The latest headlines from the world of photo enforcement. Updated almost daily...
Audit shows city speed camera operator not sure how to fix problemDec 14, 2012 WBAL TV - Article
BALTIMORE — 11 News on Thursday exclusively received the results of an audit on Baltimore City's speed camera program that was done by the speed camera contractor Xerox, and it appears there's a big problem that Xerox doesn't yet know how to fix.
Some city speed cameras have 5% error rate, Xerox saysDec 14, 2012 Baltimore Sun - Article
Baltimore's speed camera contractor disclosed Friday that several of the city's automated cameras have been wrongly ticketing roughly one of every 20 passing cars and trucks.
Officials with Xerox State and Local Solutions told a mayoral task force studying the city's program that the five cameras have been idled and are no longer issuing $40 tickets after they found during a recent review that the devices had an error rate of 5.2 percent.
Washington City Charges Public $670 to Exercise Constitutional RightDec. 14, 2012 WBAL TV - Article
BALTIMORE — 11 News on Thursday exclusively received the results of an audit on Baltimore City's speed camera program that was done by the speed camera contractor Xerox, and it appears there's a big problem that Xerox doesn't yet know how to fix.
Missing from St. Petersburg council report on red light cameras: Crashes actually increasedDec. 13, 2012 Tampa Bay Times - Article
ST. PETERSBURG — A one-inch thick report for the City Council about red light cameras touted their safety benefits, the money they generated and how they had changed motorists' behavior for the better.
But one key statistic was left out of the 122-page report: Total crashes actually jumped 10 percent at intersections with cameras in the program's first year.
Florida County Chooses Longer Yellow Over Red Light CamerasDec. 13, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Commissioners in Collier County, Florida voted 3-2 on Wednesday to pull the plug on red light cameras. The devices have stirred controversy and class action lawsuits since ticketing began at ten county intersections on April 30, 2009. Though opinion on the board of commissioners was divided on the wisdom of continuing the program, city officials were unanimous in demanding an increase in the duration of the yellow lights at intersections.
Red Light Camera Program Has FailedDec. 12, 2012 Parsippany Patch - Article
A new report from the state Department of Transportation confirms what many opponents of red light camera ticketing systems have long suspected: Cameras lead to more accidents, more injuries and greater cost.
The report contains data showing that both the total number and total cost of crashes have increased at intersections after cameras were installed.
New Mexico: Report Documents Benefit to Longer YellowsDec 10, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The city of Albuquerque, New Mexico began scaling back its red light camera program in response to public pressure two years ago. Instead of operating cameras, city officials decided to apply a modest increase to the yellow signal duration at eighteen of the twenty intersections where cameras had previously been used. A report released in September found the change had produced a measurable benefit.
The University of New Mexico (UNM) looked at 11 months of data before the timing change (during most of this time photo ticketing was operational) and after the timing increased. City officials told researchers only to use a basic comparison controlled for traffic volume as "sufficient" for this study. A more robust empirical Bayes analysis was not performed, but the researchers described the more thorough scientific research as supporting the hypothesis that longer yellows can have safety benefits.
Washington City Charges Public $670 to Exercise Constitutional RightDec. 6, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Red light camera ticket recipients in Tacoma, Washington are being told they need to buy $30 meals and $114 hotel rooms for employees of an Australian company if they want to exercise their rights under the Sixth Amendment. Motorist Kevin Schmadeka had gone to the courthouse to gather information to use to defend himself found out he was supposed to pay a total of $670 in travel expenses for an employee of Redflex Traffic Systems if he wanted to confront the witnesses against him.
Virginia: Engineer Challenges Short Yellow, Right Turn TrapDec. 4, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A traffic engineer with the National Motorists Association is taking on what he calls a dangerous intersection in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Engineer J.J. Bahen Jr. began investigating one particular location in response to an NMA member who raised questions about a citation sent to her in the mail by Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia.
"Since all conflicting traffic was being held by the all-red, she could not have possibly caused a crash," Bahen wrote. "In fact, the Redflex video showed that, because of the all-red interval and the start-up period, there was no conflicting traffic for six seconds after she had fully cleared the intersection. If there is a compelling traffic safety reason for impeding rush-hour traffic with strict enforcement of benign technical right turn on red violations during the all-red clearance interval, please tell us what it is."
Ferguson man says he wrongly received $100 red-light camera ticketDec. 3, 2012 KMOV.com - Article
A driver who contacted News 4 said he received a $100 ticket in August because he crossed the line. But he said he had to cross the line in order to see if it was clear to turn right.
Last week, MoDOT moved the line eight feet closer to the intersection.
Tom Jackson with the Ferguson Police Department said they request MoDOT to move the line further up because of the vantage point.
But drivers are still expected to stop at the line for a few seconds before turning right, as the red-light camera will nab drivers who roll through.
City official says speed-camera radar 'not 100% accurate'Nov. 30, 2012 Baltimore Sun - Article
City officials said Friday that they no longer have complete confidence in the accuracy of their speed cameras' radar systems and have instituted a new "reasonableness" test on two cameras known to have issued erroneous tickets.
"We now know we can't just rely on radar being 100 percent accurate," said Frank Murphy, the city's deputy transportation director for operations. "It is incumbent upon us as the operator to make sure what's being issued is accurate."
Legislative Auditor Faults Maryland Speed Camera ProgramNov. 29, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Critics of the speed camera program in Maryland received a significant boost this week as an official investigation has documented their long-standing concerns. The General Assembly's Office of Legislative Audits was asked to look at the books at the State Highway Administration (SHA), and problems with the state's highway "work zone" speed cameras immediately stood out.
"SHA did not ensure that contractor performance benchmarks were established for the pilot program, and we noted certain issues regarding the reliability and readability of the photographed violations," acting Legislative Auditor Thomas J. Barnickel III wrote.
Attorney Files Action to Bring Down Elmwood Place Speed CamerasNov. 29, 2012 Local12.COM - Article
A Cincinnati Attorney has filed a civil action against the village of Elmwood Place in an effort to get the village's speed cameras shut down. Former Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen says the court action was filed on behalf of about half a dozen of his clients. But he says the action covers about 300 drivers who have received tickets from the cameras.
It asks a judge to grant a temporary restraining order to take the cameras down while the court hears arguments about the constitutionality of the cameras, and whether the village violated Ohio law by putting them up.
More Questions Raised On Chicago Speed CamerasNov. 28, 2012 Chicago Tribune - Article
Even as Chicago prepares to test speed cameras next week, problems in Baltimore's 3-year-old camera program are raising questions about one of the bidders for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's controversial proposal that could target speeders in school and park zones over half the city.
Xerox State & Local Solutions Inc., one of two firms selected by the Emanuel administration to test cameras in Chicago, has come under scrutiny in recent months for faulty equipment and thousands of erroneous tickets issued in Baltimore over the past three years.
Safety or scam? Red light cameras under scrutinyNov. 19, 2012 CBSNews.com - Article
(CBS News) Cameras that catch drivers running red lights are supposedly installed for safety purposes, but critics are now raising their voices -- calling them highway robbery.
Dr. John Large, a public health researcher at the University of South Florida, said red light cameras are "not helping drivers drive more safely."
Large said he thinks there's a better way to address red light running: make yellow lights longer. He said, "Increasing yellow light times have shown that red light-running incidences have dropped near or around 80 percent."
Red-light camera fight filled with frustrating speed bumpsNov. 14, 2012 Sun Sentinel - Article
Murphy, of Highland Beach, thought his Oct. 29 court date would give him resolution. Instead it was just another speed bump on the slow road to red-light justice.
He has to go back again – on Jan. 9 – for a hearing where he'll learn his fate.
"It seems like they just wear people down," Murphy, a quadriplegic who drives a specially outfitted van, told me after the hearing. "I'm lucky because I'm self-employed, so I can take another day to come down here. But some people can't afford to miss work."
D.C. excuses millions of dollars in late fees for ticketsNov. 14, 2012 WTOP - Article
WASHINGTON - The District's Department of Motor Vehicles dismissed approximately $5 million in late fees for photo enforced tickets and other fines last year, many of them because the agency could not prove the original fines were ever received.
Hearing examiners, who adjudicate disputes between drivers who received the fines and the city, routinely dismiss late fees on photo enforced tickets if the recipient of the fines tells the examiner he never received the first notice of an unsatisfied ticket.
Another California City to Put Traffic Cameras to Public VoteNov. 13, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Voters in Riverside, California will decide in June whether red light cameras should be used in their community. The city council narrowly decided last month to renew the use of the controversial devices while also offering the public a chance to be heard. Documents show not only did the public in overwhelming numbers urged the council to drop the use of cameras entirely, but state officials also weighed in heavily against their use at specific intersections.
The ballot measure was offered as a compromise intended to head off a motion to disband the camera program entirely. The compromise passed by one vote, that of Councilman Steve Adams whose brother is paid to approve red light camera citations. Just prior to the vote, local activists warned his participation would be seen as an ethical violation.
Australia: Government Report Calls for Speed Camera RefundsNov. 9, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Drivers in Victoria, Australia ticketed at intersections where the yellow signal timing is illegally short should receive a refund, the state's Road Safety Camera Commissioner said in a report released today. Gordon Lewis, a former county judge, sent his recommendation to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services in response to signal timing at eight intersections where the timing has been deficient by as much as 1.5 seconds for up to seven years.
Board votes not to install cameras on Lamar school busesNov. 8, 2012 Hattiesburg American - Article
The Lamar County School Board voted 3-2 Monday not to hire a Phoenix firm [Redflex] to install cameras on school buses to catch drivers who are passing the stopped buses.
Board member Mike Pruitt, who — along with board members Steve Lampton and Buddy Morris — voted no, said he wasn’t against installing the cameras, but objected to the way the firm intended to make its money.
Three More Cities Vote to Ban Red Light CamerasNov. 7, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Tuesday proved to be another bad day for photo enforcement firms as they lost further ground at the ballot box. Questions on whether red light cameras or speed cameras ought to be banned came before municipal voters in California, New Jersey, Texas and Washington state.
Voters in League City, Texas spoke loudest against the use of red light cameras. At the end of the evening, 77 percent of the electorate sent a message to the city council that they wanted the automated ticketing machines removed.
Cameras bust hundreds of local school bus drivers for running red and speedingOct. 25, 2012 ABC2News.com - Article
An ABC2 News Investigation found some surprising drivers caught on those cameras.
They’re the men and women trusted with driving your kids to and from school.
According to records provided by Baltimore County schools, at least 99 camera citations were issued to public school bus drivers.
Of those, 19 were issued for red light violations. 80 citations were handed out for speeding, with 37 of those tickets issued specifically to drivers operating within a school zone.
City axes speed camera firm's bid, citing delay in reporting ethics caseOct. 17, 2012 Chicago Tribune - Article
Accusing Chicago's red-light camera vendor of covering up a 2-year-old breach of ethics until a Tribune investigation brought it to light, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office on Tuesday threw out the company's bid for a lucrative new speed camera contract.
The city also raised serious doubts about the future of Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.'s role as the longtime operator of Chicago's red-light camera program that since 2003 has generated some $300 million in fines for the city and $97 million in revenue for the publicly traded company, according to city records.
City Erects Photo-Radar Signs Hours After Pickets From Angry Citizens Demand Ticket RefundsOct. 15, 2012 CTV News - Article
City of Winnipeg crews erected new photo-radar warning signs at an intersection after a group picketed and demanded refunds for tickets Monday.
Wise Up Winnipeg picketed a photo-radar controlled intersection at Henderson Highway and Gilmore Avenue Monday morning.
Knee-jerk reaction to a non-problem of speedOct. 10, 2012 Daily Telegraph - Article
YOU know if 80 per cent of people are disobeying a law, it's probably the law that needs fixing rather than the people. But in these illiberal times, we ramp up the punishment.
So when a Macquarie University study this month found that 70 to 80 per cent of drivers break the 40km/h speed limit when entering school zones, the usual call went up for more speed cameras and tougher fines.
This is the solution to every road safety issue from the robotic RTA now uselessly rebadged as Roads and Maritime Services.
But tomorrow a former RTA engineer will spill the beans on the failed logic and wasted money behind the state's War on Speed which has had negligible impact on safety, and may in fact provoke a psychological backlash among motorists.
South Carolina: Traffic Camera Company Busted for Failing to Pay FineOct. 10, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The owner of a speed camera company faces $1400 in delinquent fines for violating ethics laws in South Carolina. William B. Danzell, the chairman of iTraffic Safety, has spent his career forcing motorists he calls "scofflaws" to pay up. Now the State Ethics Commission says Danzell has himself been a scofflaw for the past 10 months. The commission sent iTraffic Safety a cease and desist order in April prohibiting Danzell from undertaking any efforts to promote speed cameras or other citation delivery programs to lawmakers in Columbia. The commission also confirmed that Danzell's debt remains outstanding.
California Court of Appeal Takes Red Light Camera CaseOct. 9, 2012 St Louis CBS Local - Article
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Several area church leaders are banding together in a new effort to have speed enforcement cameras removed from highways in St. Louis County.
"The travesty is that the cameras have been placed, by and large, in north St. Louis County," said the Reverend B.T. Rice with New Horizon Christian Church, who’s helping to spearhead the campaign. "That’s affecting citizens who can least afford these tickets or who can appeal and attest them."
NYC Yellow Lights Too Short For DriversOct 8, 2012, CNN
Australia: State Caught Exploiting Short Yellow Signal TimesOct 8, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A court challenge forced officials in Victoria, Australia to admit last week that red light cameras at eight intersections have been extremely productive because the yellow warning times were illegally short. The yellows fell short anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 seconds with the incorrect timing in place, in one instance, for seven-and-a-half years.
California Court of Appeal Takes Red Light Camera CaseSep. 27, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The second highest court in California announced last week it would take up the issue of red light cameras once again. The topic has been hotly contested among the justices on the Court of Appeal with decisions handed down in favor of the use of cameras, and opposing them. In January, the Second Appellate District struck down photo ticket evidence as hearsay (view ruling) only to have another panel from the same district come to the opposite conclusion a month later.
Officer hurt as car hits speed camera vanSep. 26, 2012 Yahoo News - Article
A police officer has been taken to hospital after a car ploughed into a speed camera van near Brisbane.
Senior Sergeant Ian Jones said the driver of the car that hit the van had braked and lost control as he came over a hill.
"The vehicle then slid sideways and collided with the rear of the police camera van," he told ABC radio.
Justice police chief helps pick speed camera vendor, then sends out sales pitchSep. 23, 2012 Chicago Tribune - Article
Now Chief Robert Gedville not only oversees the contract that SafeSpeed won to put in two cameras, he's sending out email sales pitches promoting the firm to top officials of more than 50 Chicago suburbs.
"I recently have been afforded the opportunity to act as a consultant for SafeSpeed LLC," said Gedville's email, which was sent to mayors, presidents and police chiefs in suburbs from Kenilworth to South Chicago Heights. "The village I serve is a client of SafeSpeed, and I am happy to promote their services."
Canton Council rejects traffic camerasSep. 18, 2012 CantonRep.com - Article
CANTON — City Council rejected the mayor’s traffic camera proposal 7-5 Monday night.
Following heated discussion and debate, both in the Democratic caucus meeting and on the floor, the quest to push through speeding and red-light cameras fell flat for the second time in the roughly five years since Mayor William J. Healy II took office.
The plan was a key component in Healy’s plan to erase a $3.7 million deficit he projected for the 2013 general fund budget.
Something's wrong with Baltimore's speed camerasSep. 14, 2012 Baltimore Sunds - Article
If Baltimore City's revenue from speed cameras is exceeding projections by millions of dollars, there is something wrong with the way they are being used. The purpose of speed cameras and the reason the state allows them is to cut down on speeding, not to raise money. The idea — and the experience in other Maryland jurisdictions that have used them — is that once people get a ticket or two, they learn their lesson and slow down. The notion that Baltimore City drivers are too thick-headed or lead-footed to learn this lesson, as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake suggested at this week's Board of Estimates meeting, simply doesn't wash.
Family of slain photo-radar van operator sues DPSSep. 6, 2012 MyFoxPhoenix.com - Article
Georgianni's family is currently suing the Department of Public Safety. They say DPS didn't do enough to protect photo radar employees. Now DPS is asking a judge to throw the case out.
According to DPS, they're immune from being sued and they didn't kill Georgianni -- Destories did. They also say Georgianni wasn't technically their employee -- he worked for the photo radar company.
The family's attorney, Ty Taber, says DPS needs to take responsibility for this.
Family of slain photo-radar van operator sues DPSSep. 5, 2012 TimesFreePress.com - Article
After six years, Red Bank has given its traffic cameras the red light.
Minutes after a handful of residents spoke out Tuesday against how the cameras have hurt the city's image and businesses, Red Bank commissioners voted 4-1 to ax the city's four traffic cameras, which cite motorists who speed and run red lights at the city's busiest intersections along the city's main artery, Dayton Boulevard.
Bay of Plenty cops busted for speedingSep. 4, 2012 The New Zealand Herald - Article
One in three Bay of Plenty police officers nabbed for speeding in police cars last year had no valid excuse.
Figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times under the Official Information Act reveal 38 speed camera tickets were issued to police vehicles in 2011. Of these, 24 were waived and 14 fines were paid.
Some Arizona cities still using speed cameras after program was ended by Gov. Jan BrewerSep. 4, 2012 ABC15.com - Article
PHOENIX - Cameras are still flashing on some Arizona state highways two years after Gov. Jan Brewer ended Arizona's much-debated photo-enforcement program.
The Arizona Republic reports that eight cities and towns have quietly made agreements with the state allowing them to place speed or red-light cameras on roadways within their boundaries. The camera sites range from major expressways in metro areas to state routes cutting through rural towns.
California, Tennessee: More Cities Terminate Traffic CamerasSep. 3, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Photo enforcement programs are being dropped at an increasing rate. On Tuesday, city leaders in Corona, California and Red Bank, Tennessee will vote to send their automated ticketing machine vendors packing. Just two years ago, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) won a major contract extension in Red Bank as the city rushed to avoid the possibility that the state legislature could impose limitations on automated ticketing. Red Bank's voters, however, have since put in place commissioners opposed to the use of traffic cameras, so city staff are now asking the board of commissioners to approve sending a formal termination notice to ATS.
Speed camera fines ‘illegal’Aug. 31, 2012 The Connexion - Article
A LEGAL loophole means that the first fines sent out by an average-speed camera in France are illegal, it is being claimed.
A driver’s club for lawyers, ACDA, says that official technical approval for the first such camera – installed near Besançon – was not published in Le Journal Officiel, a step which is usually the final rubber-stamp for new laws and regulations.
Strathcona County prepares to remove photo radar trucksAug. 30, 2012 CTV News - Article
Strathcona County is preparing to remove its mobile photo radar units and instead add more peace officers to catch speedy drivers.
"This idea was brought forward by Strathcona County council, who did their research and thought that they would give this a shot because it was never about the monetary aspect of it with photo radar, and that’s the view that Strathcona County is taking - that this is about traffic safety," Henry said.
Unmanned speed cameras still used, Pine Lawn thumbs its nose at St. Louis CountyAug. 30, 2012 KMOV - Article
PINE LAWN, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Despite requests from St. Louis County to stop using unmanned speed cameras on county roads you can still find one in Pine Lawn and one in nearby Hillsdale. City leaders say they’re not going to stop using them.
Texas: Red Light Camera Firm Sues to Block Public VoteAug. 27, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A traffic camera company on Thursday filed suit in a Galveston County, Texas courthouse to prevent voters from having a say in whether automated ticketing machines are used in League City. Following a well-established pattern, Redflex Traffic Systems, which wants the camera program to survive, filed suit against the city asking the court to block officials from going ahead with the initiative on the November 6 ballot. City officials also support the cameras.
El Mirage: Traffic-Collision Data Belies Officials' Claims that Speed Cameras on U.S. 60 are about Public SafetyAug. 24, 2012 Phoenix New Times - Article
El Mirage officials claim photo-enforcement cameras they installed on U.S. 60 (Grand Avenue) last year to catch red-light runners and speeders was all about safety, not revenue.
During a 2011 interview with Fox 10, Mayor Lana Mook said cars always were screeching to a stop at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Primrose Street, which is within view of her office window.
Cars screeching to a stop? Okay.
But city officials are supposed to justify the need for the cameras, according to an agreement they have with the Arizona Department of Transportation, the state agency that grants individual cities permits needed to put photo-enforcement cameras on state highways.
ADOT doesn't have any traffic reports from El Mirage. And city officials have refused New Times' repeated requests for copies of the traffic studies and crash data they were supposed to provide to ADOT.
No matter -- we obtained police officials' e-mails that show that between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2011, there were 39 traffic collision at the Grand/Primrose intersection before the cameras were installed.
The e-mails raise questions about whether safety is really at issue.
Anger as council put up speed camera next to giant POTHOLEAug. 17, 2012 Daily Mail - Article
They are among motorists' pet hates, with councils constantly under pressure to fix potholes as soon as they blight any road.
But one local authority appear to have different priorities - after they ignored the two-inch deep hole and instead painted white speed camera lines straight over it.
Drivers ticketed by red light camera in Mesa at confusing intersectionAug. 16, 2012 AZFamily.com - Article
"I just think that people need to be aware that supposedly there is a different kind of intersection here where they have a demarcation line. It doesn't seem fair to me," said Davis.
This intersection near Mesa Community College and Banner Medical Center is one of the busiest in the city.
Fraud allegations mean Riverdale Park may have to reimburse $5 million in speed camera revenueAug. 10, 2012 Gazette.net - Article
If allegations of fraud in the town’s speed camera program turn out to be true, Riverdale Park could have to reimburse about $5 million to drivers issued speeding tickets through the program, a large sum for a town with an annual budget of just more than $6 million.
A Riverdale Park police officer claims officials allowed his signature to be forged on an unknown number of speed camera citations dating back to 2010.
North County woman files suit against speed camera firmAug. 10, 2012 St Louis Post Dispatch - Article
CLAYTON • A Hillsdale woman has filed a small-claims suit against B & W Sensors of Sunset Hills, alleging one of its speed-camera trailers rolled into the passenger side of her car. Ericka Hughes filed the suit on July 31 seeking $3,176.97 plus court costs, records show. It names B & W and the village of Hillsdale. A B & W official said the case settled on Wednesday.
Iowa denies I-235 speed camerasAug. 9, 2012 GlobeGazette.com - Article
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa transportation department has denied Windsor Heights' request for traffic cameras in the city's section of Interstate 235 in the Des Moines area.
Windsor Heights Police Chief Dennis McDaniel says the transportation department sent a letter to the city last week, saying it wasn't comfortable with approving the request and that other options should be considered.
Former D.C. cop admits falsifying radar-camera testing recordsAug. 9, 2012 Washington Times - Article
A former D.C. police officer admitted Thursday to falsifying logs regarding the testing of mobile photo-radar cameras that issue speeding tickets — a move that resulted in the department having to refund more than $17,000 in traffic ticket fines.
El Mirage Officials Withholding Accident Stats at Intersection with Speed Camera Until After Election, Despite Councilman's Request for DataAug. 6, 2012 Phoenix New Times - Article
El Mirage's appointed and elected city officials are not releasing accident data for an intersection with a speed camera -- until after the election.
That, despite repeated requests by El Mirage City Councilman Jim McPhetres for those statistics.
Lawsuit accuses Riverdale Park of speed camera fraudAug. 6, 2012 MYFox DC - Article
RIVERDALE PARK, Md. - Riverdale Park Police are accused of illegally issuing thousands of speed camera tickets. A lawsuit filed Monday claims employees used an officer's name to fraudulently sign off on tickets he never saw. If true, the city could owe millions of dollars in refunds.
North Carolina: Another Red Light Camera Program FallsAug. 1, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Red light cameras are becoming scarce in North Carolina. On Thursday the town of Cary's operations committee will consider becoming the next jurisdiction to pull the plug on automated ticketing machines, leaving just four photo enforcement programs in the state.
Jefferson Parish's stop-light camera bill put at $7.3 million and growingJul. 22, 2012 BayouBuzz.com - Article
Moving "more aggressively," Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. changed lawyers and sent Jefferson Parish a bill last week for its suspended stop-light camera program. Bottom line: $7.3 million.
Texas Town Fights Back Against Red Light CamerasJul. 18, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
More than a thousand residents of Cleveland, Texas are now on record opposing the use of red light cameras in their community. Tri-County Texas Tea Party co-founder Aubrey Vaughan on Monday presented petitions to the city secretary that, if verified, will put the future of automated ticketing on the city's November 6 ballot.
Some public workers run red lights freelyJul. 17, 2012 DaytonDailyNews.com - Article
Dayton’s photo enforcement cameras routinely catch city vehicles, RTA buses, school buses, police cruisers, fire trucks and ambulances blowing through red lights, a Dayton Daily News investigation found.
Md. town to red light cameras: GoodbyeJul. 11, 2012 WashingtonPost.com - Article
Drivers in Westminster are getting some relief from red light cameras. The town is shutting down two of its three remaining cameras, according to the Carroll County Times. (Two others had been shut down earlier.)
Who requested the shutdown? The town’s police chief, Jeffrey Spaulding.
"Spaulding recommended the cameras be deactivated at the intersection because there were more serious crashes caused by rear-end collisions than were attributable to vehicles running red lights," the paper said. "The cost to run the cameras also factored into the decision."
Florida Appeals Court Finds Early Camera Use IllegalJul. 10, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Orlando, Florida jumped the gun when it started using red light cameras without waiting for authorization from the state legislature. In December 2007, the city council voted to give Lasercraft, now American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the right to issue traffic tickets at intersections.
It was not until 2010 that the legislature gave in to a massive lobbying effort and granted statewide permission for the use of automated ticketing machines, effective July 1, 2010. On May 23, 2009, Lasercraft mailed Michael Udowychenko a ticket claiming he ran a red light. A city-paid hearing officer declared Udowychenko guilty and ordered him to pay $155. Udowychenko hired attorney Jason D. Weisser to challenge the ruling in Orange County District Court as part of a class action suit. Judge Frederick J. Lauten agreed the photo ticketing program violated the law while declining to certify the class action.
The Woodlands discontinues red-light camerasJul. 3, 2012 UltimateWoodlands.com - Article
Precinct 3 Constable Tim Holifield has confirmed that The Woodlands is discontinuing its red-light camera operation.
The program has been stopped due to concerns it was not in compliance with transportation codes that require a traffic study to be done at the sites where the cameras are operating. Apparently, the results of the program were also not being properly reported to the Texas Department of Transportation.
Red light cameras at a stopJul. 3, 2012 YourHoustonNews.com - Article
THE WOODLANDS – Precinct 3 Constable Tim Holifield has ordered a national red light camera company to dismiss all citations issued to motorists since March 29.
The order comes after it was discovered a traffic study was not completed before the cameras were installed at five intersections in The Woodlands.
California: Red Light Camera Companies Cut Desperate DealsJul. 3, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Dozens of California cities have decided to end their red light camera programs, and the industry is feeling the pinch. Redflex Traffic Systems currently runs automated ticketing programs in 68 jurisdictions, but that number could drop to 67 as early as next week if the Riverside city council decides to follow Los Angeles in deciding cameras are no longer worthwhile. The company is promising to slash its prices to keep the program alive.
Australia: Speed Camera Safety and Accuracy QuestionedJun. 28, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Speed cameras are coming under fire in Australia. The Australian Capital Territory's political opposition on Monday questioned the Labor government's use of speed cameras after new evidence suggests the devices have failed to reduce accidents. In Victoria, a government audit released last year confirmed the potential for serious errors in photo tickets.
Redmond, Washington Ends Photo EnforcementJun. 26, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
After a drawn-out battle with citizen activists, officials in Redmond, Washington on Friday shut down the last remaining photo enforcement camera. In February, the city approved a contract to allow American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to issue speed camera tickets until June 22. Initiative guru Tim Eyman declared victory in an email to reporters after confirming the final camera was deactivated.
Speed cameras in Estonia have not yielded the expected resultsJun. 26, 2012 The Baltic Course - Article
The master's degree study of Estonian Academy of Security Sciences student Mari Draba indicated that while from 2008, the average driving speed started to fall on the highway, since 2011, or when the cameras started to fine drivers, the average speed at the Tallinn-Tartu highway has increased and the number of traffic accidents with human casualties has stayed unchanged.
Red light cameras? Riverside says 'no'Jun. 25, 2012 Dayton Daily News - Article
RIVERSIDE — After months of discussion, the city of Riverside has decided against the idea of installing photo enforcement cameras at key intersections.
Class-action ruling could add thousands of drivers to Cary red-light camera lawsuitJun. 22, 2012 NewObserver.com - Article
CARY -- A Wake County judge has granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by two drivers against Cary’s red-light camera traffic enforcement system, opening the possibility that Cary could be forced to refund $50 tickets paid by thousands of drivers since late 2009.
California: Traffic Camera Company Sues to Stop ReferendumJun. 13, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
When the issue of red light cameras or speed cameras has been placed before voters, automated ticketing has lost in twenty-three of twenty-four contests. The country's leading photo enforcement firm, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), does not like those odds. Last week it secured the help of Murrieta, California resident Stephen Flynn in filing a lawsuit that hopes to block residents from voting on the issue in the city's November 6 general election.
Knox chancellor nixes attempt to overturn red light camera lawJun. 8, 2012 Knox News - Article
Two camera enforcement companies have lost a bid to overturn a state law that prohibits fining drivers for improper right turns on red if the only evidence is photographic.
Motorists in D.C. tunnel could get refund of speeding finesJun. 7, 2012 Washington Times - Article
The Metropolitan Police Department has issued some 7,000 speeding tickets and demanded more than $1.2 million in fines since November from speed cameras in the Third Street Tunnel in Northwest D.C.
But the tickets and the fines could be subject to legal challenge and a refund based on a technical but avoidable error, according to internal documents obtained by The Washington Times, which would be the second mistake within the D.C. police department’s Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit this year.
Montgomery County, Md. Speed Cam Tickets Legal?Jun. 5, 2012 9 News Now - Article
ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - Maryland's highest court is set Wednesday to hear claims by Montgomery County motorists that speed cameras are being run illegally by some jurisdictions.
"The way the government has been running the system is illegal," says attorney Timothy Leahy.
Red light cameras not likely to return to Utah in near futureMay. 31, 2012 KSL.com - Article
Keefe said lawmakers and public officials received complaints from drivers — some of whom claimed they were getting tickets though they were not the ones driving their vehicles.
"[They] complained that they felt that they didn't have an opportunity to confront their accuser when they were getting a ticket because they would get a photo radar ticket in the mail," Keefe said.
Legislators didn't outlaw the technology as commonly thought, Keefe said, but instead limited its use. Now the technology can only be deployed in residential areas, which makes the devices not economically viable, the chief said.
State Reports Show Speeding Not a Significant Cause of AccidentsMay. 24, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Out of 2.7 million traffic accidents recorded in twenty-five states over the course of a year, only 1.6 percent were caused by drivers who exceeded the posted speed limit. The figures come from an analysis by TheNewspaper of annual reports typically compiled by each state for use in applying for grant money from the National Highway Transportation Agency (NHTSA).
Missouri: Another Court Rules Red Light Cameras UnconstitutionalMay. 24, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A second circuit court judge in St. Louis, Missouri on Monday ruled the use of red light cameras unconstitutional. Judge Theresa Counts Burke acquitted motorist Nicholas Pateri and state Senator Jim Lembke (R-St. Louis) for tickets they received in the mail through a procedure each argued violated their due process rights. The latest ruling echoed Circuit Judge Mark H. Neill's February decision striking down the city's program.
"The court, having reviewed the order and amended final judgment entered in Smith v. City of St. Louis, concurs with the opinion set forth therein, as it relates to the issue of whether the city's red light camera ordinance violates defendant's right to procedural due process," Judge Burke wrote. "The court herein incorporates into this opinion pages 7 through 11 of the order and amended final judgment entered in Smith v. City of St. Louis on February 17, 2012."
Poll: City residents don't want speed camerasMay. 24, 2012 Chicago Tribune - Article
Mayor Rahm Emanuel billed his soon-to-be-launched speed camera program as being about child safety and not raising cash, but a new Tribune/WGN-TV poll shows most Chicago voters are skeptical of the mayor's rationale and don't want the devices.
The survey logged opposition to speed cameras from 54 percent of those questioned, while 69 percent said money — not safety — was behind the mayor's push to install automated equipment that will nab and ticket lead-footed drivers near parks and schools.
Successful speed cameras require fair speed limitsMay. 21, 2012 GreaterWashington.org - Article
Underlying the current discussion of speed cameras is the assumption that speed limits are rationally set, presumably by expert traffic engineers and safety officials. This assumption isn't necessarily valid, and a speed camera set up in conjunction with an irrationally low speed limit will be a problem.
Chicago Speed Cameras: Class-Action Lawsuit Filed After City Council Approves Mayor's PlanMay 20, 2012 HuffingtonPost.com - Article
Though the Chicago City Council on Wednesday voted to approve Mayor Rahm Emanuel's speed camera red-light ticketing plan, a class-action lawsuit filed almost simultaneously the same day is aiming to stop the program dead in its tracks.
Fox Chicago reports that the lawsuit argues that the program is "illegal." The action was filed by two motorists previously ticketed after they were caught blowing through red lights on camera.
"These fines were collected without legal authority and, under principles of equity, the city has no right to retain them in good conscience," the lawsuit reads, according to Fox. The lawsuit further claims that Chicago never had the authority to establish the red-light cameras already installed in the city as of 2003. Rather, it only had such authority since 2006, when the Illinois state legislature OKed the plan.
Two Northern California Cities Dump Red Light CamerasMay 18, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Two more California cities have given up on the use of red light cameras. On Tuesday, the city councils in Emeryville and Yuba City each voted to discontinue the use of automated ticketing machines, primarily out of a concern that the programs were failing to generate the expected amount of revenue. Officials were also upset that the programs have been tying up police resources.
Two Northern California Cities Dump Red Light CamerasMay. 17, 2012 WDTN.com - Article
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - A Dayton law firm filed a class action lawsuit Thursday connected to red light and speed cameras.
Dyer, Garafalo, Mann and Schultz filed on behalf of three clients who had their cars towed and impounded for failure to pay camera issued violations.
The law firm claims their clients were deprived of due process and the protections normally afforded to people cited for traffic offenses.
The lawsuit names the City of Dayton and Red Flex Traffic Systems, Inc.
Yuba City ends red-light camerasMay. 15, 2012 Appeal-Democrat.com - Article
The red-light traffic cameras are coming down in Yuba City.
At month's end, the three cameras in city limits will cease operating, after the Yuba City City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to let its contract with Redflex expire. The decision stemmed from mounting debt the city was incurring with the Arizona-based contractor and a determination the enforcement has served its intended purpose.
Tennessee: Federal Lawsuit Takes on Automated JusticeMay. 15, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A group of motorists have launched a challenge to the Bluff City, Tennessee speed camera program. The class action suit was transferred to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee earlier this month. It alleges that not only is the ticketing automated but the adjudication process is as well.
"Defendant Bluff City virtually lends its municipal authority to [American] Traffic Solutions, paying little or no other significant role in the operation of the speeding enforcement cameras other than reaping the benefit of the fines," attorney Robert L. King wrote in the original complaint. "Defendant's photo enforcement systems represent a mockery of justice and due process in the legal forum in which most Tennesseans come into contact with the state's court system."
Drunk driver speeding in Handsworth slowed down for speed camerasMay. 12, 2012 BirminghamMail.com - Article
A DRUNKEN driver drove at over 90 mph in a bid to escape from police in Birmingham – but slowed down when he passed speed cameras.
Second lawsuit filed against Bluff City's speed camerasApr. 25, 2012 TriCities.com - Article
A second lawsuit has been filed against Bluff City’s speed cameras and the attorney in the case said the process of appealing a ticket is an "electronic lynching."
Johnson City attorney Robert L. King filed the lawsuit earlier this month in Chancery Court in Washington County, Tenn. He represents five people who received speeding tickets from the cameras, which are on U.S. Highway 11E in the Piney Flats community.
The suit claims that those who were issued tickets prior to Oct. 11, 2011, were denied due process and convictions were automatically generated by a computer system.
Camera critics raise new argumentsApr. 24, 2012 TheAdvertiser - Article
Two traffic camera critics who have traveled the state arguing for longer yellow lights rather than business run enforcement measures harshly criticized Lafayette's SafeLight and SafeSpeed programs during the City-Parish Council meeting Tuesday night.
"If you buy into a system that covers up the fact that these cameras are causing accidents, then as a human being, you're a failure," Triay said. "Photo enforcement should not be considered a substitute for good engineering."
LPD-Redflex relationships draw critics' ireApr. 18, 2012 Shreveport Times - Article
Two members of the Lafayette Police Department, including the traffic unit supervisor who publicly made the case for keeping Lafayette's traffic camera program intact, are romantically involved with employees of the private business that manages the red-light and speed cameras.
El Mirage discontinues use of cameras for red-light runnersApr. 17, 2012 Arizona Republic - Article
As El Mirage grapples with concerns about its traffic-camera program, the city will no longer use those cameras to ticket red-light runners, officials said Tuesday.
The Expired Meters Highlight Curious Numbers On Traffic SafetyApr. 17, 2012 The Expired Meter - Article
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli famously said.
An apt expression to be sure when it comes to Chicago pedestrian crash data.
Many alderman at last Wednesday’s hearings asked CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein to provide more data on pedestrian fatalities and in some cases, broken down by ward, in order to allow them to make a more informed decision.
But CDOT did a truly superb job of cooking the books with their numbers.
Speed, red-light camera tickets overwhelm El Mirage staffApr. 11, 2012 Arizona Republic - Article
When El Mirage installed photo-enforcement cameras on Grand Avenue last summer, the cameras flashed so often that a former city employee likened it to a strobe light or lightning storm.
The cameras have since inundated the small Northwest Valley city with speed and red-light cases, generating about $1.3 million in photo-ticket revenue so far this fiscal year. As many as 8,000 potential violations have been backlogged for police review at a single time.
Red-light camera firm in talks with Jacksonville has been kicked out of other citiesApr. 11, 2012 Jacksonville.com - Article
The company Jacksonville is negotiating with to install at least 25 red light cameras at intersections around the city has been kicked out of several U.S. cities because revenues didn’t equal projections.
Jacksonville is negotiating with Redflex Traffic Systems, an Arizona-based subsidiary of Australian Redflex Holdings. The company’s contract with Albuquerque, N.M., was shot down late last year by voters and the City Council, and two West Coast cities canceled their deals.
City to take another look at red light camerasApr. 9, 2012 Lynwood Today - Article
"What I’m hearing from folks, both inside and outside of Lynnwood, is people don’t have a positive feeling about red light cameras," she said. "We’ve had a lot of folks who have written to us, saying ‘we will no longer come to Lynnwood; we won’t shop in Lynnwood.’"
Texas Expands 80 MPH Speed LimitApr. 6, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Roads nationwide are getting faster. States around the country have been experiencing record low fatality rates, despite posting speed limits, in some cases 25 MPH faster than the Double Nickel limit imposed in 1975. That has encouraged jurisdictions to continue boosting the legal maximum.
Currently, the top speed crown belongs to Texas and Utah, each of which post 80 MPH on select highways. The Lone Star State adopted the top limit in 2008, but only on rural sections of Interstates 10 and 20. Last week, the Texas Transportation Commission decided that speed studies justified raising the limits on fifty-six miles of the State Highway 45 and State Highway 130 toll roads near Austin.
Another California City Unsatisfied With Red Light CamerasApr. 4, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The days are likely numbered for the red light camera used to mail near $500 citations to tourists headed to the famous Mission San Juan Capistrano. The city of San Juan Capistrano is the latest California town to grow dissatisfied with automated ticketing and the council has been wrestling with the question of letting the program end when the contract with Arizona-based camera vendor American Traffic Solutions expires.
Lawsuit attacks cameras mounted on school buses in Jefferson ParishApr. 2, 2012 NOLA.com - Article
The lawyers who have been challenging traffic cameras at intersections in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans now are launching an attack on cameras affixed to school buses in Jefferson that catch violators who disregard bus-mounted stop signs. Their latest lawsuit argues that the cameras violate the Louisiana Constitution by using civil proceedings to address moving violations and giving law enforcement power to a company motivated by profit instead of impartiality.
Casualties increase on speed camera roadsMar. 30, 2012 Yorkshire Post - Article
CASUALTY rates at a number of speed camera sites in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire have worsened since the controversial devices were installed.
Bellingham to pay $100,000 to cancel traffic camera programMar. 27, 2012 The News Tribune - Article
BELLINGHAM - City government will pay American Traffic Solutions $100,000 to end a traffic- enforcement-camera program before it begins.
GoSafe speed-camera system an 'abject failure' – Judge DevinsMar. 20, 2012 The Mayo News - Article
Judge Mary Devins has again heavily criticised the Government’s decision to give the GoSafe company responsibility for operating speed cameras and prosecuting offenders.
In December, she commented that while the idea might have ‘sounded great’ in Dáil Eireann, it was clearly not effective in court. On Thursday, during a sitting of Westport District Court, Judge Devins hit out at the system again.
Red Light Cameras Declined [by Wentzville]Mar. 15, 2012 Wentzville Patch - Article
Aldermen unanimously declined to renew a contract with Redflex Traffic Systems. However, the contract runs through Sept. 30, 2013.
Sample said accident statistics Harrison provided are inconclusive.
"In some areas, it seems OK, in other areas it seems to have made it worse. I’m for having our local police handle this," he said.
City-Parish Council to consider Redflex repealMar. 15, 2012 TheAdvertiser.com - Article
The City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday an introductory ordinance that, if ultimately approved, will end the SafeLight and SafeSpeed programs that fine reckless drivers.
Mayor's speed camera stats sketchyMar. 14, 2012 Chicago Tribune - Article
The mayor's report amounted to little more than a claim that traffic deaths declined significantly in areas where red-light cameras were installed over a three-year period. But the administration refused to provide any of the underlying research to verify their numbers, claiming it was confidential.
When the administration's numbers expert finally sat down with the Tribune after weeks of requests, he acknowledged the claimed reduction in fatalities was based only on an informal analysis of traffic statistics.
Instead of the 60 percent reduction the mayor touted, the Tribune's analysis of accidents for the same locations revealed a nearly 26 percent reduction — one that mirrored a broader accident trend in the city and across the nation. The difference? The city said fatalities dropped from 53 to 21 in the targeted zones, but the federal statistics showed the before-and-after numbers were 47 and 35.
Chicago Speed Camera Plan Awaits City Council Vote Amid Doubts About Mayor's StatisticsMar. 14, 2012 Huffington Post - Article
Rahm Emanuel's speed camera plan is expected to be considered Wednesday by Chicago's City Council -- an anticipated vote that arrives amidst a cloud of doubt surrounding the statistics that the mayor referenced to sell his proposal to the state legislature and Chicago residents.
The Chicago Tribune, whose reporter David Kidwell locked horns with the mayor during a dramatic exchange about the cameras last month, reports that an in-house survey Emanuel's office conducted about the cameras was not very accurate. The mayor's office claims speed cameras have had a significant impact on reducing traffic deaths, but traffic data Kidwell analyzed shows less dramatic results.
While Emanuel claims that the cameras are responsible for a 60 percent reduction in traffic-related deaths nearby, the Tribune arrived at a reduction of 26 percent -- a number on par with broader accident trends, observed both citywide and nationwide.
[Glendale, CA] Police shut down red-light camera programMar. 13, 2012 Glendale News Press - Article
Glendale police will no longer issue citations for red-light violations caught by cameras set up at four intersections throughout the city, officials said.
The decision, which took effect Feb. 24, was made because the program had become a burden on resources, and police needed the officer assigned to reviewing violations out in the field, officials said.
Maryland Considers Eliminating Judges for Photo TicketsMar. 8, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Lawmakers in Maryland are upset that residents have been challenging their speed camera tickets in court. The cases, even if they go the state's way, frequently generate bad publicity. The latest solution being proposed is to eliminate the right of ticket recipients to have their day in court before an actual judge.
Illinois DOT Opposes Intersection Traffic Safety BillMar. 7, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Illinois State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Barrington) says he introduced Senate Bill 3504 to try to improve the safety of Illinois intersections by adding one second or more of yellow light timing to traffic signals at red light camera locations. The "One Second For Safety" bill mandates municipalities or counties utilizing photo enforcement use nationally recognized standards to determine yellow light timing for a camera enforced intersection and then tack on an additional second.
Arizona Senate Adopts Photo Enforcement LimitationMar. 6, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The Arizona state Senate one limitation on photo enforcement while rejecting another. An attempt to let voters decide whether to continue using red light cameras and speed cameras failed on a split 14-14 vote (the bill sponsor switched his vote for procedural reasons), while a measure that would force automated ticketing machine vendors to obtain private investigator licenses passed 17-11.
Maryland: Legislation Highlights Speed Camera FlawsMar. 2, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Sixteen members of Maryland's House of Delegates filed a bill earlier this month highlighting abuses in the way private contractors operate speed cameras in the state. The modest changes would neither ban nor restrict the use of automated ticketing machines. Instead, they would close loopholes that many jurisdictions have exploited. Outraged by the bill, the College Park city council voted unanimously Tuesday to urge a House committee to defeat the proposal.
Court ruling raises red flags over red-light camerasFeb. 29, 2012 North County Times - Article
Critics of red-light cameras got a legal boost late last month when a state appellate court sided with a Los Angeles motorist and against the company that operates the cameras in a case that some say could mark the end of the devices' use in traffic enforcement.
In most cases, a law enforcement officer represents police departments in court by bringing the photos generated by the cameras, even though the officer may not have witnessed the traffic violation.
Last month, the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles decided that was not good enough. In its ruling, the court said people had a right to question company representatives, not just police officers.
The court said in its decision that by contracting with Redflex, the city violated a state law requiring that "a witness must testify as to the identity of the record and its mode of preparation in every instance."
Red Light Camera Law Struck DownFeb. 27, 2012 KLPR11.com - Article
Judge to consider settlement in Collier red-light camera class-action suitFeb. 27, 2012 Naples News - Article
COLLIER COUNTY — More than two years after a pair of Collier County drivers filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the county's red-light cameras were illegal, a circuit judge on Tuesday will be asked to approve a roughly $665,000 settlement to end the legal battle.
Of that settlement, the county will pay about half — $345,820, collected from the tickets, not taxpayers — with the camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions, paying the rest.
Red-light rebel: How one serial offender racked up $13,000 in fines and didn't pay a dimeFeb. 26, 2012 The Advertiser - Article
Of all the drivers issued tickets from the SafeLight/SafeSpeeds program, Henderson is the individual owing the most in unpaid violations. He has garnered 116 notices of violation. He’s also stuck with a $13,050 bill, according to Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Traffic and Transportation Department.
"Once I realized that these things can’t actually do any judicial or law-enforcement harm to you, I realized that I didn’t really care about them," Henderson said. "You can call it a violation, but I call it a notice of extortion because that’s what it is."
Henderson readily admits he hasn’t paid a single cent of the outstanding $13,050.
Questions arise as state considers red-light camerasFeb. 25, 2012 Stamford Advocate - Article
STAMFORD -- In 2010, members of the Loma Linda, Calif., city council shut down its red-light camera enforcement program after five years of growing public discontent.
In a city of 23,000, the program managed to issue 35,000 tickets at $500 each. So, when the contract with Redflex Systems of Phoenix came up for renewal, Mayor Rhodes Rigsby said the city decided to end the program rather than face a possible $534,000 penalty to terminate the contract early.
"If I had one piece of advice to officials about this it is, don't do it," Rigsby said. "If you do do it, don't sign a long-term contract."
A 2008 analysis by three professors from the University of South Florida's College of Public Health concluded that most studies conducted by groups not linked to the insurance industry showed cameras increase the incidence of crashes, especially rear-end crashes.
3700 motorists beat the fixed M1 speed camera at Loganholme and avoid speeding finesFeb. 24, 2012 CourierMail.Com.AU - Article
A Right To Information report obtained by the Leader revealed 3756 tickets were not issued between August and October last year because the vehicle or driver could not be identified by the camera.
Of 10 fixed speed/red light cameras across Brisbane, the Loganholme cameras failed identifications outnumbered all others by more than four times, with the next closest on the Gateway Motorway at Nudgee which recorded 438.
Missouri: Court Rules Red Light Cameras UnconstitutionalFeb. 23, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A Missouri circuit court issued a final judgment Friday finding the red light camera program in St. Louis violated the Constitution. Circuit Judge Mark H. Neill reconfirmed his finding from May that the city's program was illegal because the state legislature has never authorized photo ticketing. St. Louis had asked Neill to reconsider and argued that charter cities did not need the legislature's permission to use cameras. He did not buy their argument.
9NEWS reports erroneous information after Denver Police give wrong photo red-light statisticsFeb. 22, 2012 9News.com - Article
When she started looking into the story at the end of August 2011, Bolton asked Denver Police for red light revenue for the 2011 budget year.
DPD said from January 2011 through August of 2011, it collected $279,576.64. Revenue from December of 2010 was included in January and February of 2011.
He asked the police department for statistics and their documents reports more than $2 million revenue for the entire budget year. This led 9NEWS to question the numbers that were reported in October.
Lawsuit filed against red-light camera operator, VictorvilleFeb. 20, 2012 The Sun - Article
A class-action lawsuit against Victorville and its red-light camera program alleges vehicle owners' due-process rights were violated and seeks millions of dollars in damages.
Barstow lawyer Robert Conaway filed the lawsuit on Feb. 14 in Victorville Superior Court on behalf of his client, Michael Curran, and others who received red-light tickets in Victorville from Phoenix-based Redflex Traffic Systems, according to court records.
Chicago Aldermen voice disapproval of Emanuel's speed camera lawFeb. 19, 2012 Examiner.com - Article
As Chicago’s City Council considers approving Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s speed camera-use to issue speeding tickets in Chicago, more Chicago aldermen are stepping forward to question the new law proposal.
Work zone cameras ticket 1 million in MarylandFeb. 18, 2012 Washington Examiner - Article
Maryland drivers have received more than 1 million speeding tickets from work zone speed cameras over the past three years, and many of those tickets were issued even though no one was working in those zones at the time.
The controversial cameras raked in $18.9 million in 2011, adding to the $30.7 million they generated in their first two years of operation. The cameras have now issued more than a million tickets, according to data from the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Red-light cameras to disappear from BurienFeb. 15, 2012 The Highline Times - Article
After May 1, red-light cameras will be gone from three Burien intersections.
Burien lawmakers decided Feb. 13 not to renew the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems after May 1. The company has been providing the cameras to Burien since 2009.
However, the city spent about $55,000 in district court costs for the photo enforcement program in 2009 and 2010. She said Burien is expected to incur another $30,000 in costs for 2011. Krause added the added cost for Burien police to review and issue the tickets is unknown.
Comparisons between Oct. 2006-May 2009 and May 2009-Dec. 2011 show that the accident rates for the three intersections along First Avenue remained about the same even after the cameras were installed.
Aurora red light corners see slight drop in crashesFeb. 10, 2012 Beacon News - Article
AURORA — They’re the newest tool police departments employ to decrease traffic accidents, but to date, red light cameras haven’t been extremely effective at curbing crashes in Aurora.
UK: Study Shows No Speed Camera Safety BenefitFeb. 10, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A private study of the effect of speed cameras in Thames Valley, England concluded Tuesday that the devices failed to produce a measurable safety benefit. Dave Finney, an electronics engineer, produced the report by examining accident data from the Thames Valley Safer Roads Partnership before and after cameras were activated at 212 permanent sites and at all 105 locations where mobile photo radar vans were routinely parked. Most of the permanent installations were activated between 1993 and 1998.
The report focused on the effects in the 24 months before and 24 months after photo enforcement commenced at these locations. To compensate for changes in engineering and traffic volumes over time, Finney looked at the collisions at camera sites as a percentage of area-wide annual accident totals. He found that fixed locations saw a slight decrease in accidents and mobile sites a slight increase. Overall, the difference was a statistically insignificant 0.2 percent drop in collisions.
Atlanta, Georgia Stops Red Light Camera CollectionsFeb. 9, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The red light camera program in Atlanta, Georgia is effectively over. City officials admitted to WGCL-TV investigative reporter Jeff Chirico earlier this week that they would no longer pursue any collections against photo ticket recipients, leaving them free to ignore citations. That means Atlanta is likely to join Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas as major cities that have recently shut down photo ticketing programs.
WMAL Probe Prompts DC To Drop Speed Cam TixFeb. 9, 2012 WMAL - Article
WASHINGTON -- The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles is ripping up three speed camera tickets against a Cleveland Park woman after a WMAL inquiry revealed that the agency took too long to issue her warnings.
City red light cameras are a form of highway robberyFeb. 8, 2012 Baltimore Sun - Article
Abuses unfortunately also extend to the red light system. Some time ago I received a citation from Baltimore's Department of Finance, Bureau of Revenue Collections demanding $75 for committing an illegal turn on red at a city intersection.
However, turning on red is perfectly legal at that intersection, and the photograph on the citation shows my vehicle not even yet in the intersection, with the brake light on to boot. It was in fact stopped. Only then was the legal turn on red completed.
I tried to obtain a court date and exercise my right to contest the charge, but at that point the fun was only starting. The phone number listed to secure a court date, is — surprise — never answered.
Trappe nixes speed camerasFeb. 3, 2012 Star Democrat - Article
TRAPPE The Council of Trappe Wednesday night canceled the town's contract with RedSpeed USA, a speed camera vendor.
The move came about a year after the council unanimously expressed support for a contract with the Illinois-based company with an office in Annapolis. Gia Colanero with RedSpeed gave a presentation on the program before the council last January.
Camera suit will cost city [of Monroe]Feb. 1, 2012 Snohomis County News - Article
MONROE - Red-light cameras can’t be banned through the initiative process but advisory votes on the subject are OK, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge ruled Jan. 19.
Judge George Bowden ruled the city of Monroe should have allowed an advisory vote on whether or not citizens want red-light cameras because the vote wouldn’t have been binding. The City Council’s decision to refuse to allow such a vote will cost it in court fines and attorney fees. The judge fined the city $10,000 and ordered it pay back the initiative sponsor’s attorney’s fees.
The city so far has spent $42,000 on legal fees associated with this lawsuit, according to public documents obtained by Tim Eyman, anti-tax initiative sponsor who is leading a statewide effort to ban the use of red-light cameras. Eyman and local group Seeds of Liberty joined together last year to collect signatures to ban the cameras in Monroe.
Eyman said he estimated Seeds of Liberty’s legal bill at about $30,000.
Governor's Office Report Shows Strong Public Opposition To Speeding Camera LawFeb. 1, 2012 Chicagoist.com - Article
Our friends at The Expired Meter obtained a copy of a report from Gov. Pat Quinn's office that indicates nine out of every 10 people in Illinois are not happy with the recently passed Senate Bill 965.
That bill, better known as the Chicago speed camera bill, would allow red light cameras to do double duty and issue speeding tickets to motorists within 1/8 mile of school and park slow zones, and increase the number of cameras in those zones to possibly cover half the city. The Governor’s office has received a total of 224 phone calls, emails or letters from constituents regarding SB965. Only 19 were in support of the bill. The other 205-over 91%-were opposed to the bill and urged the Governor to veto it.
South Carolina Legislature Shuts Door on Photo EnforcementJan. 27, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
(Additional related article) The Republic - Article
The South Carolina legislature put the final nail in the coffin of photo enforcement earlier this month. Both the state House and Senate last year had unanimously approved legislation making it clear that automated ticketing machines were illegal in the state. As part of a compromise, state Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) dropped his opposition to the bill in exchange for the creation of the South Carolina Traffic Enforcement Commission, which he hoped would draft a report he could use to convince his colleagues to give photo ticketing a second chance.
The nine-page report dated January 13 had no interest in restoring the speed trap that had operated in the town of Ridgeland in defiance of state law. The commission included the top members of the legislature and judicial branch along with representatives from police agencies and the legal profession. The composition of the committee, set by Davis in his amendment language, did not invite any members of the public to participate. The body was asked a series of twenty questions, most of which presumed photo enforcement would return.
Peer Reviewed Study Questions IIHS Red Light Camera ReportJan. 26, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) grabbed headlines last February with a self- published study claiming installation of red light cameras nationwide would have prevented 815 deaths (view study). The Florida Public Health Review, a peer-reviewed journal, published a systematic critique yesterday that found the methods used in the IIHS report were sloppy and inconsistent, reflecting a bias towards the insurance industry that IIHS serves.
Houston, Texas Settles Red Light Camera LawsuitJan. 24, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The city of Houston, Texas announced Friday that it would pay American Traffic Solutions (ATS) $4.8 million to settle the lawsuit the company set up after voters rejected red light cameras in November 2010. Upon approval by the city council Wednesday, the Arizona firm will receive $2.3 million up front with another $2.4 million provided as the company collects on unpaid citations over the next three years.
Washington: Judge Slaps Attempt to Block Anti-Camera VoteJan. 23, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The Snohomish County Superior Court on Thursday found Monroe, Washington liable for a fine of up to $10,000 for denying photo enforcement opponents access to the ballot. Although two-thirds of voters in the city voted against the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in November, they were only allowed to consider a measure crafted by Mayor Robert Zimmerman. He asked voters whether they wanted to continue using cameras when the vendor's contract expires in 2013.
Montgomery rejects red light camerasJan. 19, 2012 Your Houston News - Article
Following months of review and consideration of a red light camera system, the Montgomery City Council rejected the program by a 4-1 vote Tuesday night.
Councilman John Champagne voted for the motion, but Councilmen Jon Bickford, Kirk Jones, Joe Shockley and Joel Gordon opposed use of the red light camera equipment.
States seek to change ticket camera rulesJan. 19, 2012 Land Line Magazine - Article
As lawmakers head to work at state capitols throughout the country ,the use of automated cameras to ticket drivers for speeding or running red lights is once again expected to be a much-debated topic.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 21 states have laws permitting at least one type of automated enforcement. Conversely, 10 states have acted to prohibit use of the enforcement tool.
Group says police emails show radar just a cash grabJan. 17, 2012 Winnipeg Free Press - Article
FOR those against photo radar, the police emails are the smoking gun to show it's all about the cash and zero about public safety.
Colo. lawmakers weigh ban of traffic enforcement cameras as effectiveness questionedJan. 13, 2012 TheRepublic.com - Article
DENVER — Republican lawmakers want to ban red-light and speeding cameras in Colorado, saying municipalities are using them as revenue boosters that do little for traffic safety.
Vandal Torches City Speed CameraJan. 13, 2012 WBALtv.com - Article
BALTIMORE -- Police are searching for a vandal who set a speed camera on fire Friday morning.
Authorities with the Baltimore Police Department said it happened at around 7:15 a.m. near the intersection of North Howard Street and Park Avenue near Bolton Hill.
Although officials would not comment on how the fire was set, a police spokeswoman said it appeared to have been intentionally set.
Red Light Cameras Ticketing Drivers Who Stop at LightsJan. 12, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Cities around the country have begun dropping the use of red light cameras,which were once touted as the best way to stop drivers from "blowing through" red lights. Disappointed municipal officials invariably point to the systems' failure to generate the promised amount of revenue as the reason for the change. To keep from losing more clients, the red light camera industry's latest move has been to ticket drivers who stop at red lights to boost the number of potential violations.
Washington: Statewide Initiative Could Outlaw Traffic CamerasJan. 11, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Red light cameras and speed cameras could disappear from Washington state if initiative guru Tim Eyman decides to bring the issue to voters. Eyman is known for his ability to place anti-tax measures on the statewide ballot that, more often than not, win public support. This year, one option on Eyman's plate is the statewide expansion of his successful city-by-city anti-camera votes.
Washington: Man Sues After Traffic Cam Ruined Credit RatingJan. 10, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A Tacoma, Washington police lieutenant filed a lawsuit against the city of Fife on December 23 after an undelivered red light camera ruined his credit rating. On New Year's Day in 2009, a red light camera belonging to Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia photographed Anthony J. Abuan's car as it made a right-hand turn on a red light at the intersection of 54th Avenue and 20th Street.
"The driver of the plaintiff's vehicle was not stopped by any law enforcement official on January 1, 2009, and the driver was not then aware that a traffic infraction had allegedly occurred," Abuan's attorney, Joseph M. Diaz, wrote in the complaint against Fife.
Victorville faces potential lawsuit over automated red-light ticketing camerasJan. 9, 2012 SPCR.org - Article
The city of Victorville faces a potential $9 million class action lawsuit unless it changes the way it uses red-light cameras. The people who want to sue also targeted the company that installed the camera system.
New Mexico: Report Finds No Proven Red Light Camera BenefitJan. 9, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The city of Las Cruces, New Mexico commissioned a local university last year to come up with a report justifying the use of red light cameras in the community. After examining city-supplied data New Mexico State University (NMSU) researchers stretched to find something positive to say in a study released Tuesday.
Overall, the study found a decrease in accidents at two camera intersections, an increase at one and no change at the fourth. This compares to the control intersections where there were three decreases, two increases and one without any change. None of these changes, however, were large enough to carry definitive scientific weight. The researchers focused on the single intersection with the most positive result.
Fatal crashes in Northamptonshire fall to a new record low [after speed cameras turned off]Jan. 5, 2012 Northampton Chronicle & Echo - Article
NEW figures have revealed the number of deaths on Northamptonshire’s roads has fallen to a record low, prompting council chiefs to claim the decision to switch-off speed cameras across the county was correct.
However, leader of Northamptonshire County Council Jim Harker (Con, Kettering Rural) said the figures, which were down by 21 per cent on the previous year, proved safety cameras were not saving lives.
Washington Appeals Court Denies Right to Challenge Traffic TicketsJan. 3, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Washington state's second-highest court ended the year denying the right of motorists to challenge an unfair or unlawful ruling from a superior court judge. The Court of Appeals declared last Tuesday that it would not hear any appeals for infractions -- not even from city governments.
Naperville to shut down red-light camerasJan. 2, 2012 DailyHerald.com - Article
Motorists in Naperville will face a little less scrutiny beginning Tuesday as the city officially pulls the plug on its three red-light cameras.