The latest headlines from the world of photo enforcement. Updated almost daily...
Ex-Redflex CEO gets 2.5 years in Chicago bribery schemeNov 17, 2016 AZCentral.com - Article
CHICAGO — The former chief executive of a red-light camera company was sentenced this month to 2½ years in prison for a bribery scheme to secure $124 million in city of Chicago contracts.
Town council votes not to renew photo radar contractOct 18, 2016 PR Record Gazette - Article
Town Council voted not to renew the photo radar contract with Global Traffic Group Inc. (Global) during a regular council meeting on October 11.
Vista, California Dumps Red Light CamerasOct 18, 2016 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Many California cities that experimented with red light cameras have experienced regret. Last week, Vista became the latest municipality to terminate its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia, the embattled camera operator. By a vote of 3 to 2, the council agreed to take the cameras down at the end of the year.
"I have not heard from one citizen who has approached me and said, 'Please, please don't take the cameras down,'" Franklin added. "I think this is something voters really care about."
All of the residents who spoke at the meeting urged the council to vote down the cameras.
Red-light camera opponents continue battle to do away with devices in SheridanSep 30, 2016 Denver Post - Article
On Friday, attorneys for several Sheridan residents filed a notice of appeal with the Colorado Court of Appeals laying out a plan to challenge an Arapahoe County district judge’s ruling this summer that dismissed an effort by the group to get a measure on the legality of the automated traffic control devices on the November ballot.
Lawsuit: Lynnwood red-light camera tickets should be refundedSep 30, 2016 KIRO 7 - Article
“They have been operating a red-light camera system illegally in that city,” Jordan said.
“The authorizing ordinance that the state Legislature enacted has very specific requirements, and Lynnwood is not following those, and so Lynnwood cannot be running a camera system.”
Jordan has hired Seattle lawyer Jay Carlson to file a class action lawsuit against Lynnwood for allegedly violating RCW 46.63.170, which states: “ ... cities and counties using automated traffic safety cameras must post an annual report of the number of traffic accidents that occurred at each location where an automated traffic safety camera is located as well as the number of notices of infraction issued for each camera and any other relevant information about the automated traffic safety cameras that the city or county deems appropriate on the city's or county's web site.”
Nearly one in 10 Queensland speed camera offenders not finedSep 20, 2016 Brisbane Times - Article
Almost one in 10 mobile speed camera fines cannot be issued, with illegible and obstructed number plates helping motorists dodge tickets.
Photo radar ticket ruling has huge implicationsMay 18, 2016 Winninpeg Free Press - Article
Thousands of outstanding traffic tickets may have been rendered invalid after a Winnipeg woman had her photo radar ticket tossed by the courts because of unreasonable delay.
Provincial court Judge Mary Kate Harvie said in a 12-page written decision released Wednesday that she agreed that a trial date of April 27, 2016 -- 18 months to the day after the offence allegedly occurred -- was "unreasonable and represents a violation of (the Canadian) Charter (of Rights and Freedoms)."
Harvie said a ticket should take only a few months to come to court because of the "minimal amount of time for preparation and a minimal amount of actual court time."
Gunter: City report shows increased traffic enforcement mostly uselessMay 12, 2016 Edmonton Sun - Article
On Thursday, the city released its 2015 traffic accident report.
Where there were 2,912 “incidents” in 2014, there were 3,033 last year, a rise of about 4%.
Fatalities were up nearly 40%.
OMG!!! How can this be!?
Haven’t our photo-radar obsessed mayor, administration and council assured us over and over that so long as they impose tens of millions in speeding fines on Edmontonians each year our city’s streets will become safer?
Investigation: Local cops caught by speed cameras evade ticketsMay 9, 2016 WJLA - Article
WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Wouldn't it be nice if your speed camera tickets were taken care of? For most, that's just a fantasy. But, not if you're a Montgomery County Police officer.
Potential windfall for drivers if landmark court case proves Nelson Mandela bus gate camera is 'illegal'May 2, 2016 CBS Local Denver - Article
MOTORISTS will be in line for a multi-million pound windfall if a landmark bus gate challenge goes ahead, according to a CCTV expert who claims that most traffic enforcement cameras are flouting data protection law.
High Percentage of Photo Radar/Red Light Tickets Being DismissedMay 2, 2016 CBS Local Denver - Article
DENVER (CBS4) – As battles against photo red light cameras and photo radar continue on both the local and state level, CBS4 found that a large percentage — as high as one in every three such tickets — are being dismissed in Denver.
Suit against Gretna, Redflex over traffic camera tickets seeks class-action statusApr 26, 2016 The Advocate - Article
A Monroe law firm has filed a lawsuit in state district court in Jefferson Parish seeking class-action status against the city of Gretna and Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.
The suit claims the city’s use of an automated camera system to issue traffic tickets and the hearings at which cited motorists can challenge their tickets are both illegal.
2012 Study: Red Light Cameras Cause Traffic JamsApr 24, 2016 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Local officials attribute many benefits to the use of red light cameras, but they rarely mention any negative side effects. A 2012 paper by Maryland researchers documented a downside -- an increase in congestion at intersections where automated ticketing machines are in use.
Why prosecute thousands of perfectly safe drivers not about to crash?Apr 20, 2016 Scunthorpe Telegraph - Article
But Mr Peat, of Sutton-on-Sea, said speeding cannot physically cause anything to happen, let alone accidents.
He suggested: "When a site generates 2,251 speed offenders per day it is clearly failing if the object is to maintain the speed limit.
"If these were accidents, would police just keep taking snaps of them and taking the money or get it fixed? Their only justification for ignoring a site fault is that all speeders are irresponsibly disobedient.
"How many people does Councillor Poole know who deliberately go out to break the law, then? So it’s a site fault. Either the limit is too low for the layout or there aren’t enough repeater reminders.
Study: Most Red Light Camera Tickets Should Be $0Apr 15, 2016 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Researchers from Auburn University earlier this year told the Transportation Research Board annual meeting that the vast majority of red light camera tickets are issued for behavior that carries no risk. The team used real-world data from red light camera intersections in Opelika, Alabama to model the likelihood of a crash for certain types of driving behavior. For more than nine out of ten photo ticket recipients, the group suggested the risk-based fine should be $0.
"Currently red light running fines are not based off of the risk imposed by the violator; instead, they are seemingly arbitrarily legislated," the report explained. "Prior to red light cameras, there was not an accurate way to judge this risk. However, the camera captures the exact instant the violator enters the intersection after red, thus allowing for a fine structure to be based off of that information."
The study calculated the probability of a conflict between opposing traffic when a vehicle runs the red light. A simulation model was then used to determine the risk of whether a crash happens or not based on how long the light had been red when the vehicle enters the intersection. The probability of a crash between 0.1 and 3.5 seconds after the light turned red was found to be zero percent, largely because of the all-red clearance interval prevents conflict. The risk jumps significantly after the light has been red for 4.4 seconds or longer.
SA Government to lose $1.2m in revenue after car crashes into South Eastern Freeway speed camerasApr 8, 2016 The Advertiser - Article
THE STATE Government faces losing more than $10,000 a day in fines revenue while the controversial new South East Freeway speed cameras are out of action after being demolished by a car.
Point-to-point camera and car destroyed in high-speed crash near Mount BarkerApr 3, 2016 ABC - Article
A point-to-point speed camera in the Adelaide Hills has been destroyed along with a car in a high-speed crash on the South Eastern Freeway.
Editor: Yet another crash not prevented by a camera...
Photo Enforcement Shut Down In ArizonaApr 1, 2016 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Red light cameras and speed cameras are no longer issuing citations in Arizona. Cities throughout the state have decided to unplug their automated ticketing machines in the wake of last month's surprise opinion from Attorney General Mark Brnovich requiring photo ticket vendors to obtain private investigator licenses.
Thanks to the Brnovich ruling, the remaining cities that use photo enforcement tickets may not use photographs or other evidence collected by private companies like American Traffic Solutions (ATS) or Redflex because those firms lack the credentials required to submit evidence for use in a court of law. Anyone who processes an automated citation without being a certified police officer or a licensed private investigator is guilty of a class one misdemeanor.
Speed camera snaps motorcyclist in shorts and T-shirt coming off bike in WAMar 25, 2016 ABC Australia - Article
"Last Sunday, 20 March 2016, a speed camera on the Kwinana Freeway captured a motorcyclist sliding past at 112km/h — but unfortunately he wasn't on his wheels.
Editor: Yet another crash apparently casued by speed cameras.
Speed cameras that cause traffic jams to be scrapped in the NetherlandsMar 21, 2016 Arizona Republic - Article
After years of failed attempts by Republicans to restrict photo radar, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a ban Monday along state highways that would only affect two cities [and prevents future cameras].
Red light camera company settles class action lawsuit in Albuquerque for $3.5MMar 18, 2016 KRQE - Article
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – KRQE News 13 has learned the red light camera company, Redflex, is settling a lawsuit with thousands of Albuquerque drivers.
Those drivers claimed Redflex and the company’s debt collector were hassling them non-stop to pay up. Now, Redflex will be cutting checks to thousands of people in Albuquerque.
Judge Voids Tons Of Chicago Traffic Camera Tickets Over Due Process ConcernsMar 8, 2016 Tech Dirt - Article
Being familiar with our story roster when it comes to traffic and speed cameras, the only logical conclusion that can be reached is that these devices have almost nothing to do with driver safety and almost everything to do with bringing in revenue for local governments. And, with the focus being on revenue as opposed to keeping human beings from harm, the mystery for all of the corruption surrounding how these camera contracts are awarded and implemented vanishes into a story of the age-old greed of the human being.
But to really see how spectacularly these cameras fail at just about everything, we can eschew the reports on safety and the lack of their impact for the moment and focus instead on how it's quickly becoming clear that the cameras do a shitty job at the bringing-in-revenue part of the equation as well. We've seen already the staggering statistics on how many refunds have been issued for tickets issued by the camera system, but now the courts are getting involved as well. An example of this can be seen in Chicago, where a judge has ruled that camera tickets spanning back over a decade are simply void and that the city had violated the due process rights of the citizens under its care.
Five injured as ambulance crashes into speed cameraMar 4, 2016 Times of Malta - Article
Five people were injured this afternoon when an ambulance crashed into a speed camera on the Birkirkara bypass, police said.
Speed cameras that cause traffic jams to be scrapped in the NetherlandsFeb 28, 2016 Independent - Article
Speed cameras in the Netherlands might be there to encourage motorists to keep to the limit, but they actually cause traffic jams.
The Dutch transport ministry and police admit drivers often slam on the brakes when they see speed cameras, and the knock-on effect leads to more traffic. So from this week the new protocol is that when there is a danger of a queue, police will put away the speed cameras.
“[People] brake, and that frequently has a domino effect on the drivers who are behind them,” Alfred van Beilen, an operations expert at the Dutch police, told NOS news. “That can in the end lead to traffic jams.”
Judge: Red-light, speed-cam tickets 'void'; city violated due processFeb 22, 2016 Chicago Sun Times - Article
Chicago violated the “fundamental principles of justice, equity and good conscience” by denying due process to motorists issued red-light camera and speed-camera tickets, a judge has ruled, declaring those tickets “void.”
In a harshly worded ruling handed down late Friday, Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy kept alive a lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions dollars in refunds for motorists ticketed since 2003 after City Hall “skipped a step” mandated by the city’s own municipal code.
Tampa council members want review on red light camsJan 21, 2016 WTSP - Article
TAMPA, Florida - With new crash stats finally in-hand, several city council members Thursday openly questioned whether they had been sold a bill of goods on red light cameras' effectiveness.
The discussion and police analysis followed a 10Investigates story from July 2015 that exposed flaws in the city's red light camera (RLC) claims and its failure to analyze the program's effects on safety for several years running.
"What is most telling," Florell continued, "comparing this data with the data released by the state of Florida in their 2015 red light camera report...shows that Tampa's red light camera intersections had a 51% increase in total crashes and a 142% increase in angle crashes. Those numbers show the true picture of what is going on at Tampa's red light camera intersections, and it has nothing to do with improving safety."
Gulfport ends its red-light camera program amid legal concernsJan 20, 2016 The St Petersburg Tribune - Article
GULFPORT — Another Tampa Bay area community is turning off its red-light cameras as a new state report casts doubt on whether the traffic safety devices have made roads safer.
Gulfport City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to end its contract with American Traffic Solutions, the firm that has operated the city’s cameras since 2011. Council members said they had concerns about the legality of the cameras and the accuracy of the system after the number of violations spiked this year after equipment was updated.
Hollywood puts brakes on red light camerasJan 6, 2016 Hollywood Gazette - Article
Red light cameras are not coming back to Hollywood.
The City’s contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) has been terminated. The City has developed an agreement with ATS to leave the poles in place for Hollywood’s future use as it continues to develop the Closed Circuit Television Camera network.