforcement does not violate the constitutional right to privacy.In one decision the Court noted, ‘One has a lesser expectation of privacy in a motor vehicle….
    A car has little capacity for escaping public scrutiny. It travels public thoroughfares where both its occupants and its contents are in plain view…. Nor is there a right to privacy of license plates.’ The Court has stated that ‘it is unreasonable to have an expectation of privacy in an object required by law to be located in a place ordinarily in plain view from the exterior of a vehicle’.” In a related ruling handed down in 2001, the Supreme Court added additional support to the use of
    technology by law enforcement by ruling that it would be “foolish to contend that the degree of privacy secured to citizens in the Fourth Amendment has been entirely unaffected by the advance of technology.”

    Legal challenges to red light cameras alleging that they constitute an unlawful search and seizure have been refuted in court rulings issued in 2002 by a county court in Denver, Colorado, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court.3
    Due process. Under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, federal and state governments must have procedural safeguards in place to ensure that no citizen is deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. Critics of automated traffic enforcement have often alleged that
    the technology violates the right to due process 1) because of the delay between the date of violation and the issuance of a citation, 2) because of the constitutional right to confront his or her accuser, and 3) because photo enforcement citations represent a presumption of guilt.

    An important point regarding delay of issuance. Many traditional traffic citations are not issued immediately after a violation has been alleged. For example, a driver involved in a traffic crash may not receive the formal citation for weeks after the crash due to the length of the investigation. It should also be noted that with traditional law enforcement citations, a motorist will probably have to wait more
    than a week, and possibly several weeks, to refute the citation in court.

    Several state courts, including the District of Columbia Superior Court and the U.S. Middle District Federal Court in North Carolina, have summarily rejected challenges to the delay in citation issuance. In the District of Columbia case, the judge ruled that, “It is undisputed that the plaintiffs received notices of infraction in advance of any determinations of liability…the notices also clearly identified the
    alternative responses from which notice recipients could choose, and identified the date by which any such responses were to be provided.”

    The right to confront one’s accuser. The accuser in a photo enforcement violation is not the red light or speed camera but the municipality that has authorized the use of the enforcement technology. A photo enforcement violation only represents the evidence being used by the municipality to prove that the violation occurred.
    Likewise, the District of Columbia and the Denver County Court rulings both affirmed that photo enforcement violations do not represent a presumption of guilt, since every individual who receives a photo enforcement citation has the right to a hearing, which is the same procedure for traditional traffic violations.

    The only case of a photo radar ticket being contested to a high court in Canada occurred in October 2001, in British Columbia (Regina vs. Tri-M Systems Inc.) In that case the accused claimed that photo radar infringed on his right to liberty and fair due process. The court held that neither was infringed upon and that the system as it stands only allows the Crown Attorney to present a prima facie case.
    The accused is still free to challenge any or all parts of the evidence. A subsequent appeal by the accused to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed.

    Equal protection (owner vs. driver liability). Some constitutional challenges to photo enforcement have also been based on the claim that they violate the equal protection doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment, which mandates uniform penalties for similar classes of law violations. Opponents claim
    that because the penalties associated with photo enforcement citations differ from those issued directly by an officer, photo enforcement is a violation of a citizen’s right to equal protection.

    This argument has also been rejected by the courts. The County Court of Denver ruled in 2002 that, “Different classes of persons may be treated differently without violation of equal protection when the classification is reasonable, not arbitrary, and bears a rational relationship to legitimate state objectives.”

    A few states — Arizona, California and Colorado — have addressed this issue by making driver liability the basis for photo enforcement violations. California state law, in particular, considers red light camera violations to be criminal violations and assesses the same penalty in fines and driver license “points” for red light violations issued by patrol officers.”

    However, in order to establish driver liability, the burden of proof is on law enforcement to determine that the driver at the time of the violation was also the registered owner. This usually requires additional camera placement to photograph the driver’s face, as
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    This is a position paper by the IIHS, which is funded by the Insurance companies. It is not a Supreme Court decision as claimed by larsb.

    The author is Shari Kendall, a lawyer working for the IIHS, with a stated goal (per Amicus Curiae briefs filed with the Supreme Court) of "a humanitarian and financial interest in reducing the deaths and injuries from motor vehicle crashes".

    Hmm, where have I heard this scam before?

    This paper merely tries to lay out strategies using which the use of photo radar may be justified for the benefit of the Insurance Industry, just like they fund the donation of radar guns to police forces by surcharges on insurance premiums caused by speeding tickets.

    It clearly states that To date, the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on an issue directly related to automated traffic enforcement.

    I would think that this falls far short of the airtight logic espoused here as the basis of a firm belief that the use of photo radar has been ruled as legal by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Once all the ramifications are played out in lower courts, and finally are adjudicated before the Supreme Court, then, and only then can the matter be regarded as settled.

    Like I said before, Q.E.D.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    So, driving more than 10+ gives you "enjoyment". How infantile. Various other rmiscreants get enjoyment from violating laws. Should we excuse all of that because of their "rights" possibly of "enjoyment"/r
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    However, in order to establish driver liability, the burden of proof is on law enforcement to determine
    that the driver at the time of the violation was also the registered owner. This usually requires additional
    camera placement to photograph the driver’s face, as opposed to the owner liability standard of
    only photographing the rear of the vehicle and the license plate. As a result, driver liability camera programs
    require significantly more time to process in order to establish who was driving, and the idea of
    photographing drivers, even ones blatantly violating the law, has not been widely embraced by many As a result, the vast majority of red light and speed camera programs in America operate under owner
    liability and process red light and speed camera violations as civil infractions, which have a lower
    burden of proof.
    Privatizing law enforcement. Opponents of photo enforcement also argue that enforcement
    programs are veiled attempts at “outsourcing law enforcement” and turning over enforcement
    powers to private companies.
    While affirming the constitutionality of the California red light camera law, the 2001 court ruling against
    the City of San Diego demonstrated the importance of program oversight and re-emphasized the
    importance of keeping strict controls over program records and camera violations. Partially as a result
    of the ruling, the California legislature amended the original authorizing law for red light cameras in
    2003 to limit the use of evidence collected by red light cameras and set time limits after which red
    light camera records must be destroyed.8
    This privatization argument was recently used again as the basis for a class action lawsuit brought by
    several attorneys in California. These attorneys sought to have violations issued by photo enforcement
    overturned and fines refunded for thousands of drivers in San Francisco and San Diego. A ruling
    handed down in April 2006 by the San Diego Superior Court found no wrongdoing on the part of
    the cities or the company with which the cities had established photo enforcement contracts.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,094
    That's a pretty inane comparison, it assumes all laws are equally valid, defendable, just, and logical.

    How does going 10+ over a limit arbitrarily imposed on the sheeple by a bunch of overpaid underworked irresponsible public servants on a power trip make one a "miscreant"?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    All that has been misquoted by larsb, and kindly linked indirectly by steve_host, is one paper by one lawyer of an Insurance company funded institute trying to see what can be made to stick in order to enhance revenue collection for the insurance companiews, in cahoots with local and state politicians, supported by county courts, and intended to be applicable to redlight cameras primarily.

    I would like to discuss further anything else that may be available for the counter-point.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    There were quite a few cases reported in my links and most of them upheld the city or state's right to ticket people on the basis of photo radar. The various privacy arguments seemed be largely be turned down. I just skimmed through them though.

    Back to my jury nullification scenario, I think it's been posted in here before that in many places you aren't entitled to a jury trial for a traffic infraction. So that's a non-starter I guess.

    So, if the courts (mostly) uphold photo radar and your peers can't help you out, that pretty much leaves fighting in the political arena.

    One of my links referenced a survey (yeah, yeah). The survey numbers were 60% were in support of photo radar and 31% were against. The survey noted that the ones against were adamant.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Survey says: 60% for photo radar, 31% against. That's a substantial margin. Guess there is not much need for this board going forward.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Member Posts: 3,062
    Bunch of overpaid underworked irresponsible public servants on a power trip"? Is this true in the sleepless city area? Experience in my county shows responsible individuals in the highway/transportation dept. I have talked to them at public meetings on transportatiion issues. In my couple decades in this county, they have generally been very responsive to citizens' concerns on speed limits. Local newspaper covers issues vey well and reports on county actions to adjust speed limits on roads - downwards. Don't ever recall of a speed limit being raised.

    Drivers afraid of being caught by photo radar going 10+ over justify their behaviour by: (a) I enjoy driving 10+ over, (b) I want to save a few minutes time to grab a coffee before going to the office, (c) I want to get home a few minutes earlier so that I can watch more TV, (d) I left late and have to speed to get somewhere on time, (e) I need to get to my destination as fast as possible to go to the john, (f) other.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,888
    "...it's not 1956 anymore..."

    No, but some of our posters wish it was `1984'.

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

  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,094
    Every time I deal with unsequenced lights, poorly engineered and built roads, random speed limit changes, etc, I see a lot of mettle showing through re: those who control that aspect of society. Maybe it's different in the land of McMansions and those who overestimate their wealth and relevance.

    Lowering speed limits is no sign of progress, insight, knowledge, or logic. As you neocons have us in a race to the bottom economically, you also seem to want to make us go lower in other regards :sick:

    I don't see the point of the speculation about exceeding an arbitrary speed limit and even more arbitrary ceiling above said limit. Not much behind it.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    "Survey says: 60% for photo radar, 31% against. That's a substantial margin. Guess there is not much need for this board going forward."

    Well, that survey better be very very robust to form the basis of shutting down a healthy debate on this forum. Can you please post a link so that we may be able think for ourselves as to the methodology and the robustness of the conclusions.

    Please note that I am not a advocate of speeding for speeding's sake, nor do I take my safety or that of my fellow motorists lightly.

    In the end, when all is said and done, we as a society may well have decided that the cost and issues of photo radar are well worth it. All I am saying at this point is that it is still not a settled or decided issue by any means.

    Even in the UK, which was quoted as an example of "doing it well", is looking at all the issuess related to photo law enforcement, including photo radar. The House of Lords (which is equivalent of the UK Senate) as well as the European Courts of Human Rights have still to look at all aspects and render their decisions. In the US, the Arizona program was just ordered shut down by a 5-2 margin. (Previous posts have detailed links for those interested in reading for themselves.)

    We need to look at all angles of the issue, and at least attempt to form intelligent opinions as to what would be the best way forward based on evidence that is available. Not hearsay, not some interested party's one-sided spin on flawed data, not dogma, not somebody telling us to take their word that they are doing only whats' best for us, but logically presented, thoroughly analyzable studies.

    Merely trusting our politicians in cahoots with the finance industry or the multinational corporations to do what is right for us is not going to be enough, given all the evidence we have around and before us.

    I am partaking in this debate to learn, not to project myself as the only source of wisdom. If anybody can please direct me to further information, I would welcome that, so that I may improve my understanding of the issues involved, of which I have shown above that there are many.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I'm not sure where I saw the survey referenced now. :blush: Maybe in the '95 book at Google Books. What caught my eye while skimming was the "vigorously opposed" part as opposed to 31% simply being against it.

    Here's a recent Arizona one (63% in favor). But "this support does not materialize at the ballot box" and the survey was funded by the red light camera company.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    .. the survey is interesting indeed, to the point of being laughable. But please read it for yourself, the 63% in favour "found" by the company to "defend (their) our client's interests" actually turned out to be a 2-1 vote against photo radar. Need I dissect this pitiful attempt any further?

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2669.asp

    Arizona: History Underscores Unpopularity of Photo Radar

    Arizona community voted 2-1 against photo radar in 1991, the only ballot test of voter sentiment in the state.

    As Arizona lawmakers move closer to approval of legislation that would ban the use of photo radar on state highways, the private companies that operate automated ticketing programs are taking the offensive. Last week, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) commissioned Public Opinion Strategies to poll 500 Arizona voters and generate a survey of the public's attitude toward photo radar. The company found 63 percent of those selected for interview supported the use of speed cameras on freeways.

    If Arizona's political history serves as a guide, however, one may find that this support does not materialize at the ballot box. Eighteen years ago, the group Citizens Against Speed Traps formed in Peoria to battle a then-new program that mailed automated speeding tickets on the streets of the Phoenix suburb. The group succeeded in gathering enough signatures on a petition that, less than a year after the cameras were first activated, voters were given the choice of whether to accept or reject photo radar. Fast forward to the present where the group CameraFraud.com sprung up from the Phoenix suburbs to circulate a petition seeking a public vote to ban speed cameras, this time on a statewide basis, less than a year after the devices were installed on freeways throughout Arizona. On March 19, 1991, the claims of Peoria officials that the program was popular turned out to be unfounded -- photo ticketing lost in the referendum by a two-to-one margin.

    "It was the worst boondoggle the city ever went into," Peoria Police Lieutenant Jim Flonacher told the Anchorage Daily News in 1996. "Our citizens were literally up in arms. We were expecting Bastille Day at any moment."

    Flonacher admitted to the paper that despite the claims made at the time, the devices did nothing to cut accidents in Peoria. Traffic Monitoring Technologies Southwest (TMT), which is now American Traffic Solutions (ATS), kept a significant percentage of each dollar it collected from the automated ticketing program. It lobbied hard to save Peoria's cameras through the group People for Community Safety. This lobbying effort fell flat after photo radar opponents obtained correspondence between the camera company and Peoria officials regarding the city's decision to place the public safety systems on quiet residential streets and school zones.

    "This device, when relegated to roadways with only six to eight vehicles per hour, is a clear misuse of the TMT photo radar system," TMT President James Tuton wrote in a January 9, 1991 letter to Peoria City Attorney Steve Kemp. "It is no longer being deployed in this way and clearly (we) never anticipated that the unit would be used exclusively on residential roadways where it is incapable of financially supporting the program."

    Tuton, currently the CEO of ATS, also complained that the city was using signs to give motorists advanced warning that speed cameras were in use.

    "This is ridiculous," Tuton wrote. "Warning for what? Is this law enforcement or some kind of joke?"

    The rejection of photo radar by voters in Peoria was soon followed by votes to remove cameras in Batavia, Illinois and Anchorage, Alaska. Last year, Cincinnati, Ohio voted to reject red light cameras and in a 2006 referendum on speed cameras, Steubenville, Ohio voted three-to-one against. If photo radar has never won in a public referendum, one might ask why the ATS polling data suggest public support for the program.

    "We do more than simply monitor public opinion," the Public Opinion Strategies website explains. "We develop messages that defend our client's interests while impacting complex public policy issues."
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    From the same source, here is another story, that makes for interesting reading.

    from: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2675.asp

    Houston Manipulated Study to Make Red Light Cameras Appear Safer

    Documents show that Houston, Texas mayor and police manipulated a study to make it appear red light cameras reduced accidents.

    Police in Houston, Texas put pressure on a Rice University professor to alter negative data compiled while studying Houston's red light camera program, according to documents released in a lawsuit against the city. Houston Mayor Bill White had selected Urban Politics Professor Robert Stein to create a report on the engineering safety performance of the first fifty automated ticketing machines installed (view study released in December). Stein represented an ideal choice because his wife, Marty, is employed by the city of Houston as a top aide to the mayor. In a November 2007 email, White emphasized his personal interest in the subject at the beginning of the project.

    "Let's just make sure that we study things that really matter for decision-making," White wrote to Stein. "Our funds for public policy research are scarce.... I am not suggesting that somebody alter one's conclusions and I am not trying to influence the conclusions. What I am trying to do is give some helpful advice from a decision-maker concerning how to avoid analytical overkill."

    The point was not lost on Stein whose employer received $50,000 for the red light camera study. At the same time he was conducting the camera research, Stein also depended on the city for funding of several other projects. By the beginning of 2008, Stein worried that the data he compiled were not favorable to the city. He let officials know that this should be expected.

    "Recall our own findings match what is reported in [this Tampa Tribune] article and in the public health study cited in the article," Stein wrote in a March 14 email to Houston Police Sergeant Michael Muench. "Tim and I have reviewed ten year's worth of studies on red light camera programs and the tentative evidence that those studies using the weakest designs are most likely to report a reduction in side impact collisions after the installation of red light cameras. More rigorous and appropriate research designs (like the one we use for the Houston program) fail to detect this reduction after the installation of red light cameras."

    In light of this, Houston police began to push Stein to weaken his design to match techniques used in studies conducted by insurance industry researchers and others with an interest in promoting the use of photo enforcement. In an April 29 meeting with police, Stein agreed to reconsider his results.

    "Dr. Stein's analysis of the original 20 intersections from Sept - Dec 2006 found 169 accidents," Houston Police Lieutenant Jonathan Zera wrote. "However, HPD countered that the findings were flawed because: 1. All accidents within 500' of the intersection were being counted. 2. All accidents within the intersection were being counted even if neither vehicle's approach to the intersection was regulated by a red light camera. As such, Dr. Stein will re-analyze the 169 accidents."

    Realizing that an early copy of Stein's work would be critical in understanding the truth about Houston's red light camera program, a pair of attorneys made a request for a copy of the report's first draft. When the city rejected the request, Randall L. Kallinen and Paul Kubosh filed a lawsuit forcing disclosure of the correspondence between Stein and the city. After reviewing the documents, Kallinen gave Professor Stein partial credit for his work.

    "While Stein at first seemed to have leaned toward the police he rejected most of their attempts to change his report," Kallinen told TheNewspaper. "He did however mislead the public through the report and to the press when he said accidents were increasing citywide when he knew for a fact they were decreasing citywide."

    Stein's published report on the Houston program documented an increase in accidents at intersections that had red light cameras, but the greatest increase happened in the directions where the camera was not looking. Stein offered to explain this anomaly by creating the hypothesis that these "non-monitored" approaches were equivalent to intersection locations that had no red light cameras at all. This hypothesis -- despite the negative data -- allowed Stein to conclude that the cameras proved useful in reversing a general trend toward increased accidents throughout the city.

    "Why have accidents at non-monitored approaches increased so dramatically in the past year?" Stein asked in his December report. "As suggested above, these results could be evidence of an increase in collisions across the city... Using this methodology, the new analysis could reveal if, if, in fact, the red light cameras mitigated a general increase in accidents citywide. This observation, if found, would both confirm the public safety benefit of the red light cameras in Houston as well as advocate the expansion of the program."

    The problem with this theory was that there was no increase in collisions across the city -- and Stein knew it before his report was published. Houston police documents show that accidents steadily dropped each year from 2004 to 2008. There were 81,238 accidents in 2004 and 67,405 in 2007 -- a 17 percent decrease.

    "Wow, this is perfect, thanks so much," Stein wrote in response to a November 13 email from a Houston officer containing a complete set of declining accident figures.

    Several local media at the time painted a positive image for the red light camera program by widely reporting Stein's citywide accident theory. Excerpts from documents obtained by Kallinen and Kubosh are available in a 1.4mb PDF file at the source link below.

    Source: Documents from the Rice University Study (Houston Police, Robert Stein, 2/2/2009)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I was living in Anchorage when photo radar came and went. As I recall, it was the city council that voted it out first, not the voters. Then there was a referendum but the state passed legislation banning photo radar a few days before the vote on the referendum. Any way you slice it, the citizenry (including my wife) were up in arms. link.

    The assemblyman that supported photo radar did a lot of back-peddling over that issue when he later ran for mayor, and he got beat in his first run for that office. Voters forgot, elected him mayor and now he's the junior US Senator for the state, having taken over Ted Steven's seat in the recent election.
  • 4krysia4krysia Member Posts: 4
    "neocons...want to make us go lower in other regards" : an incorrect generalization.

    here's one neocon who is decidedly NOT seeking lower speed limits. ;)
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Thank you for the link and the additional comments that highlight experience at a personal level. I must say again that photo radar is a far from settled issue, and we need to be very careful as a society in determining whether it is truly needed, or if we agree that it is, how to best limit its use to the intention and not allow it to run amok.

    Another thing to keep in mind: Technology has advanced even further than these cases from a decade ago, and the problems with due process are therefore likely to be even great now than they were at that time.

    from: http://www.sense.bc.ca/news/sen_pr14.txt

    APRIL 14, 1997
    ALASKA CITY THROWS OUT PHOTO RADAR,
    BC SYSTEM PUT INTO DOUBT BY EVIDENCE REVEALED IN THEIR COURT CASES

    VANCOUVER -- The city of Anchorage voted Tuesday, April 8th to end their
    controversial year-old photo radar program. This came on the heels of a
    decision in the District Court for the State of Alaska which rendered tickets
    unenforceable because of the "questionable reliability" of both the photo
    radar system and the testimony provided by American Traffic Systems' (ATS)
    experts.


    Anchorage city council member Bob Bell said "this has cut such a bloody slash in the community that it wasn't worth it." Nearly 10,000 tickets remain
    outstanding pending a Court of Appeal decision on the validity of the tickets.

    SENSE has obtained copies of the decision under appeal, Municipality of
    Anchorage v. Baxley et. al. The decision is based on the fact that photo
    radar as used in Alaska (and in B.C.) "fails to adhere to generally accepted
    techniques" of gathering speeding violations
    -- where equipment is used in
    corroboration with a visual speed estimate, and that there was no proof that
    the equipment operated reliably at all times. In fact court testimony reveals
    that on several occasions the ATS units have taken photographs showing a speed
    with no vehicle in the picture. What makes this decision important to B.C. is
    that it deals with universal issues of credibility and the gathering of
    evidence, not specific laws.

    Photo radar fundamentally changes the way that speeding charges are gathered.
    In conventional enforcement, radar is used to corroborate a trained police
    officers visual estimation of a vehicle's speed. In B.C., like Alaska, photo
    radar operators do not observe or make notes of each speeding vehicle, but
    merely act as watchdogs for the equipment. Trust that this equipment
    functions accurately at all times is the cornerstone of photo radar in BC, as
    it was in Anchorage. The fact that B.C. uses police officers in the vans,
    unlike Anchorage which used ATS employees, is irrelevant -- in both cases the
    operators do not observe all violators or make notes.

    "An attentive and disinterested police observer is all that stands between a
    still photo of a vehicle with an erroneous assigned speed and the innocent
    motorist driving it," said the three-magistrate court. "Both [ATS experts]
    would have this court believe that an error could never occur when you have a
    car physically present in the photograph."

    The court further cited inconsistent, contradictory testimony from ATS
    technical experts whose obvious interests would call into question their
    testimony.
    "The above examples of the conflicts in the testimony of the
    prosecution witnesses presents an overall picture of individuals who have a
    great deal at stake financially and who will testify to whatever it takes to
    convince the court in a given case."


    As to the photographic evidence the court said: "this is not the sort of
    testimony that persuades this court to find the PR100 evidence of speeding
    admissible. Moreover, were we to find this evidence admissible, the
    questionable reliability of the testimony renders it insufficient to sustain a
    conviction beyond a reasonable doubt..."


    "The technology and implementing legislation is at fundamental odds with our
    common law legal system -- primarily the rules of evidence,"
    said SENSE
    Director of Research Michael Cain. "Some judges in BC have shown little faith
    in the photo radar program, instead handing out suspended sentences or $25
    fines for drivers close to the threshold speed."

    SENSE Executive Director Ian Tootill added "while the BC government and ICBC
    continue to ignore photo radar's spotted history, we have yet another
    disenchanted former user. Anchorage joins the ranks of those that now know the truth about photo radar; places like Peoria, Arizona; Sandy City, Utah; and
    Batavia, Illinois.
    It is amazing to me that with much less than one per cent
    of jurisdictions in North America using this system, and such obvious
    problems, that our government could move forward with the largest and likely
    most costly photo radar system in the world! -- a system that might be
    ticketing innocent drivers right now."

    Given the failure of the ATS system to achieve wide-spread judicial acceptance
    on the reliability of the photographic evidence, SENSE calls for the
    government to cease photo radar ticketing until a fully independent
    professional engineering company can evaluate this equipment. Neither the
    courts nor SENSE have been provided with an independent (i.e. non-ATS, non-
    government/police) evaluation of the accuracy of the ATS equipment.

    The media and public can obtain additional information including the full
    judgement and Anchorage news articles on the "NEWS PAGES" of the SENSE web-
    site at http://www.sense.bc.ca

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

    SENSE is a not-for-profit society dedicated to improving road safety and the
    elimination of the photo radar tax-grab disguised as a safety initiative. It
    urges a comprehensive approach to traffic safety including tough, European-
    style licensing requirements as a means of making the province's roads safe to
    drive on.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    And what's happened since that '97 story?

    ATS has grown more than 500% since 2003.

    "ATS serves more than 125 municipalities and government agencies (both large and small) with red-light and speed camera enforcement programs. We have installed nearly 1,000 cameras around the country, with hundreds more in various planning stages." ATS

    And Redflex is bigger.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,094
    Then maybe you're just a good conservative who doesn't want asinine legislation running their life ;)

    This is kind of funny...looks like some AZ pigs can be megalomaniacal bastards

    Good use of publicly funded resources there. Arizona must be a place with very low crime and social ills to be using taxpayer funds and overpaid irresponsible public servants to make an example out of some dumb kid. I'd like to see those guys hack it in the real world without their bloated perks and inability to be fired. It's time for these guys to be reeled in and tossed out - without their undeserved pensions and "suspensions with pay".

    I'd like to see the Redflex executive team and those who patronize it visit a gallows.

    It's all about money and shady dealings by cash grabbing politicos and well-connected crony capitalists. Nothing else.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    You make an important point steve_host.

    There is simply too much money involved for the politicians to ignore. They also get unprecedented power with the potential control even more aspects of our lives. Thus, they, will continue to try and expand such programs.

    Hence it is more important now than ever before to stand up to this egregious behaviour. Whether we as a people succeed or not, I do not know, but surely we should try to continue to preserve our rights and freedoms.

    At the same time, we should be aware of our responsibilities too, including while driving, which should be safe and courteous at all times.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "...preserve our rights and freedoms."

    The only thing opponents of Photo Radar are "defending" is their right to speed.

    Like I have stated before, the only major oppositions to photo radar are emotion-based:

    1. "I don't want my picture taken because it bothers me that the police are taking my picture without my express permission." ( OH MY GOSH THE HORROR!!! )
    2. This is the BIGGIE: "I don't want photo radar slowing me down because I want to be able to speed without getting caught."

    Those are the two major emotion-based reasons people are against photo radar systems.

    There are no objective, common-sense reasons to oppose photo radar. All other supposed "negatives" are just whitewash to cover the REAL reason, which is "I want to speed and get away with it."

    There ARE common-sense, objective reasons to support it, however, which are not emotion-based:

    1. It has the potential for slowing the illegally speeding flow of traffic, and everyone knows that accidents at slower speeds are less destructive to cars and occupants than high-speed crashes.
    2. Speed enforcement officers CANNOT POSSIBLY ticket EVERY speeder on a stretch of road, but photo radar DARN NEAR CAN.
    3. It makes money for the states/cities by collecting money from scofflaws.
    4. It saves court time (thus saving money) by collecting fines very efficiently.
    5. It can and DOES teach SOME speeders to slow down by hitting them where it counts, in the pocketbook.
    6. It can be COMPLETELY ignored by the 100% of the public if people would just slow down.

    You want the photo radar systems to go away? Then stop speeding and they will. If cities cannot catch enough speeders to make the system profitable, then they will stop using them.

    People who REALLY want photo radar to away should start a movement to get people to start driving the speed limit.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Thank you for replying to one phrase contained in one of my posts. How about some responses to the rest of the posts?

    I do not speed, and you continue to mischaracterize my concerns. You have presented no evidence in support of your strongly held opinions, and yet you expect people to agree with you.

    Further, I am not an opponent of photo radar. It may have its uses, but these need to be determined on the basis of facts and due process, not the old "trust me it is good for you as it was good for me" approach.

    Please prove your statements with facts that can be checked from references as I have shown above.

    You have misquoted one reference, and even that has been shown above to be not what you say it is, and thus cannot be used in support of your contentions.

    Let's see now:

    1. It has the potential for slowing the illegally speeding flow of traffic, and everyone knows that accidents at slower speeds are less destructive to cars and occupants than high-speed crashes.

    Yes, it has the potential to slow down traffic, but the related issues make it illegal in its present form. Slow traffic has a huge related economic cost that has to weighed against costs related to injuries and death, but this is a careful balancing act.

    2. Speed enforcement officers CANNOT POSSIBLY ticket EVERY speeder on a stretch of road, but photo radar DARN NEAR CAN.

    Yes, that is true because it is an inherently more invasive technology with grave consequences, and the potential for misuse, as shown above.

    3. It makes money for the states/cities by collecting money from scofflaws.

    I agree with you that yes, it is a merely money grab by attempting to criminalize normal behaviour of law abiding productive members of society going about their daily business.

    4. It saves court time (thus saving money) by collecting fines very efficiently.

    It does this by tying in the financial interests of the private contractor to issue as many tickets for financial gain, not safety.

    5. It can and DOES teach SOME speeders to slow down by hitting them where it counts, in the pocketbook.

    Yes, like you have learned your lession as you stated previously. The pocketbook of one person is not the issue, violoations of due process are. It also menas that a rich guy can speed and pay the fines without an criminal penalties, while the poor joe going to and from a job gets hids proportionally much harder.

    6. It can be COMPLETELY ignored by the 100% of the public if people would just slow down.

    No, it is an important issue that must not be ignored.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    vcheng says, "because it is an inherently more invasive technology with grave consequences,"

    Say ( come again ) WHAT?

    First of all, it's non-invasive to non-speeders. You don't want your "whatever" invaded? Then just don't speed.

    Grave Consequences? Puh-Leeze. A little for the over-dramatic flair, perchance?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    "First of all, it's non-invasive to non-speeders"

    Cameras in Arizona were recording live video and holding onto it illegally. This fact was hidden from the Legislature. There was no discrimination betwen speeders and non-speeders, all were recorded live 24/7. ILLEGALLY.

    Grave Consequences? Puh-Leeze. A little for the over-dramatic flair, perchance?

    I have shown the concerns above with references multiple times. What do you have to add except unsupported repetitions? Oh no, wait, there was ONE misquoted paper masquerading as a Supreme Court decision.

    I have no problem with your positions if it is supported by facts and references that intelligent people can discuss.

    Please present the evidence.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    You brought up one instance where it was discovered that the cameras were "illegally" recording. I say "so what?" about that. Was the video being used for anything? What would it prove, knowing that "some unknown Mazda 626 passed this location at 2:25 A.M.?"

    There are "live video" camera systems around the world which record live video on freeways. What's the big deal? We have 15 or 20 of them run by the state right here in Phoenix.

    We are not talking about "all the ways photo radar systems can be screwed up."

    We are talking about the CONCEPT of properly executed photo radar systems.

    Anyone who thinks getting your picture taken because you broke the law is "grave consequences" is showing a tad bit of excessive paranoia.

    How about a mug shot when you get arrested? You are not proven guilty at that point, yet the police have a clear picture of your face. Are you going to protest mug shots too?

    Here's a test for you:

    If you knew that your public library had a camera pointing at it's parking lot 24x7, would you avoid that area to avoid being videotaped? Would you oppose that?

    No, you probably would not.

    The opposition to photo radar cameras boils down to people not wanting to get caught speeding.
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    Again, Sir, you present mere opinions that are unsupported.

    I am entitled to my views just as I think you are entitled to your own.

    However, I do not ridicule your views like you seem to be ridiculing mine. I am trying hard to understand them, but I need your help in looking at the evidence in support.

    The opposition to photo radar cameras DOES NOT boil down to people not wanting to get caught speeding. There is much more to it, like I have shown, and you have not uptill now.

    Please present the evidence if you have any.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    I'm not ridiculing your views. I'm trying to show you how untrue I think they are by breaking them down in ways you might not have thought about before.

    I have presented all the "evidence" I need to. It's called "life experience" and "common sense."

    I have yet to see one piece of "evidence" from you, or a logical argument, which disproves either of my two major contentions:

    People oppose photo radar out of misplaced paranoia.
    People oppose photo radar because they don't want to get caught speeding.

    Are you opposed to other types of road-based video surveillance and mug shots too?

    How is a single picture of you sitting in your car, with a time/date stamp and a corresponding vehicle speed, MORE INVASIVE that a mug shot, or more invasive than a 5 second video of you driving through the library parking lot?
  • vchengvcheng Member Posts: 1,284
    .. " .. talking about the CONCEPT of properly executed photo radar systems" to prevent speeders "getting away with it" shouldn't on-board monitoring of all vehicles be a much better way?

    All modern vehicles have OBD-2. The newer proposed standards for OBD-3 have a GPS mdule built in. If that system is mandated, then any vehicle, 24/7, can keep a record of where it is, and what the speed limit is at that location, and keep records that can be downloaded wirelessly and a fine generated.

    (If you think that this is mere speculation or paranoia, please see: http://asashop.org/autoinc/may/obd_iii_new.cfm)

    Would you (larsb) like such a system better than even photo radar since it would prevent speeding and generate lots of automatic fines with too much of an added cost? The beauty of this system is the the person being fined also pays for the hardware and its upkeep when he buys the car. Wouldn't that reduce government costs even further?

    I do not oppose mugshots. An officer of the law has to follow due process before it gets to that point. I am not opposed to video surveillance on private property. Then I have the choice of avoiding business with a private concern if I disagree with what they do with the recording.

    It is a long jump, tenuous at best, to use these examples to justify video monitoring of all public roadways and generating automatic fines without due process.

    PS: Your "evidence" called "life experience" and "common sense" are good sources, and I respect your experiences and common sense judgement. However, they rank right next to "trust me" and "everybody knows that" where the LAW is concerned.

    P.P.S. Also, If you can blithley say "so what" to one type of illegal activity (Quote: "You brought up one instance where it was discovered that the cameras were "illegally" recording. I say "so what?" about that" Then why are you worked so worked up at another "illegal" activity like speeding?
  • ingvaringvar Member Posts: 205
    5. It can and DOES teach SOME speeders to slow down by hitting them where it counts, in the pocketbook.
    Yes, it does. I invested $$$ in Valentine 1 and plate cover :P
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