The latest headlines from the world of photo enforcement. Updated almost daily...
Speed camera vendor says losing city contract allows it to 'refocus'Dec 27, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Speed camera vendor Brekford Corp. on Friday made its first public statement since losing its exclusive deal to run Baltimore's massive and once-lucrative camera network -- casting the development as a positive step for the firm. The Anne Arundel Co.-based company, which last week agreed to a $600,000 settlement to sever its 5-year contract with the city, said parting ways with Baltimore allows it to "refocus" on its "core business segments."
Trouble persisted during Baltimore speed camera tests, records showDec 21, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Defective radar. Wrong citation numbers. Error rates as high as 30 percent.
Such problems persisted during months of testing aimed at fixing and restarting Baltimore's speed and red-light camera system, newly released documents show. Test results and other records obtained by The Baltimore Sun provide the first public look at persistent problems that led officials to cut ties last week with the system's contractor.
Into October, the documents show, 10 percent of the mock speed camera tickets were showing errors judged to be within the vendor's control — double the error rate allowed by the city.
Texas County Commissioners Vote For Illegal Speed CamerasDec 20, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Five years ago, the Texas state legislature cracked down on the cities of Rhome and Marble Falls when they allowed a for-profit company to issue speed camera tickets without the authority of the legislature. Before the programs could get off the ground, lawmakers acted and Governor Rick Perry (R) signed a law banning photo radar in the state. On Tuesday, Denton County Commissioners voted 3 to 1 to move forward on a speed camera program regardless of the law.
Missouri Appeals Court Issues Third Condemnation Of Red Light CamerasDec 18, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Missouri's second highest court is once again making up for its past support of automated ticketing machines by issuing the third in a recent series of devastating and unanimous findings that the devices violate state law. On Tuesday, a three-judge Eastern District panel weighed in with a 56-page ruling declaring unconstitutional the first camera ordinance adopted in the Show Me State.
The full Eastern District court reversed course on the issue last month, explicitly overturning past pro-camera decisions. Within a few weeks, the Western District followed up and reached the same conclusion. The most recent case expanded on the consequences of running an illegal photo ticketing program by finding the city cannot claim ticket recipients gave up their right to a refund or constitutional challenge because they "voluntarily" paid the citation by not contesting it in municipal court.
City plans to pay Brekford $600,000 to end speed camera contractDec 16, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Baltimore plans to pay its speed camera vendor $600,000 to end a troubled relationship that has left the city's once-lucrative automated enforcement program offline since April, city officials said Monday.
Termination of the contract with Brekford Corp. puts the future of the city's speed and red-light camera system in question. One city councilwoman says it's time to stop using technology to nab speeders and red-light runners.
Anti-speed camera activists escalate fight over automatic ticketing systemDec 13, 2013 DelMarvaNow.com - Article
SALISBURY — Critics of the city’s speed camera program say officials were unable to prove the devices complied with state laws requiring regular documentation that they are in good working order at all times.
“There are a lot of tickets issued that shouldn’t have been issued,” said Louis Wilen of the Maryland Drivers Alliance.
Maryland laws require each camera to be calibrated annually by an independent laboratory. In addition, the system’s operator is required to run the device through a self-test each day before it starts snapping pictures of heavy-footed drivers.
Wilen and another group member, Ron Ely, say city officials took months responding to their request even though state law sets a cap of 30 days in all but the most complicated cases. In the end, they got calibration records but no daily logs, Ely said.
Saudi Arabia: Speed Cameras Fail To Reduce AccidentsDec 13, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Researchers have concluded red light cameras and speed cameras failed to reduce deadly accidents in Saudi Arabia. A paper presented last week at the 2013 International Trauma Conference at the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center in Riyadh concluded the devices known as "saher" cannot be responsible for the claimed reductions in fatalities.
Baltimore Board of Estimates Approves Settlement to End ContractDec 18, 2013 Fox Baltimore - Article
Baltimore City Board of Estimates on Wednesday approved a $600,000 settlement to end the contract with red light speed camera company Brekford. The city shut down the speed camera program eight months ago.
The cameras have been plagued with errors, including inaccurate speed readings. Others were issuing tickets with incorrect addresses.
Transportation commission approves rules regulating speed and red light camerasDec 10, 2013 RadioIowa.com - Article
The Iowa Transportation Commission gave unanimous approval Tuesday to proposed rules for red light and speed cameras that require cities to prove the devices are needed to improve safety on highways. The commission held a workshop prior to their regular meeting to discuss the rules.
DOT director, Paul Trombino, told the commission Iowa is the only state with cameras that doesn’t have uniform rules on how the cameras should be used. Trombino says he believes some communities have put out the cameras and then don’t do anything to follow up to see if the cameras are improving safety. “What these rules do and what the process says, is that has to be an ongoing process,” Trombino explains.
Iowa Appellate Judge Upholds Anti-Traffic Camera RulingDec 3, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The days of speed camera use in Sioux City, Iowa may be numbered. In the face of widening criticism from state officials, including Governor Terry Branstad (R), the city last month lost its appeal of a decision that found the ordinance establishing the automated ticketing program failed to establish the guilt of the accused.
In June Woodbury County District Court Judge John C. Nelson tossed the ticket that Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia issued to Craig Krueger after his Toyota Corolla rental car was photographed on Interstate 29. The city immediately challenged the finding, and upon review, District Court Judge Edward A. Jacobson found the city attorney's arguments entirely missed the point.
Second Missouri Court of Appeals Decision Strikes Down Traffic CamerasNov 27, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, on Tuesday agreed with the Eastern District that red light cameras have been used illegally in the state. In a unanimous, 49-page decision, a three-judge panel of the Western District struck down the automated ticketing ordinance in effect in Kansas City because it ignored state law imposing points on all moving violations.
Location of speed camera on Grimsby's Peaks Parkway is 'against Department of Transport's guidelines'Nov 27, 2013 Grimsby Telegraph - Article
A MOTORIST has exposed one of the average speed cameras on Grimsby's Peaks Parkway as going against guidance issued by the government.
Hayden Dawkins, of Humberston, spotted that the final camera on the left-hand side as motorists drive under the Pasture Street bridge and into Grimsby town centre does not have the required 60m of visibility.
Baltimore moving to end latest speed camera contractNov 16, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
In the latest sign of turmoil for Baltimore's speed camera program, city officials are moving to sever ties with the vendor amid unresolved problems — an action that could idle the city's already mothballed speed and red-light camera system until the middle of next year.
Sources familiar with discussions between the city and Brekford Corp. of Anne Arundel County said officials have grown increasingly frustrated with Brekford's mistakes in trying to revive the program, once North America's largest and the source of $50 million to the city since 2009 from speed cameras alone.
Motorists to have their fines and points revoked after A38 speed camera's signs deemed "illegal"Nov 15, 2013 Gazette - Article
HUNDREDS of motorists caught out by a speed camera positioned at the Berkeley Rail Bridge on the A38 are to have any points given rescinded and fine money paid back to them after it was found the related signage was illegal.
Redflex caught breaching speed camera rulesNov 12, 2013 The Daily Advertiser - Article
ROADS and Maritime Services (RMS) will investigate why mobile speed camera advisory signs on the Sturt Highway were not upright between Gumly and Forest Hill at the weekend.
Photographs obtained by The Daily Advertiser show the 250-metre and 50-metre warning signs were lying on the side of the highway and not visible to drivers heading east at 11.25am on Saturday.
It is the latest breach of the government's speed camera strategy regulations by private operator Redflex in the Wagga area during the past 12 months.
In February, Roads Minister Duncan Gay admitted Redflex had committed "entrapment" when illegally conducting speed camera patrols on a city street.
Last month, the speed camera operator came under scrutiny after its vehicle parked in long, dry grass, potentially posing a bushfire risk to road users and nearby landholders.
Ohio: Optotraffic Settles Lawsuit Over Confiscated Speed CamerasNov 10, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Maryland-based speed camera vendor Optotraffic on Tuesday withdrew its federal lawsuit against Hamilton County, Ohio Sheriff Jim Neil. Optotraffic was furious when Sheriff Neil confiscated the firm's speed cameras after a Hamilton County Common Pleas judge declared Optotraffic and the village of Elmwood Place in contempt. After losing requests to have an appellate court intervene, Optotraffic voluntarily backed down.
Speedcam loophole & unpublished Montgomery Co. camera sitesNov 10, 2013 WUSA9 - Article
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- A WUSA9 investigation casts new doubt on Montgomery County's speed camera program, a system that racks up millions in revenue, because there is no evidence some sites were ever published.
Stats don't always back up red light camera claimsNov 8, 2013 WTSP - Article
Iowa Speed Cameras Face Legal, Regulatory SiegeNov 1, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) on Thursday closed the public comment period on its proposed new rules for the use of speed cameras on state-controlled roads. Officials intend to rein in the use of automated enforcement for the purpose of generating revenue by requiring engineering justifications before permission to use cameras will be granted (view rules). At a public hearing in Ankeny Wednesday, municipal officials showed up in force to express outrage at the possibility that their programs could face such restriction. The department is holding firm.
12 Balto. Co. speed cameras were taken offline after certification lapseOct 28, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Baltimore County officials failed to ensure that 12 county speed cameras underwent a required calibration check this year, prompting officials to void more than 1,400 citations and take all dozen cameras out of service for more than a month.
But county officials never alerted the public about the lapse, even after the problems were resolved in late March and automated enforcement had resumed.
Texas: Camera Company Uses False Threats To Extract Ticket PaymentOct 15, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is threatening Texas vehicle owners with drivers' license suspensions if they fail to pay up when a red light camera ticket is sent in the mail. Under state law, the company cannot make good on its threat. A red light camera ticket fine is $75, or $100 if not paid within thirty days. To encourage payment, ATS includes a brochure with the citation that purports to describe additional consequences of not sending in a check immediately.
Red-light cameras no more in PowayOct 15, 2013 UT San Diego - Article
The Poway City Council Tuesday night unanimously voted to end its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems immediately. Its representative said the cameras will be removed within 30 days after the company is notified in writing of the decision.
Six months ago the council ordered the cameras turned off and shrouded with a plastic covering as a test. The results were surprising. Accidents decreased at the intersections compared to the six month before they were turned off.
Lucas sued over its traffic camerasOct 15, 2013 Mansfield News Journal - Article
LUCAS — The village has been sued by more than 60 people involved in a class-action lawsuit alleging the automatic speed camera program installed this year violates Ohio’s Constitution.
Attorneys for people issued speeding citations say the speed camera ordinance is invalid and unenforceable because the municipality never certified that it met state requirements to post the ordinance for at least 15 days before the program went into effect.
They also argue that procedures for appealing tickets are not consistent with rules governing Ohio’s mayor’s courts, don’t require proper service of violation notices, don’t permit those receiving tickets to require the village or Optotraffic to testify or produce evidence and don’t permit parties to subpoena witnesses.
Seeing Red Over Red-Light Cameras: A New Jersey doctor fights City HallOct 11, 2013 PolitickerNJ.com - Article
Although it may seem that I have had my day in court, there remains the fact that I have been found guilty as the owner of a vehicle for its operation, despite the fact that it can be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was not the driver. The State hides behind the definition of this sort of infraction as "quasi-criminal." Inasmuch as no motor vehicle points are involved, it is claimed that the Confrontation Clause does not apply. The red light camera statute was in fact specifically crafted to dodge this constitutional issue.
IDOT director critical of Sioux City speed camerasOct 8, 2013 Sioux City Journal - Article
DES MOINES | The director of the Iowa Department of Transportation on Tuesday said safety improvements on Interstate 29 in Sioux City are because of reduced speeds, not traffic-enforcement cameras.
The comments, from Director Paul Trombino, came during a hearing of the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee. The group, which provides legislative oversight on state agency rule making, is reviewing an IDOT proposal that would require municipalities operating red-light and speed cameras to prove the devices make roadways safer.
Sioux City traffic camera ordinance's constitutionality questionedOct 7, 2013 Sioux City Journal - Article
SIOUX CITY | The constitutionality of Sioux City's traffic camera ordinance has been raised by a lawyer fighting the appeal of a lower court's finding that a portion of the law is unclear.
Randall Wilson, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, contends that the ordinance that governs the city's use of speeding and red light cameras violates the due process clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because a portion of it is "an arbitrary exercise of governmental power."
California: Municipal Discontent With Red Light Cameras On The RiseOct 7, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Poway, California is poised to become next on the growing list of cities dropping red light cameras. On October 15, the city council is scheduled to vote on ending the photo ticketing for good after the devices were turned off for six months to test of whether their use actually made a difference. The results are in, and the devices did no good.
"While a six-month period is a brief period of time to evaluate the accident data, it is clear that the removal of the red light cameras has not had a negative effect on accidents at these three intersections," City Manager Penny Riley wrote in a memo to the city council. "In fact, the number of accidents at the three intersections went down."
End of photo radar in Prescott Valley: Vans are gone, cameras are baggedOct 3, 2013 The Daily Courier - Article
PRESCOTT VALLEY - Motorists here now may drive through town without fear of photo-enforcement cameras catching them speeding or running red lights.
The town's contract with Scottsdale-based Redflex Traffic Systems that dates to October 2006 expired today because the Town Council previously decided against extending the contract. Redflex de-activated the stationary cameras at midnight Tuesday and covered them with bags Wednesday.
French traffic official dodges finesOct 1, 2013 ENCA.com - Article
PARIS - French police are investigating reports that the head of an agency that processes traffic violations had nearly €700 worth of his own fines paid out of the department's budget.
California: Two More Cities Chose To End Red Light Camera UseSep 25, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
California was once the number one state for photo enforcement with dozens of cities turning to private contractors eager to dish out $500 tickets, the most expensive in the nation. Over the years, the devices have become less popular with the public with the residents of Anaheim, Murrieta and Newport Beach voting to ban them. City officials have taken notice, and so far almost fifty jurisdictions that once used the cameras have decided to take them down. Add El Cajon and South Gate to the list.
TruCam speed fines under a cloud after court ruling favours motoristsSep 24, 2013 Herald Sun - Article
Sunshine Coast-based speed camera consultant Scott Cooper said the images issued by police from the TruCams did not comply with their own legislation because they were not imprinted with any data.
Twice now he has tested this in court, and on both occasions the magistrate found in favour of the motorist.
SUV crashes into pole, toppling red-light camera in St. LouisSep 4, 2013 STLToday.com - Article
ST. LOUIS • A car struck a traffic signal near Hampton and Wilson avenues on Wednesday morning, and a red-light camera came crashing down, police say.
College Park moves speed camera after WTOP investigationAug 30, 2013 WTOP.com - Article
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Two weeks after a WTOP TicketBuster investigation uncovered questions about the fairness of a speed camera at 3300 Metzerott Road, the City of College Park has moved the camera east to clear up any confusion.
The old camera was a big tower box placed near the Elkins Building on Metzerott Road, with two smaller cameras attached to the pole catching drivers in both directions. But the ticket from John Bressler at 42 mph revealed the presence of a 40 mph sign just 40 yards away. In fact, the higher speed limit sign was visible on the photograph Bressler received in early August.
Southern California Cities Further Reject Red Light CamerasAug 23, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Embattled red light camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems has lost another contract. The Escondido, California city council voted unanimously Wednesday to allow the Australian company's right to issue near $500 tickets expire on December 12, and ticketing will cease even sooner.
Photo ticket dropped after driver argues school zone's legalityAug 22, 2013 FederalWayMirror.com - Article
A Federal Way resident’s photo ticket was dismissed after the driver argued the legality of a school zone.
Stephen Cramer received a ticket from photo enforcement cameras for allegedly driving 28 mph in a 20 mph school zone on 21st Avenue SW, adjacent to the Fred Meyer.
The nearest school, Saghalie Middle School, is located on the opposite side of Fred Meyer along 19th Avenue SW.
California: Red Light Camera Renewal Meets ResistanceAug 22, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
City councils not so long ago would renew a contract authorizing the use of red light cameras without controversy or discussion. Now the issue has become hotly contested, as residents and political leaders begin to push back against the use of photo enforcement in their community. Opponents in Menlo Park, California on Tuesday succeeded in briefly delaying approval of an automated ticketing machine expansion.
Maryland: Motorist Rights Group Sues Over Camera DataAug 21, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Municipalities in Maryland have a duty under the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) to provide citizens with documents related to government activities. When it comes to speed cameras, however, some towns are maintaining a code of silence. To force them to talk, Ron Ely, head of the Maryland Drivers Alliance, filed suit in the Prince George's County circuit court last week asking a judge to force them to comply in full with the law.
It has been more than 1000 days since Ely filed a formal request for correspondence between Brentwood and the State Highway Administration concerning changes to the speed limit on Rhode Island Avenue where a speed camera is active. After receiving no response to the request made by certified mail in October 2010, another letter was sent in December 2011. The town eventually responded in June 2012, demanding that Ely pay a schedule of fees for the involvement of various town employees, including $200 an hour for the town attorney. The total cost to access the documents was left open-ended. Ely considered this response a constructive denial of his request.
Akron Police warn of ticket scamAug 20, 2013 Ohio.com - Article
Akron Police are warning residents of a ticket scam involving the city’s municipal court.
Akron Police Lt. Rick Edwards said there have been reports of someone calling residents pretending to be from the “Ohio State Recovery Company.”
The caller attempts to obtain credit card information for unpaid speed camera tickets through Akron Municipal Court.
“The caller is using a scare tactic to get the victims to pay over the phone using a credit card by saying, ‘if you don’t pay the ticket now with a credit card, an Akron Municipal Court judge will immediately issue an arrest warrant for your arrest,’” Edwards said.
City may nix red-light camerasAug 19, 2013 UTSanDiego.com - Article
ESCONDIDO — Escondido may join a growing list of cities that have ripped out their red-light cameras in response to public backlash, dips in revenue or other concerns.
The Escondido City Council is set to vote Wednesday on a Police Department recommendation to eliminate the camera program in December, when the city’s five-year contract ends with Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix.
N.J. red-light cameras ensnaring motorists with quick yellow lights, lawmaker saysAug 19, 2013 NJ.com - Article
TINTON FALLS — A forensic video analysis of red-light traffic cameras in New Jersey has found what many ticketed motorists have long contended: The yellow lights are too quick.
Working with an expert in video timing, state Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) said today the yellow light times were shorter than what is required by law, causing drivers to be ticketed illegally.
A 'Dilemma Zone' For Red-Light Cameras: Safety Vs. CashAug 16, 2013 KUNC - Article
Alternate Article: Study Evaluates Options For Increasing Red Light Camera Revenue
"Traffic engineers are facing an ethical dilemma of balancing revenue generation to sustain their red-light camera programs with their traffic safety and efficiency goals," says professor Lee Han of Tennessee's civil engineering department. "This is a new conundrum for them."
Red-light cameras are currently deployed in 24 states, reports the Governors Highway Safety Association. Nine other states have banned the cameras. The study, which looked at data from existing research on traffic at intersections in counties and states, notes there's no consensus yet on whether such cameras actually do increase traffic safety and addresses concerns they're used as money-makers.
In their research, Han and his colleagues explored what they call "dual, conflicting purposes" in the system: The more effective a camera is at making an intersection safe, the less profitable — and self- supporting — it becomes.
Maryland speed camera confuses driversAug 16, 2013 WJLA.com - Article
On a wooded part of Metzerott Road in College Park, the speed limit displayed on signs is 30 miles per hour. However, just yards away is another sign that changes the speed limit to 40 miles per hour. Bressler was understandably confused, as the flashing camera happens to be located right in between the two zones.
“You can see it's about 100 feet where I got sighted from the 40 mph zone, and it's about 200, 250 feet from the 30 mph zone,” Bressler says.
He argues that makes this particular area a “speed transition zone.” Any camera in such a zone would contradict the Maryland State Highway Administration guidelines for speed cameras, but the actual definition of the term is elusive – which is why College Park City Manager Joseph Nagro says the camera is legal.
Speed camera critics question Salisbury's systemAug 15, 2013 DelMarvaNow.com - Article
So declared the headline on a company news release in July 2012. Ten months later came news tempering the speed camera operator’s initial exuberance: The western Maryland city would have to refund 808 speeding tickets because Brekford’s cameras failed to meet certification requirements set by the state.
Meanwhile, similar legal problems were unfolding 70 miles to the southeast in Greenbelt. Last month, the Washington suburb announced that Brekford’s faulty handling of its cameras would result in 664 refunds.
Now, an anti-speed camera group that helped bring the Hagerstown and Greenbelt cases to light, among others, is setting its sights on another Brekford municipal client: Salisbury.
Federal 1995 Study: Right Turns On Red Not DangerousAug 15, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
It has been known since for decades that heavy enforcement of right turn violations produces little benefit in terms of safety. A 1995 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed the lack of danger involved in turning right on red.
The study used a decade's worth of data, from 1982 to 1992, taken from state collision databases in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, and Missouri along with federal data from the Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS). Only 84 out of 485,104 fatalities that occurred in that ten-year period involved turning right on red. The databases do not reveal whether the accidents happened during a legal maneuver or an illegal turn. Many of the crashes took place when a motorist turned right on a green light.
Small refunds in red-light-camera settlementAug 9, 2013 Philly.com - Article
Some drivers caught by red-light cameras in Cherry Hill, Stratford, and three other municipalities will get small refunds from the cameras' operator under a tentative $2.1 million settlement announced Wednesday.
The money, to be paid by Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix, will be divided among about 260,000 drivers and their lawyers.
Australia: Safety Official Seeks Refund Of 987 Speed Camera TicketsAug 8, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Gordon Lewis, the Road Safety Commissioner in Victoria, Australia, on Thursday recommended 987 vehicle owners receive a refund on speed camera tickets they received in the space of a little more than an hour on the Western Ring Road. A camera trap had been set on June 30 at the Keilor Park Drive Bridge.
Ordinarily, the speed limit at the location is 100km/h (62 MPH), and few violations are issued. On June 28 and June 29 at the same location, for example, only 3 vehicle owners were mailed citations for speeding. The number of tickets issued jumped 32,930 percent on June 30, and after being questioned about the incident on talk radio, Lewis determined to get to the bottom of what happened.
DC, Maryland: Speed Camera Firms Move To Hide EvidenceAug 1, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The firms operating red light cameras and speed cameras in the District of Columbia and Maryland are working to suppress evidence that could be used to prove the innocence of a photo enforcement ticket recipient. In Washington, the Arizona-based vendor American Traffic Solutions has repositioned cameras and cropped photos so that it is impossible to determine whether another object or vehicle happens to be within the radar unit's field of view.
Charles County temporarily suspends speed camerasJul 31, 2013 WJLA.com - Article
Thousands of speeding tickets issued in Charles County will be either refunded or forgiven after the county was forced to turn them off Wednesday over a problem with signage.
The county's three cameras were temporarily taken out of service because authorities recently identified an issue concerning a camera's placement in relation to a school zone sign.
Ohio: Lawsuit Seeks To Shut Down Speed CamerasJul 24, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Earlier this month a Hamilton County, Ohio judge declared Elmwood Place in contempt of court for ignoring a ruling that found speed cameras to be an unlawful "scam." A group of lawyers is seeking to replicate that legal success by shutting down the automated ticketing machines in New Miami, a village of 2000 residents located twenty miles to the north, with a class action lawsuit filed on Friday.
Red light cameras out in DunnellonJul 23, 2013 Ocala.com - Article
DUNNELLON — On the same night that the Dunnellon City Council learned its finances are in disastrous shape, the council resolved a long-simmering controversy in a way that should make residents and visitors in this scenic little town smile.
Council members voted Monday evening to do away with the controversial red-light cameras that have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the city but have also angered townspeople and tourists alike.
Red Light Cameras Investigated: Florida's right turn trapJul 23, 2013 WTSP - Article
TAMPA BAY, Florida -- Cities and counties aren't just using short yellow lights to rack up millions of dollars in extra red light camera tickets in Florida; some are also using stricter-than-intended enforcement to issue rolling right tickets to safe drivers.
While this summer's tweaks to red light camera (RLC) legislation were promoted as protection against overzealous ticket-writers, the language that affects right turns-on-red doesn't do very much. It says the officers that review RLC violations cannot issue a ticket if the driver came to a complete stop, regardless of where the driver stops in relation to the stop bar.
Guest Column: Ohio should hit the 'off' switch on traffic camerasJul 23, 2013 Cinncinnati.com - Article
The use of traffic cameras raises many concerns. For one thing, it completely reverses the procedure of our legal system that claims a person is innocent until proven guilty. When an officer pulls someone over, the driver at least has the opportunity to speak to a human being on the spot. A red-light or speed camera simply issues a ticket that a person eventually receives in the mail.
Second is the issue of civil liberties. Just because certain technology is available does not mean it should be used to make it easier for the government to take money out of people’s pockets.
Finally, there is conflicting evidence of the cameras’ effectiveness in keeping people safe. Some studies say they increase public safety, others claim that they lead to more crashes because people slam on their brakes suddenly to avoid being picked up by the camera.
Seven On Your Side:
Judge raises issues with speed camera citation enforcementJul 20, 2013 Sioux City Journal - Article
SIOUX CITY | A judge has raised questions about how citations are issued to some drivers caught by Sioux City's traffic cameras.
1-square-mile village [New Miami] with 6 speed cameras faces lawsuitJul 20, 2013 Cincinnati.com - Article
A tiny Butler County village faces a lawsuit claiming that its automated speed-enforcement camera system is unconstitutional and should be shut down, the latest volley in a growing battle against speed cameras.
The lawsuit filed Friday against the village of New Miami mirrors claims made in a suit against the village of Elmwood Place in neighboring Hamilton County, where a judge declared the program unconstitutional, then ordered the cameras to be confiscated.
Where the red-light green is going in the SouthlandJul 19, 2013 SunTimes.com - Article
Mounted near traffic signals in scattered locations throughout the Southland, networks of cameras keep a digital eye on busy intersections, catching images of hurried drivers who blow through red lights, all so that traffic citations can be issued.
Known as red-light cameras, the devices are installed and operated by private firms that have contracts with local governments. Under the agreements, the red-light camera companies make their money from monthly service fees and per-ticket fees, and the municipalities can reap the leftover proceeds depending on the number of red-light tickets issued.
Texas: Group Accuses Camera Company Of Conspiracy To Deny VoteJul 19, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Emails show Sugar Land, Texas city officials colluded with photo enforcement attorney to block public access to the ballot.
ATS lawyer Andy TaylorA group of anti-red light camera activists on Thursday accused American Traffic Solutions (ATS) of conspiring with the city of Sugar Land, Texas to deny citizens a chance to vote on whether to keep or ban automated ticketing machines. H. F. Van Der Grinten, known as "Captain Van," had circulated a petition and collected a sufficient number of signatures to put the issue on the ballot -- something that had local leaders very worried.
In Iowa, 3,200 government plates are exempt from speed camerasJul 16, 2013 THOnline.com - Article
IOWA CITY — More than 3,200 license plates issued to local, state and federal agencies have a designation that allows them to avoid tickets from Iowa traffic cameras, according to data obtained by The Associated Press.
Loophole lets Colorado lawmakers avoid photo radar finesJul 13, 2013 Denver Post - Article
A loophole in state law has allowed Colorado state senators and representatives to avoid photo radar tickets because of special treatment given to lawmakers when they get license plates.
The problem surfaced when Evonne Estis of Cañon City began receiving photo radar tickets intended for state Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver. Police say Johnston was photographed speeding six times in about a year.
His state legislative plate bears the number "33," the district he represents, and was not in the DMV system. No tickets were sent for three of the violations.
The other three were sent to Estis, who has a vanity plate on her SUV that reads "33," her favorite number, the station reported.
UK Government Admits Scotland Speed Camera Stats Were FaultyJul 12, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Critics who have been saying the government of Scotland inflated its claims of speed camera effectiveness were vindicated Tuesday. The UK Statistics Authority, an independent watchdog agency, issued a report confirming that the country's national statistics failed to adhere to commonly accepted standards. The authority tested the statistical methods used by the Scottish speed camera partnerships in compiling a document known as the Key Scottish Speed Camera Programme Statistics report.
Iowa gov's SUV gets pass from some traffic camerasJul 9, 2013 San Francisco Chronicle - Article
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — If Gov. Terry Branstad's state vehicle speeds through Iowa's two largest cities, the driver could enjoy a perk that thousands of other motorists would envy: a break from the aggressive photo enforcement of speeding and red light violations.
The SUV's status in which its license plates are not included in police databases came to light last week in records related to a high-speed pursuit in April, where state police officers had no idea whom they were following at up to 90 mph.
Lindsay Allan speaks out after being fined for speeding twice in 16 seconds in Surry HillsJul 8, 2013 Herald Sun - Article
MOTORISTS are being targeted by two speed cameras placed less than 300m away from each other.
Despite the state government vowing to remove cash-cow cameras, one Sydney man was slapped with two fines - both of $243 - after being booked twice in 16 seconds in Sydney's east. He also lost six demerit points.
Follow the Money- How Florida Got and Keeps Red Light CamerasJul 7, 2013 Liberty First Florida - Article
We were requested to research some data recently, and what we found was very interesting. The data in question was campaign donations made by red light camera vendor ATS as well as their use of lobbyists. According to Florida campaign donation records, ATS gave a total of $525,257 in campaign and other donations to political groups between 2008 and 2013. Florida has a relatively transparent system to see who is behind the groups, such as Committees of Continuing Existence.
Virginia: $10 Million Red Light Camera Caught With Short YellowJul 5, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
One of the most profitable red light camera intersections in Virginia Beach, Virginia has been pulling in millions based from faulty engineering. The automated ticketing machine at the corner of Great Neck Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard generated $10 million worth of red light camera tickets, only to see profits tumble 64 percent when the yellow signal timing was extended by half-a-second in January.
Ohio Court of Appeals Rules Against Toledo Photo Ticket ProgramJul 2, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Ohio's second highest court gave the green light to a red light camera lawsuit on Friday. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals agreed that Bradley L. Walker could continue his class action lawsuit against Toledo and Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian vendor that owns and operates every aspect of the system, because the city's camera ordinance violates the state constitution.
Richard Retting Becomes A Paid Red Light Camera LobbyistJun 28, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The man most responsible for the spread of automated ticketing in the United States is once again profiting from his advocacy. Richard Retting, the former Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analyst once dubbed the "father of red light camera in America" last month became a paid advocate for Redflex Traffic Systems as it lobbies the California legislature to block an engineering improvement that could cut deeply into the Australian firm's revenue stream.
Judge orders Ohio village's speed cameras seizedJun 27, 2013 USA Today - Article
CINCINNATI -- A judge found Elmwood Place, Ohio, and the company it hired in contempt of court Thursday because the village continued operating its speeding cameras and collecting fines even after the judge ordered the program shut down.
"Any money that was collected after my order has to be returned," Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled Thursday.
Ruehlman ruled March 7 that the 2012 Elmwood Place ordinance that allowed cameras and other equipment to be used to measure the speed of cars and ticket speeders without pulling them over was unconstitutional. At that time, he ordered a stop to the speeding camera program the Cincinnati suburb was using. The program brought the village more than $1 million while it operated.
New Mexico Judge Finds Speed Cameras Violate Due ProcessJun 26, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A New Mexico district court judge last month found the hearings offered to recipients of red light camera and speed camera tickets in the city of Las Cruces violated due process. Dona Ana County Presiding Judge Manuel I. Arrieta issued a 31-page ruling after having the issue under his consideration for nearly two-and-a-half years. Las Cruces has already filed an appeal.
A hearing officer found Cristobal Rodriguez guilty of speeding based solely on information provided by Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia, even though the New Mexico State University educational management professor was not behind the wheel at the time of the offense. Rodriguez does not know who was driving, but the Las Cruces ordinance finds the owner guilty unless someone else steps up and pays the ticket. Rodriguez argued that this violated his due process rights because the evidence used against him at the hearing was hearsay.
Scotland: Officials Scale Back Inflated Speed Camera Benefit ClaimsJun 20, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Officials in the United Kingdom have exaggerated the purported benefits of speed camera use and are now scaling back their claims. On Tuesday, Transport Scotland announced it was delaying the planned publication of its annual speed camera statistics brochure for four months in order to ensure the numbers were more realistic.
Prescott Valley police officers disciplined for dismissing photo-enforcement violationsJun 19, 2013 The Daily Courier - Article
PRESCOTT VALLEY - Two police officers implicated in a flap involving dismissal of photo-enforcement violations will face permanent pay cuts and one year of disciplinary probation, Interim Police Chief James Edelstein announced Wednesday.
Louisiana: Cops Used Red Light Cameras For Personal ProfitJun 17, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Police officers in New Orleans, Louisiana filled their own pockets with red light camera cash by setting up a private company to "review" photo citations off the official clock. The city's inspector general, E. R. Quatrevaux, on Friday released a report documenting how Edwin Hosli, the New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) 8th District commander, formed his own limited liability company called Anytime Solutions to take advantage of the lucrative business opportunity.
Florida: Study Documents Shortened Yellows At Camera IntersectionsJun 14, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
An investigative reporter's claim that Florida cities have been exploiting shortened yellow times at red light camera intersections has been vindicated by a report commissioned by the city of St. Petersburg. WTSP-TV's Noah Pransky has been documenting timing shortfalls throughout the region since last month, and a new report by the engineering firm Kimley-Horn and Associates confirms several of St. Petersburg's photo enforced intersection approaches fail to meet the minimum specified under state law.
On Thursday, the city council's public service and infrastructure committee discussed the issue and the signal timing report that Councilman Charlie Gerdes had requested in April, in spite of assurances he had received from city staff that the yellow times were verified and correct.
EXPOSED! $95,000 red light camera donations smells of bribery in East ClevelandJun 13, 2013 Cleveland Challenger - Article
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH – If it looks like a bribe and smells like a bribe, it must be a bribe.
Mayor Gary Norton will learn the hard way that there is “no honor among thieves” when investigators question Automated Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS) officials and his campaign surrogates about what appears to be a side deal he cut with East Cleveland’s red light camera vendor. Information about ATS’s single-investor role in a campaign committee set up to help the mayor who’s supposed to manage their contract has been forwarded to state and federal authorities.
Belmont gives Redflex the bootJun 13, 2013 SM Daily Journal - Article
Redflex was given the boot by the Belmont City Council in a passionate Tuesday night meeting, ending a three-year relationship with the red light camera operator for traffic enforcement at busy Ralston Avenue, El Camino Real and Old County Road.
Before the vote was cast, a Redflex executive, Jim Saunders, told the council a recent bribery and corruption scandal was behind the company and even offered the city a 20 percent discount to continue the traffic enforcement program an additional two years.
Accident rates have not gone down, Warden said, and the money from the fine goes to the state, county and “you guys,” Warden said as he pointed toward the Redflex officials sitting in the audience.
Missouri Appeals Court Strikes Down Red Light Camera OrdinanceJun 13, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Missouri's second-highest court on Tuesday ruled the St. Louis municipal ordinance authorizing the use of red light cameras is invalid. St. Louis adopted the photo ticketing ordinance in 2005, without the permission of the state legislature. The measure presumes the owner of the vehicle is always the person driving it, which allows the city to prosecute the owner through the mail with penalties of up to $500 and ninety days in jail.
Missouri Appeals Court Strikes Down Red Light Camera OrdinanceJun 12, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Missouri's second-highest court on Tuesday ruled the St. Louis municipal ordinance authorizing the use of red light cameras is invalid. St. Louis adopted the photo ticketing ordinance in 2005, without the permission of the state legislature. The measure presumes the owner of the vehicle is always the person driving it, which allows the city to prosecute the owner through the mail with penalties of up to $500 and ninety days in jail.
Millington nixes speed camera proposalJun 12, 2013 myeasternshoremd.com - Article
MILLINGTON — After months of discussion, the town council voted 3-2 Tuesday against placing a speed camera in front of Millington Elementary School.
Hemstock, elected to the council earlier this year, said he originally supported the plan, but does not any more. He said an Internet search for speed cameras yielded six or seven separate class-action lawsuits, one of which is requesting all fines be refunded.
Sugar Land, Texas Rejects Red Light Camera VoteJun 7, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The city council in Sugar Land, Texas does not want voters to have a say in whether red light cameras are used in the Houston suburb. Although more than 3000 residents signed a petition requesting the issue be placed on the November ballot, and the city secretary verified a sufficient number met the legal requirement, the council voted Tuesday to reject the petition.
Red-light camera flashes worry homeownerJun 7, 2013 NewsDay.com - Article
"I was awakened one morning to jack hammering in the street," he wrote in an email to Watchdog. "When I went outside, the workers said they are installing a red light camera. I told them this is my house and I don't want the bright flashes going through my bedroom window . . . Those bulbs will flash all night long.
Mesa panel rejects traffic-camera useJun 6, 2013 AZCentral.com - Article
A City Council committee is recommending removal of Mesa’s speed and red-light traffic cameras when the contract expires in February.
The public-safety committee’s 2-1 vote last week against renewing the contract with American Traffic Systems is not the final word; however, the mayor, the city manager or three council members can ask that it be put on an agenda for a full-council discussion.
American Traffic Solutions Blocks School Speed Zone Bill, Then Lies About ItJun 5, 2013 StreetsBlog.org - Article
Illinois schoolchildren are at least six months further away from getting better protection from speeding drivers, after American Traffic Solutions, a speed camera company, successfully lobbied against proposed state legislation that would have extended school speed zone hours. To add insult to injury, the firm is falsely claiming it did nothing to obstruct the bill.
Illinois DOT Busted Over Red Light Camera SpreadsheetJun 5, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The Illinois Department of Transportation's attempt to keep information about its red light camera program secret by locking an Excel spreadsheet has backfired. The state's second-highest court last week ruled the move violated the state's freedom of information laws and ordered the agency pay an anti-camera activist $12,561 in compensation.
Questioning the motives behind speed camerasJun 4, 2013
Canada: City To Pay $200k For Photo Radar Propaganda CampaignJun 4, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
City leaders in Winnipeg, Canada are afraid photo radar opponents are winning the debate over the effectiveness of automated enforcement. The city has put a $200,000 contract out for bid for any company that can come up with a three-year plan to boost the public's perception of speed cameras. Proposals are due by June 21.
"The bidder shall state detailed prices in Canadian funds for the provision of a media campaign including, but not limited to, the costs for developing the communications strategy, creative components and media," the city's solicitation stated. "Photo enforcement, through intersection safety cameras and mobile enforcement unit stationed in construction and school zones, can have a huge impact in helping us."
LITTLE NOTICED GOV'T REPORT SHOWS RED LIGHT TICKET CAMERAS ARE HAZARDOUS TO DRIVERSJun 3, 2013 SkyValleyChronicle.com - Article
(MONROE, WA) -- It was just a few years ago that Monroe’s Mayor Robert Zimmerman and the city council hooked up with what turned out to be a fairly sketchy, often ethically challenged red light camera company out of Arizona called Redflex -- a company now banned from doing any more business with the city of Chicago following a rip roaring scandal in that city.
Now comes word from the federal government in a little noticed report by the Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on "Red Light Camera Operational Systems," that the devices are actually a hazard.
City's red light camera program may be challenged in courtJun 3, 2013 democratandchronicle.com - Article
In the first lawsuit to challenge Rochester’s red light camera program, a local man claims the city denied his constitutional right to due process.
The case brought by Lawrence Krieger names the city and the state, which authorized the program, and involves a $50 red light ticket dating from late December at Chestnut and Court streets.
He claims the matter is a quasi-criminal action couched as a civil matter and funneled through an administrative hearing. The presumption that the vehicle is operated by or with the consent of the owner creates a troubling "vicarious liability," according to Krieger’s attorney, Michael Steinberg.
10 News Investigators find yellow light times reduced in Orlando as wellJun 2, 2013 WTSP.com - Article
ORLANDO, Florida - The 10 News Investigators have found yellow light intervals reduced at several Orlando intersections with red light cameras (RLC) after the cameras started issuing tickets to thousands of motorists a month.
The discovery contradicts the indication from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) that short lights in Tampa Bay, FDOT's Region 7, were a result of a single engineer's misunderstanding.
Speed Cameras Tear Apart Ohio TownMay 31, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The village of Elmwood Place, Ohio can no longer perform all the functions of local government, thanks to speed cameras. Four of the village's six councilmen have resigned over the way automated ticketing machines are used, and without a quorum village can no longer take any actions it faces a court contempt hearing on Tuesday.
The controversy began in September 2012 when the village allowed Optotraffic to begin issuing $105 tickets using a portable speed camera with a 40 percent cut of the revenue going to the private company. Tickets were being issued at a rate that would have generated $2 million per year, or over $1000 per resident.
Most council members in Ohio village quit over traffic camera useMay 30, 2013 Cleveland.com - Article
ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio — A southwest Ohio village in upheaval over its use of traffic cameras to catch speeders is down to two council members after the majority resigned.
Robertson tells The Cincinnati Enquirer that it’s “one of the most stupid situations” he has ever seen. He blames the controversy over speed cameras. He says he has considered quitting himself.
Signs near speed camera rev up driver confusionMay 29, 2013 Washington Post - Article
Residents want a speedy solution to a Brentwood speed camera with signs surrounding it that some say are confusing.
Some residents said the problem is that the speed limits on the street are inconsistent, with the Mount Rainier side 25 mph and the Brentwood side 15 mph.
Maryland, UK: Complaints Upheld Against Speed Camera OperatorsMay 22, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
On Wednesday, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent government agency that enforces UK laws against false advertising, announced the speed camera firm Vysionics had agreed to drop from all future advertising material its claim that photo enforcement caused a 70 percent reduction in accidents. The authority looked into the matter after Malcom Heymer with the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) lodged an objection in February.
On Monday, Maryland's Open Meetings Compliance Board found the city of Baltimore guilty of violating state law regarding the meetings of a speed camera advisory task force, siding with a complaint filed by the Maryland Drivers Alliance. The board upheld the complaint on all three grounds: the task force excluded the public from meetings, it failed to maintain minutes and it did not give proper notice of meetings.
County's speed cameras might go [Pima County, AZ]May 18, 2013 AZStarNet.com - Article
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wants to pull the plug on the 11 speed cameras installed on county roads.
The county's top official says he will recommend that the Board of Supervisors not renew the contract with Tempe-based American Traffic Solutions when it expires in December.
California: City Obsessed With Red Light Camera Ticket NumbersMay 17, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
California is the largest market for red light cameras in the country thanks to the fines set by the state running nearly $500 each. Municipalities that adopt the technology are quick to deny any possibility that financial considerations have anything to do with their decisions to monitor local intersections. Internal discussions between the city of Menlo Park and camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems suggest otherwise.
Paradise Valley mulls 5-year photo radar contractMay 10, 2013 NewsZap.com - Article
Paradise Valley Town Council is expected to vote May 23 on a new five-year contract with either American Traffic Solutions or RedFlex Traffic Solutions to continue photo radar traffic enforcement throughout town limits.
The Town of Paradise Valley generates a gross annual revenue of $830,445 and profits $256,500 from the more than 5,000 citations issued annually, according to Independent archives.
Monroe puts end to red-light camera contractsMay 9, 2013 HeraldNet.com - Article
Monroe Mayor Robert Zimmerman on April 8 sent the city's camera vendor, Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, a letter saying the city won't renew its contract when it expires later this year.
MurfreesboroCAPE.org Say's TN Code Suggests Non Payment of Red Light Camera Citations Won't Go on Credit ReportMay 8, 2013 WJLA - Article
People who run a red light at an intersection that is lined with the camera’s will receive a bill in the mail for $50. Under Tennessee Code it can’t be called a ticket because it is not written by an officer.
David and Meredith tell us that Tennessee Code cannot do anything about people who refuse to pay the so called fine if they are caught by a camera running a red light.
Chicago and red light vendor: Breaking up is hard to doMay 8, 2013 Chicago Tribune - Article
Chicago's divorce with Redflex Traffic Systems is getting messy.
In his hurry to sever ties with the red-light camera operator amid a burgeoning bribery scandal, Mayor Rahm Emanuel in February set a six-month deadline for Redflex to leave town after a decadelong relationship that produced more than $300 million for City Hall and $100 million for the company.
But now Emanuel's office is backing away from the eviction date, extending the deadline indefinitely as officials work to untangle a complex series of thorny questions from eager suitors about how best to take over a 384-camera network that grew to become Redflex's largest North American program.
Fairmount Heights' speed cameras not in compliance, county saysApr 30, 2013 WJLA - Article
Prince George's County is now taking action to stop the unauthorized cameras in Fairmount Heights from sending out tickets.
Fairmount Heights never received the proper permits or memorandum of understanding from the county for the installed speed cameras on Sheriff and Addison roads. The town also appears to be in violation of a state law that allows photo enforcement only in school zones and requires that cameras are properly announced via signage.
Fairmount Heights speed cameras under scrutinyApr 29, 2013 WJLA - Article
The speed cameras in Fairmount Heights certainly aren’t popular with drivers. But now county officials are taking a hard look at the small town's cameras.
Fairmount Heights never got the proper permits or memorandum of understanding from Prince George’s to make sure the system meets the county's law which allows photo enforcement only in school zones and only they if they are properly announced.
City in $2 million dispute with Xerox over camera ticketsApr 24, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Baltimore officials are refusing to pay the city's former speed and red-light camera operator $2 million for its final three months of work, a period that preceded the troubled start for the new contractor in January.
The city stopped issuing tickets from the cameras for weeks because of the rocky transition from the old vendor, Xerox State and Local Solutions, to Brekford Corp.
Xerox says it's owed money for services provided in October, November and December, according to Solicitor George Nilson, the city's chief lawyer.
California: Audit Finds Split-Second Yellow At Red Light Camera IntersectionApr 25, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Red light camera opponents often charge municipalities exploit intersections that have dangerously short yellow times for the purpose of issuing tickets. An outside audit of the Sacramento, California red light camera program confirmed that tickets were issued at an intersection where the yellow warning period on occasion flashed by faster than the eye could see.
According to the traffic controller, the intersection of Mack Road and Valley High Drive was supposed to provide 4.7 seconds of yellow. The Redflex camera system reported seeing yellows as short as 0.056 seconds on July 11, 2012 at around 9:30am. The short yellow kicked in during at least eleven signal cycles. The rest of the intersections were found to be within 0.05 seconds of the programmed time.
City to void more than 6,000 camera ticketsApr 23, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Baltimore City said Tuesday that it will throw out more than 6,000 speed and red-light camera tickets because its former contractor has stopped showing up in court to defend them — the latest sign of the dysfunction dogging Baltimore's speed camera program.
City transportation officials say they lack the evidence to fight the appeals on their own. Voiding the tickets means the city is forgoing the chance to collect more than $300,000 in fines.
Woodlands Red Light Cameras TerminatedApr 20, 2013 The Courier of Montgomery County - Article
After almost six years of operations, Montgomery County Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack has terminated the use of red light cameras in The Woodlands. However, that move may have violated the county’s agreement with Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. for operation of the red light photo enforcement program.
Chicago traffic-camera scandal hurting Phoenix-based RedflexApr 19, 2013 AZCentral.com - Article
A traffic-camera scandal in Chicago is costing 65 or more Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. employees their jobs as the company restructures.
Phoenix-based Redflex, a subsidiary of an Australian company, said Friday it is laying off about 16 percent of its U.S. workforce of 410. Spokeswoman Jody Ryan said the layoffs will include Phoenix and other locations.
Council to Consider Legal Action Against Red-Light Camera CompanyApr 16, 2013 Murrieta Patch - Article
In response to recent news that American Traffic Solutions continued to collect data while its red-light cameras were thought to be in the off mode at three Murrieta intersections, the Murrieta City Council will ponder whether to sue the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company.
Councilman Randon Lane on Tuesday requested a future discussion on the possibility of a lawsuit after the Council listened to public comments made by many who oppose the red-light cameras.
Redflex losing contract bids amid Chicago scandalApr 11, 2013 Chicago Tribune - Article
The board of commissioners in Orange County, Fla., voted unanimously this week to abandon negotiations with Redflex, the highest-scoring bidder on the county's plan to install as many as 80 traffic cameras in suburban Orlando. Citing an ongoing federal criminal investigation into allegations of a $2 million bribery scheme in Chicago and the company's potentially shaky future, commissioners opted instead to go with their second choice.
In Prescott Valley, Ariz., Town Council members have ordered staff not to consider Redflex when its contract is up for renewal in October. "I've lost faith in Redflex as a corporation," Councilman Rick Anderson said at a March study session attended by more than 50 people who came to oppose a continuation of the red-light camera contract.
In San Rafael, Calif., City Council members are expected to consider the bribery allegations in May when they take up the issue of whether to expand or kill a Redflex red-light camera pilot project now underway. "Just because of the nature of the allegations, I can't help but think it would be a consideration," Mayor Gary Phillips said.
Speed Camera 'Farce'Apr 17, 2013 Great Lakes Advocate - Article
"The recent use of speed cameras, operated by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) in Macintosh Street Forster is, in my opinion, a farce," Mr Heat said.
"The area is not a black spot nor the site of many accidents. The introduction and placement of mobile speed cameras, at the discretion of the RMS, is being abused and appears to be aimed at revenue raising only. The placement of these devices, if they are to be used at all, should be left to local law enforcement officers who have the appropriate knowledge."
California: Firm Rigs Data In Bid To Keep Red Light CamerasApr 16, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Ever since November when voters in Murrieta, California rejected red light cameras at the ballot box, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has been on a campaign to turn them back on. The strategy has been two-fold: use the courts to overturn the public's decision, then convince the city council to reactivate the devices in the name of public safety. Anti-camera activists say they have caught the photo ticketing company manipulating data to achieve these ends.
City won’t renew red-light camera contractApr 10, 2013 Snohomish County News - Article
MONROE - The City Council decided to terminate its contract with red-light camera company Redflex Traffic Systems.
The City Council voted 4 to 2 to send Redflex a formal letter saying the city wouldn’t be renewing its contract, which expires at the end of the year.
Westchester changes red-light enforcementApr 4, 2013 The Doings La Grange - Article
Citing a lack of customer service with its present vendor — the Village Board unanimously approved an agreement with SafeSpeed, LLC for red-light photo enforcement. As part of the transition, the village is providing a 90-day contract termination notice to current provider RedSpeed Illinois, Inc.
City under fire for speed camera calibration methodsMar 29, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
In an article posted on its website earlier this month, the Maryland Drivers Alliance, which scrutinized Laurel's speed camera records, states that the city relied on the manufacturer of city speed cameras to certify the cameras, even though state law calls for certification by an independent laboratory.
"It's a very loose interpretation of the law to say they complied," said Ron Ely, who edits an anti-speed-camera blog called Stop Big Brother Maryland, and worked with the Maryland Drivers Alliance to obtain and scrutinize the Laurel records.
Ely warned that "if Laurel continues to play loosey-goosey with testing requirements, they could find themselves in the same position" as Baltimore. Earlier this year, Baltimore announced it will overhaul its entire speed camera system after the cameras were found to be flawed, issuing scores of erroneous tickets.
Speed Camera 'Illegal'Mar 26, 2013 DailyAdvertiser.com - Article
A GROUP of legal specialists are claiming the use of NSW speed cameras is in breach of Commonwealth law – and they plan to take their case all the way to the High Court of Australia.
He said it all stemmed down to the fact speed cameras need pattern approval.
Surprise will not renew deal with photo-radar firm RedflexMar 26, 2013 AZCentral.com - Article
Surprise will not renew its contract with the Redflex photo traffic radar company because the agreement is costly and speed cameras may face future state restrictions, city leaders said.
California Committee Would Give Photo Ticket Points To Non-DriversMar 22, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Owners of vehicles registered in California could have their license suspended for red light running violations, even if they never get behind the wheel of their cars. Under a bill considered by the state Assembly Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, red light camera tickets would be turned into administrative violations that hold the owner responsible for $500 and license points for violations committed by others.
Class-action lawsuit filed over Elmwood Place speed camerasMar 21, 2013 WLWT.com - Article
ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio —An attorney has filed a class-action lawsuit against the village of Elmwood Place over its speed cameras and the tickets issued from them.
Mike Allen filed the suit Thursday, seeking recovery of fines already paid to the village.
Arizona Town Has Photo Enforcement Lobbyist Conduct AuditMar 19, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
In response to allegations of wrong doing with its photo enforcement system, the town of Prescott Valley, Arizona turned to industry insider John D. Wintersteen to conduct an audit. The results were published earlier this month.
In December, Prescott Valley officials had tasked Wintersteen with investigating an anonymous tip that police officers were dismissing photo radar tickets issued to family members. The allegation was taken seriously because it was copied to the Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training (AZPOST) board, and the complaint turned out to be well founded. Wintersteen gathered from Redflex copies of any tickets for vehicles registered to town police officers that were rejected. In most cases, the citations were intercepted long before they could be dropped in the mail.
Judge voids speed camera ticket for Charlie Brennan, citing invalid ordinanceMar 16, 2013 ST. Louis Post-Dispatch - Article
MOLINE ACRES • A judge on Friday dismissed a speed camera ticket given here to local radio host Charlie Brennan, saying the ordinance that allows the cameras is in conflict with state law.
The ruling, while not precedent-setting, could hold sway with other judges who are asked to weigh the validity of such speed enforcement, said Bevis Schock, the attorney who represented Brennan.
Jefferson Parish stoplight fine revenue to be refunded to motorists ... eventuallyMar 13, 2013 NOLA.com - Article
Stoplight scofflaws who were fined by Jefferson Parish's roadside camera system likely will get their money back. But perhaps not all of it, and certainly not soon.
The Parish Council voted Wednesday to refund whatever is left in the $19.7 million pool of escrowed fine revenue after it resolves a pair of lawsuits. One was filed by motorists against the parish and camera contractor Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. of Phoenix, Ariz., the other by Redflex against the parish for more than $7.3 million of the pot.
Redflex faces growing US backlashMar 13, 2013 Australian Financial Review - Article
Redflex, the embattled red light camera group, faces a growing backlash in the giant US market after a $US2 million alleged bribery scandal cost the company its largest contract in Chicago.
Orange County, Florida, postponed a vote scheduled for Tuesday in the wake of the news out of Chicago and a complaint from a rival bidder that a ranking system used by the county favoured Redflex.
He told shareholders last week around 110 cameras had been removed in the first half of FY13 but claimed none of them were due to the ongoing problems in Chicago.
Speed cameras are a scam, Ohio judge rulesMar 10, 2013 CNet.com - Article
As WDTN-TV Ohio reports, Judge Robert Ruehlman this week declared that speed cameras were "a scam."
He vehemently criticized the authorities of Elmwood Place, Ohio, a village that installed speed cameras and then began to bathe in revenue as divas bathe in champagne.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that the judge also described the cameras as "nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty."
Stoplight camera ticket money could be refunded by Jefferson ParishMar 7, 2013 TheIND.com - Article
Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts urged Thursday that the local government refund its share of almost $20 million collected from drivers who were ticketed by stoplight cameras. He said lingering questions about the fairness of the program, as well as a newly disclosed $2 million bribery scandal involving the same contractor in Chicago, argue for giving back the money.
"There were already concerns about the program and whether due process was followed," Robert said. "I can't speak to whether there was bribery here. I certainly hope not."
Ohio judge calls speed cameras 'scam'Mar 7, 2013 WDTN.com - Article
HAMILTON, Ohio (WDTN) - A Hamilton judge ordered a small village to stop a speeding ticket blitz after the installation of traffic light cameras.
Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled Thursday that Elmwood Place is running what he called a scam against motorists. The village began using the cameras in September. It resulted in 6,600 speeding citations in the first month at $105 a pop.
Hayward, California Dumps Redflex And Red Light CamerasMar 7, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Redflex Traffic Systems is losing another customer. On Tuesday, Hayward, California's city council voted 6-1 to end the use of red light cameras at the earliest possible opportunity, joining thirty-four other California cities that have decided to abandon automated ticketing. Hayward's decision comes at a time when the Australian-based company is reeling from investigations of its involvement in bribery schemes in Chicago, Illinois and two other cities.
"Rear end accidents increase significantly because people come to a screeching halt," Urban said. "There's no proven correlation between red light camera systems and consistently decreasing crashes."
Circuit judge rules Baltimore Co. speed camera contract is illegalMar 6, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
A Circuit Court judge has ruled that Baltimore County's contract with its speed camera vendor is illegal, because it pays the company a cut of each citation issued — a ruling that could help others challenge their citations in court.
While Judge Susan Souder's ruling dismissed only a single speed camera ticket, the opinion is believed to be the first time a judge has ruled against the legality of the so-called "bounty system," one of the most controversial elements of the law.
Redflex outlines bribe probe in Chicago contractMar 3, 2013 Chicago Tribune - Article
In a release Sunday to Australian authorities and shareholders, the parent company for Chicago's red-light camera vendor outlined a series of its own failures and misdeeds involving an alleged bribery scheme the company said was "apparently proposed" by the former city official who oversaw its contract.
The then-president and then-executive vice president of the Phoenix-based subsidiary "had knowledge that would have made any reasonable person highly suspicious that this was a bribery scheme, and they acted improperly in allowing this arrangement to occur," the Australian parent company, Redflex Holdings Ltd., said in the summary filed with the Australian Securities Exchange.
The probe also found that the subsidiary falsely told the Tribune and city officials last year that it had thoroughly investigated allegations of wrongdoing after the Tribune obtained a two-year-old whistle-blower letter by a company employee. The subsidiary said it hired Chicago-based law firm Sidley Austin LLP to do this latest probe after "the Chicago Tribune published an article casting doubt on the prior investigation's conclusion."
Collier County's red light cameras shut down for goodMar 1, 2013 News-Press.com - Article
Collier County’s controversial red-light cameras were turned off for good Thursday night.
The cameras at 10 Collier intersections will be removed in the near future by the camera operator American Traffic Solutions, spokesman Charles Territo said. Territo said Friday that he couldn’t give a timeframe when the cameras will be taken down. He said ATS turned them off at midnight Thursday in accordance with a December ruling by Collier County commissioners.
The commission voted in December to end its contract with ATS on Feb. 28 because commissioners felt the cameras weren’t effectively stopping crashes. Collier installed the cameras in April 2009. There were 17 red-light crashes in the county from July 2006 to March 2009, and 17 red-light crashes from April 2009 to December 2011, according to department of highway statistics.
Lights, cameras, reaction: Resistance builds against red-light camerasFeb 28, 2013 NBC News - Article
"What the issue really comes down to is these companies are ripping people off by hundreds of millions of dollars, in the name of caring about our safety and our health and our kids," said New Jersey Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, who has introduced anti-red light camera legislation to the state Legislature.
Recent news stories have fueled opposition. In Chicago, an alleged pay-to-play scandal led the mayor to ban one company from bidding for future contracts. Millions were spent on pro-camera lobbying in Florida and other states. In Iowa, doubts about the constitutionality of using cameras as traffic enforcers led a state senator to introduce a bill to ban red-light cameras – a move already taken by at least nine other states.
[POWAY, CA] Mayor to recommend ending red-light camerasFeb 26, 2013 UTSanDiego.com - Article
POWAY — Poway Mayor Don Higginson will recommend to the City Council next week during his State of the City Address that the city should terminate its contract with a private firm that operates red-light cameras at three intersections.
Redflex out as Chicago red-light camera operatorFeb 8, 2013 BizJournals.com - Article
Redflex Traffic Systems, the current operator of Chicago’s red-light traffic cameras, will not be allowed to bid on the next service contract with the city, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel took that step after Redflex’s Australian parent company, Redflex Holdings, announced resignations from its board chairman and another board member, and requested a halt in trading of its stock, the Tribune said. Though the company did not explain the resignations, it did say that stopping trading was due to an investigation in the United States, according to the report.
GOOD RIDDANCE TO RED-LIGHT CAMERASFeb 3, 2013 NaplesNews.com - Article
The troublesome red-light cameras are on their way out -- at least in Collier County.
They are far more trouble than they are worth. Their primary effect is to make the driver look up to see if there is a blue light at the intersection, signifying a camera, instead of watching the car in front of him.
Mayor Filner, SDPD End Red Light Camera ProgramFeb 1, 2013 NBC San Diego - Article
Mayor Bob Filner announced Friday that the city will be ending a controversial red light camera program.
The program charges violators up to $490 when the automated cameras catch motorists running red lights. The program contract with the city expired Thursday night and will not be renewed, Filner said.
Baltimore Judges Throwing Out Speed Camera TicketsJan 29, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
District judges in Baltimore threw out just over half of the 3,000 speed camera tickets they considered last year after hearing appeals from motorists, city records show.
Another Speed Camera Company Sues a CompetitorJan 28, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A Swedish speed camera firm is suing Maryland-based photo enforcement company Brekford claiming it has been ripped off. In 2011, Sensys cut a deal to sell automated ticketing machines and services to Brekford, a division of Sigma Space Corporation. According to the complaint filed with a federal district court in Florida, Brekford failed to provide services that were valued at $260,000 as required under a contractual arrangement.
League City: Red-light cameras coming downJan 25, 2013 KHOU.com - Article
LEAGUE CITY — The first of League City’s red-light cameras is coming down this week.
City Manager Mike Loftin said the city was able to work with the camera company, Redflex Traffic Systems, to turn off the camera facing the right turn lane on the southbound Interstate 45 frontage road at FM 518.
The camera was turned off at midnight Jan. 18 and was removed Thursday evening.
League City voters overwhelmingly voted to remove the red-light cameras last year; 77 percent of the voters decided to ban them.
Geneva Will Say Goodbye to Red-Light Cameras March 8Jan 24, 2013 Geneva Patch - Article
Geneva's three-year experiment with red-light cameras at two dangerous intersections will come to an end in early March.
Geneva police Cmdr. Julie Nash said by e-mail this week that the contract is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. March 8, 2013. That "fade to black" marks the end of a sometimes controversial police enforcement technology that was hailed by some as the wave of the future and condemned by others as too much "Big Brother" oversight by local government.
West Palm Beach to add red-light cameras at 25 intersections [AFTER CRASHES DOUBLE]Jan 22, 2013 Palm Beach Post - Article
WEST PALM BEACH - The city will significantly expand its red-light camera program this year after commissioners voted Tuesday to place cameras in 25 new intersections, bringing the number of intersections equipped to catch drivers who illegally run red lights to 32.
The move comes despite a recent city police report that tracked five of the existing seven red-light cameras and found crashes nearly doubled in those locations between February 2011 and January 2013, to 66 from 36.
Troubled transition shuts down city speed camerasJan 22, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
Baltimore's speed and red light camera system has experienced a near-complete shutdown during what city officials are calling a problematic transition to a new contractor, records show, and the new vendor says it could take four months to get its system running.
Man accused of speeding 94 times clearedJan 18, 2013 UPI.com - Article
ROUEN, France, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A French judge has acquitted a man allegedly photographed speeding 94 times, after finding prosecutors could not prove the man was driving at the time.
Speed-camera tunnel vision - Sham tickets expose the financial motivation behind robotic enforcementJan 15, 2013 DNAinfo.com - Article
Over the years, like hundreds of thousands of other drivers, the 49-year-old Chatham resident has been slapped with $100 tickets after being photographed entering an intersection while the traffic light was red.
But Hinton said it was the third ticket he received about a month ago, at 95th Street and Stony Island Avenue, that inspired him to start an online petition to rid Chicago of the cameras.
Potential Chicago speed camera operator in deal to refund $4 million in New JerseyJan 10, 2013 Chicago Tribune - Article
One of the two companies battling for Chicago's new contract to tag speeders in school zones with automated cameras has agreed to pay up to $4.2 million in partial refunds on a half-million New Jersey tickets that might have been issued in violation of state law.
Photo radar just a cash grabJan 9, 2013 Toronto Sun - Article
Or in this case a straight-out attempt to relieve drivers of their hard-earned cash by a cynical revenue -raising scheme dressed not so much as a feathered pond dweller as a cost saving efficiency.
"His position is that police officers are a very expensive resource to use for something which technology can do ... and much more economically," Pugash said by way of explanation, presumably without blushing.
A 1993 study in Riverside, Calif., examined "the effect of photo-radar and speed display boards on traffic speed ... on comparable streets."
Its findings were salutary. Put simply, unmanned speed boards were more effective in deterring speeders than radar.
Speed Cameras So Unreliable In One City, Officials Are Scrapping SystemJan 8, 2013 AOL Autos - Article
Automated speed cameras have become so unreliable in Baltimore that city officials are removing all of the cameras in operation and replacing with newer models in a $450,000 overhaul, officials said Monday.
Speed-camera tunnel vision - Sham tickets expose the financial motivation behind robotic enforcementJan 3, 2013 Washington Times - Article
Speed-camera salesmen are finding it tougher to get away with the usual platitudes about the reliability of their products. As 2012 drew to a close, Xerox, the photocopier giant in charge of photo- enforcement programs throughout the country, admitted that 1 out of every 20 citations issued at certain Baltimore locations was inaccurate.
O'SCANLON: RLC COMPANIES - A MODEL FOR BAD BUSINESSJan 3, 2013 Politicker NJ - Article
In continuing his assault on the failed red-light camera (“RLC”) program, Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon (R-13) today shined light on the ethical lapses of the camera operators in other jurisdictions and efforts to manipulate data and distort evidence in hopes that no one will notice the products these companies push have failed to improve safety.
Red-light cameras: A spy-and-snap intrusionJan 2, 2013 Hernando Today (Tampa Tribune) - Article
There are almost 1,000 red-light cameras snooping and snapping at intersections across Florida. They are the robotic spies of cities too cheap to hire cops to police their traffic and too deceitful to admit that the cameras have one overriding purpose: to make money by ringing up as many citations as possible.
Sometime in 2013, the Florida Supreme Court will decide whether the installation of spy cameras before July 2010 was legal. That was the year the Florida Legislature passed a law allowing local governments to install cameras. The law also strictly regulated the system with a universal $158 fine, more than half of which is due the state, and the right of those cited to appear before a traffic court magistrate.
Man crashes his car into photo radar van in TucsonJan 2, 2013 ABC15 - Article
TUCSON, AZ - A man is in custody in Tucson after allegedly crashing his car into a parked photo radar van.
Tucson police say 25-year-old Matthew Jones is being held on suspicion of felony criminal damage and driving under the influence.
He was arrested after the New Year's Day accident in the midtown area.
Police say Jones' vehicle veered off the road and struck the radar van.
New Jersey: Partial Refund For Illegal Traffic Camera Ticket RecipientsJan 2, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
More than 81,000 citations worth $10.2 million were issued in New Jersey through red light camera programs that were not in compliance with state law. Rather than fight a drawn out class action battle to defend the money it collected, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) last week filed a proposed settlement in federal court designed to limit the firm's liability to a sum "not to exceed" $4.2 million. Federal magistrates have scheduled a January 22 hearing to consider the settlement offer.
Lawyers representing motorists caught the firm issuing tickets in eighteen municipalities where officials failed to file traffic studies justifying the duration of the yellow timing at monitored intersections, as required by law. The municipalities also failed to perform the mandatory six-month inspection of the photo ticketing equipment. ATS insists the company did nothing wrong.
Shot with own speed camera, D.C. cop fires backJan 1, 2013 Washington Times - Article
Metropolitan Police DepartmentSgt. Mark Robinson tried for months to persuade D.C. traffic officials to rescind more than 100,000 defective citations he said were a result of unreliable speed cameras, but when he got caught by one of them himself in the Third Street Tunnel, he took a different course.
The result was a decision in his favor by a hearing examiner that could brighten the day of anyone who has ever been caught by a speed camera — and cause nightmares for budget-stressed city officials who depend on them. If upheld, that decision could force D.C. officials to return $1.8 million in penalties associated with more than 14,000 tickets that misidentified the posted speed limit.