Violations of Trust
It's very shocking when you realize that some jurisdictions have approved and installed photo enforcement equipment without provisions for regular monitoring and oversight by a government entity. Our officials have placed full and complete trust in camera vendors to regularly maintain and calibrate their equipment as well as to voluntarily cancel citations issued when equipment malfunctions. We also trust that their employees are properly trained and know what they are doing, despite evidence that suggests that they don't exactly hire the best employees. Overall, They have financial incentive to neglect their equipment, hire unqualified people, and falsify records to increase their bottom line and often with no oversight or consequences. Many jurisdictions become so addicted to the cash flow that they can and will overlook such violations if they are detected. We've uncovered several stories below that demonstrate that these companies, along with elected officials are not to be trusted, but nothing ever seems to happen. Do you trust these people?
Florida quietly shortened yellow light standards & lengths, resulting in more red light camera tickets for youMay 14, 2013 WTAP.com - Article
TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida's rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera fines.
The 10 News Investigators discovered the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) quietly changed the state's policy on yellow intervals in 2011, reducing the minimum below federal recommendations. The rule change was followed by engineers, both from FDOT and local municipalities, collaborating to shorten the length of yellow lights at key intersections, specifically those with red light cameras (RLCs).
Florida: Politician Takes Camera Cash, Guts Camera Reform BillMar 29, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
An attempt to rein in the use of red light cameras in the Florida state Senate has fallen flat. A senator who has taken money from red light camera vendors converted a bill that would have cracked down on abusive practices by municipalities into legislation that will enable them to issue even more photo citations. A dispute erupted on Facebook over the weekend as to whether state Representative Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) gutted the legislation because he took $1000 in campaign cash from American Traffic Solutions.
Prescott Valley police accused of letting relatives slide on photo radar citationsMar 17, 2013 AZ Family - Article
PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz.. -- No one likes seeing the flash of a photo radar camera catching them speeding but in Prescott Valley, a recent investigation shows some drivers didn't have to worry.
On at least 22 occasions, drivers may have gotten off without getting cited because they were family members of Prescott Valley police officers.
Laurel, Hagerstown Circumvent Calibration RequirementMar 17, 2013 MD Drivers Alliance - Article
Documents obtained from the cities of Laurel and Hagerstown reveal that a requirement of state law that speed cameras be certified by an independent calibration lab was circumvented, with the cities and their contractor allowing the manufacturer of the devices to certify their own equipment. Both Laurel and Hagerstown contract with Brekford Corp for speed camera services and hardware.
Prescott Valley cop nixed wife's 7 photo radar ticketsMar 16, 2013 The Daily Courier - Article
PRESCOTT VALLEY - An independent audit documented a number of cases of Prescott Valley police dismissing photo -enforcement violations involving family members using vehicles registered to the officers.
Twenty-two cases involved family members who activated the photo cameras by driving at least 11 mph faster than the posted speed limit, according to a 22-page report by public safety consultant John Wintersteen of Paradise Valley.
Circuit judge rules Baltimore Co. speed camera contract is illegalMar 5, 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."
Minister admits mobile speed camera 'entrapment'Feb. 20, 2013 The Herald - Article
NSW Minister for Roads Duncan Gay has admitted tactics used by the operators of a mobile speed camera in the southern NSW town of Wagga Wagga shouldn't be happening.
Weighing in on the debate after being approached about the situation by Member for Wagga Daryl Maguire, the minister's office contacted Fairfax Regional Media yesterday to issue the following statement.
"It looks like entrapment, which is exactly what we didn't want to happen," Mr Gay said.
Florida City Caught Issuing 1645 Camera Tickets On Shortened YellowFeb. 7, 2013 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A tenth of a second can make a big difference. In St. Petersburg, Florida, the yellow time at intersections was shortened by fractions of a second for thousands of drivers, enabling the red light camera program to generate an extra $259,910 in revenue in 13 months. To the unaided eye, the difference between a 4.3 second yellow and a 4.2 second yellow is too brief to be perceived, but it was enough to boost the number of citations issued by five percent.
Red Light Citations With False Signatures Not VoidedJan. 27, 2013 StopBigBrotherMD.org - Article
In February 2011, WBAL TV reported that a deceased police officer "signed" over 2000 red light camera tickets issued by the city of Baltimore. The signatures on the citations were clearly false, since it would have been physically impossible for this officer to have signed the citations. Indeed, had an ordinary citizen signed the name of a police officer on an official document, it would be considered forgery, which would be illegal even if there were no requirement in the law that red light camera tickets be signed. However an email released by the City shows that as of August 24, 2012 -- 18 months after the incident was publicized -- Baltimore City had not chosen to make the situation right by voiding the falsified citations.
No Plans to Move Speed Camera, Police SayJan. 17, 2013 Baltimore Sun - Article
The Montgomery County Police Department has no plans to remove a speed camera in the 4300 block of Jones Bridge Road that a district court judge ruled was improperly placed.
City official worried in July speed camera problems could 'get out of hands'Dec. 4, 2012 Baltimore Sun - Article
City transportation officials were so worried four months ago about inaccurate speeding tickets coming from an automated camera on Cold Spring Lane that a supervisor ordered the problem fixed before it could "get out of hands," documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun show.
Yet the camera remained in operation, continuing to record erroneous citations. And it was only last month that the city said it was investigating the source of the errors.
Maryland Town Defends Practice of Forging Signature on Speed Camera TicketsOct. 16, 2012 Uptown Messenger - Article
Riverdale Park, Maryland refuses to back down in the face of a class action lawsuit challenging the town to refund citations bearing the forged signature of a police officer. Between February 17, 2010 and April 3, 2010, citations were issued bearing the signature of Police Corporal Clayton Alford, even though Alford was on medical leave on those dates and could not have signed the tickets, as required under state law. Attorney Timothy P. Leahy, who filed the class action suit, blasted the town's conduct in papers filed with the Prince George's County Circuit Court on Monday.
Fines scrapped after mobile camera placed at bottom of hillOct. 11, 2012 News.com.au - Article
SPEEDING fines have had to be scrapped because a mobile camera was wrongly set up over the brow of a hill to snap motorists going down a steep slope.
The old "camera at the bottom of the hill trick" is the second embarrassment to hit Victoria's traffic camera system recently, possibly causing millions of dollars in red-light camera fines being refunded.
Fraud allegations mean Riverdale Park may have to reimburse $5 million in speed camera revenueAug. 10, 2012 Gazette.net - Article
If allegations of fraud in the town’s speed camera program turn out to be true, Riverdale Park could have to reimburse about $5 million to drivers issued speeding tickets through the program, a large sum for a town with an annual budget of just more than $6 million.
A Riverdale Park police officer claims officials allowed his signature to be forged on an unknown number of speed camera citations dating back to 2010.
Former D.C. cop admits falsifying radar-camera testing recordsAug. 9, 2012 Washington Times - Article
A former D.C. police officer admitted Thursday to falsifying logs regarding the testing of mobile photo-radar cameras that issue speeding tickets — a move that resulted in the department having to refund more than $17,000 in traffic ticket fines.
El Mirage Officials Withholding Accident Stats at Intersection with Speed Camera Until After Election, Despite Councilman's Request for DataAug. 6, 2012 Phoenix New Times - Article
El Mirage's appointed and elected city officials are not releasing accident data for an intersection with a speed camera -- until after the election.
That, despite repeated requests by El Mirage City Councilman Jim McPhetres for those statistics.
Lawsuit accuses Riverdale Park of speed camera fraudAug. 6, 2012 MYFox DC - Article
RIVERDALE PARK, Md. - Riverdale Park Police are accused of illegally issuing thousands of speed camera tickets. A lawsuit filed Monday claims employees used an officer's name to fraudulently sign off on tickets he never saw. If true, the city could owe millions of dollars in refunds.
Traffic Camera Executive Attempts to Manipulate California VoteJul. 23, 2012 Uptown Messenger - Article
A photo enforcement company executive that supposedly was fired last year for being caught attempting to manipulate an election in Washington state has been caught trying to do the same in California. Bill Kroske was a vice president at American Traffic Solutions (ATS) until the Everett Herald newspaper exposed his efforts to work closely with the mayor of Mukilteo to block a citizen ballot initiative to ban the use of red light and speed cameras.
On March 27, Murrieta Police Corporal Jay Froboese emailed Kroske to let him know the city manager decided not to extend the city's red light camera contract with ATS in light of the pending referendum vote. This infuriated Kroske, who immediately contacted Murrieta Mayor Douglas R. McAllister.
Back to school for a speeding ticketJul. 16, 2012 Uptown Messenger - Article
That’s why there was a school zone adjacent to what is now Company Burger. It doesn’t explain, however, why on earth the school zone is still there.
The reason, alas, is a speed camera. This past March, the Landrieu administration announced that it would be bringing 11 new speed cameras online in school zones, including both east and westbound at the "former Audubon Primary Academy."
Yes, you read that correctly. Landrieu’s own press release recognized that he was putting in a speed camera in a school zone created for a school that was no longer there.
Red light cameras at a stopJul. 3, 2012 YourHoustonNews.com - Article
THE WOODLANDS – Precinct 3 Constable Tim Holifield has ordered a national red light camera company to dismiss all citations issued to motorists since March 29.
The order comes after it was discovered a traffic study was not completed before the cameras were installed at five intersections in The Woodlands.
New Jersey Halts Red Light Cameras Over Yellow TimingJun 20, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) yesterday ordered a halt to red light camera ticketing in 21 cities. The agency became concerned drivers are being shortchanged and the law violated after learning that 63 of 85 photo ticketing intersections failed to meet legal requirements for yellow signal timing. The agency prohibited ticketing at these locations pending certification of each individual intersection's timing.
234 additional drivers get El Mirage refunds for ticketsApr. 9, 2012 AZCentral.com - Article
El Mirage has issued refund checks to 234 additional drivers who were overcharged when they paid photo-enforcement tickets to the city last year.
The City Court is still working to correct a clerical error that resulted in hundreds paying too much for red-light and speed violations. Although city officials corrected the fine amounts in August, they waited at least six months to begin returning the money.
El Mirage held back refunds of traffic-cam finesMar. 9, 2012 AZCentral.com - Article
More than 600 drivers who paid photo-enforcement tickets in El Mirage last year were overcharged and not refunded their money for at least six months, an analysis by The Arizona Republic has found.
A former El Mirage police lieutenant uncovered the error in August and warned the city judge and management. The city immediately corrected its fine amounts, but it has yet to return money to everyone whom it owes a refund.
Missouri: Traffic Camera Company Invests in Attorney GeneralApr. 13, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Arizona-based red light camera firm American Traffic Solutions (ATS) handed another $5000 check to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on March 29. Such donations are key because the Show Me State remains one of the last jurisdictions where automated ticketing machines are in use without the sanction of the legislature. That has put the systems in a precarious legal position.
The Chicago Cash Camera Scam: Profit The Clear MotiveMar. 17, 2012 PhotoRadarScam.com - Article
Recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to install up to 1800 speed cameras across the city in order to improve safety for children. But as is common with Chicago politics, the whole thing stinks of corruption and dishonesty.
Illinois: Local Official Charged with Traffic Camera CorruptionDec. 28, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A former village manager accused last week of corruption as part of a scandal that included the signing of a lucrative red light camera contract. Bellwood, Illinois filed the complaint in Cook County circuit court accusing Roy F. McCampbell of running village finances into the ground as he had control of the budget between 2005 and 2009 as comptroller, public safety director and corporation counsel. He was paid more than $1.5 million over this period, ending 2009 with a salary of $449,312.
Italy: Seven Arrested in Red Light Camera Corruption ScandalDec. 15, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Italy's widespread red light camera corruption investigation expanded once again yesterday with the arrest of seven officials in towns about an hour outside Rome. As part of Operation Watchful Eye, Italy's financial police, the Guardia di Finanza, charged the police commanders in the towns of Frosinone and Isola del Liri with taking bribes from a private traffic camera firm.
Washington: Emails Shed Light on Traffic Camera FirmDec. 14, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
In August, the mayor of Lynnwood, Washington announced an independent investigation into the relationship between city officials and traffic camera operator American Traffic Solutions (ATS). A series of reports in the Everett Daily Herald exposed how Lynnwood Police Sergeant Wayne "Kawika" Davis sought to land a job at ATS and took every opportunity to ingratiate himself to the company's management, including use of taxpayer resources to promote ATS business interests.
Newly obtained emails between Lynnwood officials and ATS shed additional light on the close ties between the city and the company. Davis continued his quest to please ATS by holding premium booth space at an upcoming North American Motor Officers Association conference.
Another Florida City Settles Suit Over Illegal Photo TicketingNov. 2, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Many Florida municipalities now regret jumping the gun and installing red light cameras before the state legislature authorized their use in 2010. The Hallandale Beach city commission will vote later today to approve a settlement of $375,566 to be repaid to vehicle owners who were mailed tickets before the program was actually legal. American Traffic Solutions (ATS), which controlled the program, will pay $43,221 -- its proportional share of the amount.
Texas Resident Calls for Investigation Over Bogus Red Light Camera TicketsOct. 21, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Port Lavaca, Texas is refusing to release documents that might reveal whether additional motorists have received automated tickets for running a green light. Yesterday, Byron Schirmbeck, director of saferbaytown.com, filed a formal complaint with Calhoun County District Attorney Dan Heard over the city's refusal to comply with the terms of the state open records statute that generally requires the disclosure of public documents within ten days.
Australia: State Caught Exploiting Short Yellow Signal TimesOct 8, 2012 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A court challenge forced officials in Victoria, Australia to admit last week that red light cameras at eight intersections have been extremely productive because the yellow warning times were illegally short. The yellows fell short anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5 seconds with the incorrect timing in place, in one instance, for seven-and-a-half years.
Washington: Traffic Camera Executive Orchestrated Anti-Voter SuitSep. 15, 2011 TriCities.com - Article
One of Bluff City’s two speed cameras on U.S. Highway 11E has been temporarily shut down amid concerns it might have illegally been issuing tickets for the past 2½ months.
The Red-Light Camera CircusSep. 22, 2011 HoustonPress.com - Article
"Let me make sure that you folks understand," Kubosh says in a low growl. "This will never go away." It's August 2, 2011, and Kubosh is talking about the red-light camera issue, one he and his brothers have been fighting since long before the cameras went up in 2006.
Missouri: Lawsuit Challenges Red Light Camera Legality, AstroturfSep. 19, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Lawyers for motorists in Missouri are looking to capitalize on recent discoveries regarding deceptive marketing campaigns orchestrated by red light camera companies. On Wednesday, The Simon Law Firm filed a class action lawsuit against American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and the city of Hazelwood seeking refunds for thousands of photo enforcement tickets issued without the sanction of state law.
Speed cameras illegal?Sep. 16, 2011 JacksonSun.com - Article
BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Bluff City has shut down its speed cameras as a question about compliance with a new state law is resolved.
The Associated Press reported that Bluff City officials had been violating the statute for more than two months because speed limit signs are too close to a traffic camera location at an intersection. Under the new law, the signs must be at least one mile from the cameras.
$12K in tickets from Bluff City speed cameras might be refundedSep 14, 2011 Tricities.com - Article
BLUFF CITY, Tenn. -- About $12,000 worth of speed camera citations issued in late July may be refunded after a former police officer admitted to letting a reserve officer use his log-in information to review the tickets on the city’s computer system.
Washington: Traffic Camera Company Runs Press Relations for LynnwoodSep. 9, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The distinction between employees for a private photo enforcement firm and taxpayer-funded public servants blurred in the city of Lynnwood, Washington. Emails between city officials and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) suggest a cozy relationship developed where both sides were willing to perform the duties of the other in terms of marketing and public relations.
Washington: Traffic Camera Executive Orchestrated Anti-Voter SuitAug. 8, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
In another set of emails from April, Kroske derided Mukilteo Public Works Director Larry Waters because he had stated in writing to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) that there was no accident data that would justify installing red light cameras.
"I cannot believe this idiot sent this to WSDOT," Kroske wrote. "I may have torpedoed the project. Hold up any further work on the submission until I hear from the mayor or city manager. With the engineer on record against it, I expect it will be difficult to get approval from WSDOT."
Houston Residents Unload on City Council Over Red Light DecisionAug. 3, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Hundreds of Houston, Texas residents swarmed the city council chambers yesterday to complain about the reactivation of red light cameras. Voters in November enacted a charter amendment banning the use of automated ticketing machines, but a federal judge worked with the city attorney and vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) to nullify the election so that the cameras could come back.
P.G. speed camera contract given to firm with questionable citationsJul 29, 2011 St. Petersburg Times - Article
Clearwater officials decided where to put red-light cameras by using only one measure: where the most tickets had been written for red-light running.
A Times review of 250 red-light crashes between 2008 and 2011 shows that decision ignored more than a dozen dangerous intersections with far higher red-light crash rates.
P.G. speed camera contract given to firm with questionable citationsJul 19, 2011 Washington Times - Article
Prince George’s County’s new speed cameras will be provided by a company that has come under scrutiny this year about the accuracy of its devices, county officials said Tuesday.
City still hasn't released photo-radar reportMay 28, 2011 WinnipegSun.com - Article
Even though the city has a legal obligation to file an annual report to the province on all aspects of photo radar and red-light cameras no later than April 30 each year, they still haven’t released one. It’s now a month late.
A-G to probe use and integrity of road camerasMay 25, 2011 HeraldNet.com - Article
With growing numbers of complaints from motorists about incorrect and inappropriate fines, Victoria's Auditor-General has announced plans to examine whether the use of cameras boosts road safety, or merely serves to raise revenue for the state government.
The audit office's work plan for the coming 12 months warns of "significant community concern about the integrity and validity of the camera program", including whether speed and red-light camera readings are accurate.
Mukilteo stalls law on traffic camerasMar. 29, 2011 HeraldNet.com - Article
MUKILTEO -- More than 70 percent of voters here decided in November to make it harder for the city to install traffic safety cameras.
Now, city officials are treating that vote purely as advisory. That's because city lawyers say the measure shouldn't have been on the ballot in the first place.
Texas City Ignores Anti-Camera Voter PetitionMar. 10, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Officials in Port Lavaca, Texas decided yesterday that they would ignore an initiative petition calling for the 12,000 residents to decide the fate of the red light cameras in a May election. Signatures on the petition were certified as valid shortly after being submitted in January and a special city council meeting was scheduled to place the measure on the ballot, but the city decided against holding the vote. The group Port Lavaca Citizens Against Red Light Cameras believes the city is violating the law.
Australia: Influential Group Has Its Photo Enforcement Tickets CanceledMar. 4, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
While supporters of automated ticketing machines frequently insist that speed cameras show no special treatment to anyone, this is far from true in practice. Morningside, Maryland Town Councilman Regina Foster resigned last month in the wake of a Maryland State Police investigation that allegedly found evidence that she had fixed photo enforcement tickets.
In California, judges, off-duty police officers, legislators, prosecutors, jail guards, social workers, park rangers, city councilmen, dog catchers, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employees, zoo veterinarians and firefighters can all exempt themselves from receiving red light camera tickets merely by enrolling in the "confidential" license plate program that shields their information from the private vendors that operate the ticketing programs. Attempts to rein in the practice by repealing the confidential plate law have failed.
Redflex Traffic Systems has a "procedural manual" it supplies to company employees who review citations. The document explains that entire classes of motorist, such as judges and members of Indian tribes, can have their citations automatically rejected.
Canada: Speed Limit Signs Inadequate Near Camera TrapFeb. 17, 2011 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Activists in Winnipeg, Canada yesterday charged city leaders with using photo radar to exploit a hard-to-see sign used to provide notice of a change in the speed limit. To make its case, WiseUpWinnipeg broke out a copy of the official regulations governing signs, the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Device (MUTCD) for Canada, to determine whether the speed limit signs were placed in accordance with national standards. The group concluded that several of the signs are substantially out of compliance.
Delay, delay, delay - It's been five years and city still hasn't released photo radar dataFeb. 12, 2011 Winnipeg Sun - Article
It’s been five years this month since the City of Winnipeg audit department demanded city council produce evidence that photo radar and red-light cameras reduce collisions.
So far, the city has failed to comply with that demand and continues to be in violation of the province’s Condition of Authority policy that allows the city to use photo enforcement.
Texas: City Fudges Red Light Violation Numbers Before ElectionJun. 16, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Baytown, Texas is easing up on issuing red light camera tickets in the hopes of diverting momentum away from a planned effort to place a photo enforcement ban on the ballot. Resident Byron Schirmbeck and a team of volunteers expect soon to turn in a second petition forcing a referendum. Statistics show that, in response, city officials and American Traffic Solutions have deliberately issued fewer citations. The program rejected 29 percent of violations in July 2008, but documents show the rate of rejections climbed to 54 percent in December.
Washington City Files Lawsuit to Block Anti-Camera ReferendumMar. 7, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Wenatchee, Washington is suing to stop the public from circulating a petition that would thwart the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in the city of 28,000. In March 2009, Wenatchee officials signed a contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS), and they claimed this agreement would be "impaired" if voters had a say in whether or not the program should continue, according to the complaint filed last Tuesday in a Chelan County court.
Legislative plates let lawmakers take the fast laneFeb. 7, 2011 FaceTheState.com - Article
With the increasing use of red light cameras, photo radar and license-plate recognition scanners, motorists are as likely to be handed a traffic citation by the mail carrier as by a cop...
But there is one class of drivers with license plates that make their vehicles virtually invisible to such computerized ticketing systems: Colorado's own lawmakers.
Texas: Officials Ignoring Vote on Red Light Camera BanDec. 8, 2010 Herald Sun - Article
THE Department of Justice has again been caught taking months to respond to faulty speed camera Freedom of Information requests.
A government insider contacted the Herald Sun just before the November 27 election and claimed the FoI request was being deliberately stalled until after the election.
Texas: Officials Ignoring Vote on Red Light Camera BanNov. 5, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Officials in Houston, Texas are in the stage of denial regarding the public vote to ban the use of red light cameras. Despite losing by six percentage points, Mayor Annise D. Parker is not ready to shut down the program. The language approved by voters Tuesday as an amendment to the city charter is unambiguous.
Houston, Texas Attempts to Hide Red Light Camera Safety DataNov. 2, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The city of Houston, Texas sought to keep secret all detailed information about the performance of its red light camera program on the eve of an election that will decide their fate. Yesterday, Paul Kubosh, co-founder of Citizens Against Red Light Cameras, filed suit in Harris County District Court seeking a court order compelling the release of accident data at intersections equipped with automated ticketing machines. Voters head to the polls today to decide whether or not the city will be allowed to continue using the devices.
Virginia: Red Light Camera Installed at Accident-Free LocationOct. 29, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Albemarle County, Virginia plans this week to install its first red light camera system, ostensibly to reduce accidents caused by red light running. County documents show that at one of the two intersection approaches selected, there has not been a single accident caused by red light running in the past three years.
Government refuses motorist refundOct. 19, 2010 Herald Sun - Article
THE state government will not refund 68,000 motorists who may have been incorrectly fined by dodgy speed cameras on the Hume Highway.
It comes as the government considers a massive lawsuit against the Hume Freeway speed camera operators.
Arizona: Racketeering Suit Filed Against Speed CamerasOct. 13, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A motorist is using federal anti-racketeering statutes to go after the red light camera and speed camera program in Tempe, Arizona. Dan Gutenkauf filed his complaint last week in the US District Court for the District of Arizona and happened to land the same judge, Frederick J Martone, who presided over the recent American Traffic Solutions (ATS) vs. Redflex case which is currently under appeal. The suit names Redflex employees, police officials, politicians and judges as defendants.
Analysis: Loma Linda yellow lights were illegally shortOct. 13, 2010 Contra Costa Times - Article
From the time the city installed red-light cameras in December of 2005 until November of 2006, three intersections had yellow lights set 0.3 seconds shorter than California's legal minimum, the documents show.
"I as the mayor am apologetic to the community for the Redflex camera business that we were associated with," he said. "I hate these cameras more than anyone else in Loma Linda."
Texas City Caught Again With Illegally Short Yellow TimeOct. 6, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Baytown, Texas has been caught using an illegally short yellow time at the latest city intersection to be monitored by a red light camera. Tickets have been issued since January 30 at the intersection of Cedar Bayou Lynchburg Road at Garth Road where the yellow time is set to 4.0 seconds, the bare minimum acceptable amount for an intersection posted at 40 MPH according to Texas Department of Transportation guidelines. The Baytown Red Light Camera Coalition (BRLCC) uncovered the fact that the intersection approach is in fact posted with a 45 MPH sign, meaning the bare minimum legal yellow for the location is 4.3 seconds, not 4.0 seconds.
Judge Suspends City's Traffic Camera ProgramOct. 1, 2010 WDSU - Article
A civil district court judge has issued an injunction suspending the city's red-light and speeding camera program.
Washington said the city's charter stipulates that the police department shall regulate traffic. But the ordinance creating the camera program puts it under the public works department.
Validity of Tucson's recent red-light camera tickets questionedSep. 28, 2010 KGUN 9 - Article
Argentina, Australia, UK: Speed Cameras Snare Legal DriversSep. 25, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A motorcyclist in Hertforshire, England was ticketed by a speed camera operator for driving 38 MPH just yards away from a 40 MPH speed limit sign that is visible in the ticket photograph.
At least 19,000 bogus speed camera fines worth $4 million are to be refunded in New South Wales, Australia according to the Express Advocate. Gosford deputy mayor Craig Doyle responded to the news by shutting down his city's speed cameras until questions regarding their accuracy are resolved.
Brentwood installs cameras after speed limits loweredSep. 23, 2010 Washington Examiner - Article
The Maryland State Highway Administration lowered the speed limit along a stretch of Rhode Island Avenue, then encouraged the nearby town of Brentwood to request speed cameras there.
The consulting group -- which also sells speed camera equipment -- conducted a study of the area and concluded the school zone would be safer with traffic cameras. The group sent its findings to the SHA. The highway agency then authorized Brentwood to install a camera in June.
The agency said the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit was changed because it was found "incorrect" following a routine review of school zones, SHA spokeswoman Kellie Boulware said. In March, the Traffic Group determined 85 percent of drivers cruised that route at 39 to 45 miles per hour. States and local governments base speed limits primarily on how fast the 85th percentile of traffic is driving, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Pedestrian traffic, visibility and accident rates can affect those limits, however.
'Countless' Served Tickets May Be InvalidSep. 16, 2010 Camera Fraud - Article
Widespread, illegal certificates of service, admittedly completed by office workers instead of the actual server.
Safety groups' 'misleading' speed camera claimsAug. 27, 2010 Motor Cycle News - Article
A joint statement from groups including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, the AA and national cycling body CTC said: 'Speed cameras help to save lives - an estimated 100 lives a year in the UK.'
But the study cited as the source does not contain the claim.
South Carolina: Town Defies State Law Banning Traffic CamerasAug. 10, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Ridgeland, South Carolina wants to deploy a speed camera to ticket out-of-state drivers as they pass through the seven-mile stretch of interstate within the tiny town's limits. The plan angered the state legislature to such a degree that it unanimously enacted legislation in June to prohibit photo enforcement -- except during declared state emergencies (view law). The Ridgeland town council refused to back down.
Judge rules against Orlando's red-light camerasAug. 9, 2010 Orlando Sentinel - Article
An Orange circuit judge issued a ruling Monday that could invalidate nearly 50,000 tickets issued to motorists caught by automatic cameras running red lights in Orlando during the past two years.
The ruling could leave the city on the hook for refunding more than $4 million paid in fines. But because the ruling is almost certain to be appealed, it may be years before there's a final decision.
Is L.A. Shortening Its Yellow Lights?May. 15, 2010 Neon Tommy - Article
Two, left-turn yellow arrows are supposed to last three seconds no matter the speed limit. But, Neon Tommy found that almost half of the left-turn arrows timed at photo-enforced intersections clocked in under three seconds.
Montgomery police don't test speed cameras dailyMay. 4, 2010 Washington Examiner - Article
Montgomery County police say they are not violating state law by not testing speed cameras daily.
County police test cameras for proper functioning once every three to five days, according to maintenance records.
"We're not going to do this [test] every day," said Capt. John A. Damskey, director of Montgomery's traffic enforcement. "We're just not going to do that."
Judge J. Michael Conroy Jr. threw out a Bethesda woman's speeding ticket last month because the Gaithersburg camera that ticketed her had not been tested the day it photographed her license plate.
Conroy based his decision on a state law that says camera operators "shall fill out and sign a daily setup log" that proves the operator "successfully performed the manufacturer-specified self-test of the speed [camera]."
Italy: Prosecution Advances in Red Light Camera Fraud ScandalMay. 3, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The investigation into the fraudulent use of red light cameras in Italy last week concluded with prosecutors preparing charges against thirty-eight public officials and photo enforcement company executives. Prosecutors claim that three photo enforcement companies formed a cartel that operated in collusion with public officials for the purpose of generating revenue. The officials accepted bribes in return for approving lucrative contracts and shortening the duration of yellow lights at intersections equipped with red light cameras.
Setbacks for speed camerasApr. 21, 2010 Washington Times - Article
For example, state law forbids the private corporations that operate speed cameras from being compensated on a per-ticket basis. This is to prevent companies from having a financial incentive to mail out more citations. Despite this prohibition, the private firm Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) began issuing $40 speed-camera tickets in Bowie on Monday. According to city documents, ACS will pocket $16.25 for each ticket issued.
Maryland state law also requires that the for-profit camera companies operate solely in school zones. This, the legislators claimed, would protect children. Local jurisdictions responded by creating brand-new "school zones" on high-volume roads where no children are ever found.
Florida, Germany, UK: Traffic Cameras Face Accuracy, Legal IssuesApr. 10, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A Florida motorist defeated a red light camera ticket issued by a private company in Collier County after showing the yellow light duration at the intersection was too short. Mike Mogil measured the yellow time at Collier Boulevard at 3.8 seconds, but it should have been 4.5 seconds based on state guidelines, WVZN-TV reported. Mogil used his stopwatch to find that another 58 intersections in the county were short-timed. Officials lengthened the yellow at Collier Boulevard, but they have no interest in refunding tickets issued to drivers caught out by the short yellow.
Some Red Light Cameras May Be IllegalMar. 24, 2010 My Fox Atalanta - Article
ATLANTA (MyFOX ATLANTA) - The city of Atlanta has been operating some of its red light cameras without authorization from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Some motorists who paid a $70 fine might get their money back.
Investigators: Documents reveal judges' dismissals of red light camera ticketsMar. 15, 2010 NWCN.com - Article
SEATTLE - There's new criticism of some of those red light cameras placed in Seattle. It's not coming from citizens, but from the City’s traffic judges.
New documents obtained by the KING 5 Investigators show the city knows judges have been throwing cases out of court but has continued to issue tickets.
Feds widen investigation in Jefferson ParishMar. 12, 2010 Fox 8 Live - Article
Federal investigators are digging deeper into the scandal in Jefferson Parish. The feds sent two subpoenas requiring the parish to turn over extensive information on the red light cameras as well as payroll discrepancies first reported by FOX 8.
1,740 red-light-camera tickets to go awayMar. 8, 2010 Ultimate Clear Lake - Article
League City will dismiss 1,740 red-light-camera tickets and issue refunds because a traffic light at the Gulf Freeway and FM 518 hasn't been staying yellow long enough.
Colorado, Italy: Speed Camera Operators Caught Disregarding LawMar. 6, 2010 TheNewspaper.com - Article
The private company that operates speed cameras in Denver, Colorado is ignoring the provisions of state law designed to protect the public.
Similar tactics are used in the city of Fort Collins, where a speed camera van was hidden behind a bridge abutment on Tuesday. The warning sign was placed on the ground, partially obscured by a planter, the Coloradoan newspaper reported.
In Genoa, Italy a local judge has ruled that average speed cameras are illegal.
Cities Shortening Yellow Traffic Lights for Deadly ProfitFeb. 23, 2010 AlterNET - Article
"While several cities have been caught shortening yellow lights to increase revenue from red-light tickets," said Biller, "I think the larger issue today is that the duration of so many yellow lights has never been adequately set for optimal safety results. An increase of approximately one second can reduce the frequency of red-light-running by at least 50 percent."
Florida Court Rules Red Light Cameras IllegalFeb. 23, 2010 The Newspaper - Article
A Miami-Dade County Circuit Court judge has ruled that red light cameras may not be legally used to issue traffic citations in the state of Florida. Judge Gerald Bagley yesterday dismissed charges against motorist Richard Masone who had received a red light camera ticket in the mail from American Traffic Solutions (ATS). The company operates the program on behalf of the city of Aventura.
Lobbying intensifies in red light camera fightFeb. 21, 2010 Daily Herald - Article
As the backlash against red-light cameras continues to mount, companies that profit from those $100 tickets have hired new ranks of lobbyists to convince state lawmakers to back off reform and repeal efforts.
Feds looking into Jefferson Parish traffic camerasFeb. 20, 2010 Fox8Live.com - Article
A source tells Fox 8 News that federal investigators are looking into the red light camera program in Jefferson Parish and Interim Parish President Steve Theriot confirms the feds do have the documents.
Questions answered about JP red light programFeb. 23, 2010 Fox8Live.com - Article
Jefferson Parish President Steve Theriot says he's started getting answers about the red light camera program.
Theriot asked Redflex Traffic Systems two weeks ago for information on who would get money from the contract.
He finally got that information today.
Speed camera crusader John King granted Sherriffs warrant to seize police property, wants Simon Overland's deskFeb. 18, 2010 Herald Sun - Article
AN ANTI-speed camera crusader has obtained a sheriffs warrant against Victoria Police because the force has failed to pay the court-ordered costs to him.
And he says he might just have to sell Chief Commissioner Simon Overland's desk to meet his costs.
John King was granted a warrant by the Heidelberg Magistrates' Court to seize police property after waiting nearly eight months for the force to comply with the $522 costs order.
Investigators: Red-light cameras may issue illegal ticketsFeb. 10, 2010 King 5 News - Article
Traffic judges have declared the camera set-up illegal at a busy intersection near the University of Washington and they've tossed tickets out, but the city is still ticketing unsuspecting motorists.
Red Light Camera Ticketing Company's No-Pay Threat IllegalJan. 9, 2010 The Ledger - Article
The red-light camera company contracted by Lakeland has been telling ticketed drivers a hold can be placed on their vehicle registration if they fail to pay their fine.
But a city spokesman said that isn't part of the city's agreement with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions.
But city spokesman Kevin Cook said the company's customer service employees misspoke, and Florida law doesn't allow that to happen.
Arizona Legislative Memo: Traffic Camera Companies Need PI LicensesNov. 24, 2009 The Newspaper - Article
Traffic camera companies operating in Arizona may be committing a crime by operating without a private investigator's license, a newly released memorandum to the state legislature explained. The non-partisan Arizona Legislative Council, the legislature's official source for drafting and reviewing legislation, looked at the licensing question on behalf of state Representative Sam Crump (R-Anthem).
Do Cameras Make Intersections More Dangerous?Nov. 9, 2009 CBS2.com - Article
In Los Angeles the LAPD claims accidents are down after they installed cameras, but are they telling the whole truth or just trying to make money off motorists?
We looked at every accident at every red light camera intersection for six months of data before the cameras were installed and six months after.
The final figures? Twenty of the 32 intersections show accidents up after the cameras were installed! Three remained the same and only nine intersections showed accidents decreasing.
Redflex Photo Van Caught Violating State LawOct. 10, 2009 CameraFraud.com - Article
CameraFRAUD activists measured out the spacing of the signs to determine they were not in compliance with the law, which specifies the warning sign closest to the photo radar van be must be placed "approximately 300 feet" away..."
Tempe Police confirmed the sign was posted at 743ft, and the van was removed from operational status pending the investigation. In addition, both of the warning signs appeared to be placed deliberately behind trees and shrubs, preventing proper notification to oncoming traffic as required.
UK Government Admits Traffic Accident Figures MiscountedSep. 28, 2009 The Newspaper - Article
For the past several years, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) has heralded the drop in the number of serious traffic accidents as evidence of the success of its speed camera policies. For the first time, the agency admitted last Thursday that injury numbers have dropped because its statistical method is incomplete. Although DfT reported 230,905 injury accidents took place in 2008, the agency now believes the true number of accidents is actually three times greater.
Da Costa didn't breach policy in taking radar firm's giftSep. 22, 2009 Edmonton Journal - Article
While the deputy chief did not violate any laws, this article shows how police and county officials are wined, dined, and showered with gifts in order to convince the people-in-power how cameras make the roads safer. Would all of this effort truly be necessary if the products worked as advertised? --admin
Deputy Chief Darryl da Costa did not violate police policy when he accepted Oilers tickets from a company vying for the city's photo radar contract, Chief Mike Boyd said Monday.
City, Camera Firm May Be Afoul of LawSep. 17, 2009 TheLedger.com - Article
LAKELAND | The city of Lakeland and the company that operates its red-light camera system may be in violation of state law for destroying public records before they are legally allowed to, according to state officials.
Arizona Officials Mislead Public on Photo Radar Ticket ReviewSep. 9, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Redflex Traffic Systems, a stringent review process guarantees the accuracy of every citation issued under the statewide photo radar program introduced last year. Evidence obtained this week from a confidential Redflex ticket processing manual, however, suggests that the state police and its Australian contractor may be misleading the public with such claims.
Spain: Officials Refund 800 Speed Camera TicketsAug. 15, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Officials in Spain were forced to refund 800 speed camera citations after three local mayors openly criticized a favorite ticketing location as nothing more than an unfair trap. Servei Catala de Transit (SCT) had ordered the installation of a photo radar device last May on the N-240 between Montblanc and Espluga. The machine was positioned so that motorists who enter the road from Espluga do not see a speed limit sign. The device was also stationed at the end of an acceleration lane, further confusing drivers. Three city mayors demanded that SCT issue refunds.
UK Police Caught Forging Speed Camera DocumentsJul. 16, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
A UK court threw out a pair of speed camera citations yesterday after a retired veteran police officer admitted on the stand that he falsified official documents used as proof that the tickets were mailed within statutory deadlines. The Southampton Crown Court concluded that it was an abuse of process for a Hampshire and Isle of Wight speed camera partnership employee to backdate documents. The employee said he was acting on direct orders from his superiors.
Suit claims drivers charged excessive traffic camera finesJun. 24, 2009 NWCN.com - Article
SEATTLE - A class action lawsuit has been filed against 19 Washington cities, saying fines doled out to drivers caught on a utomatic red light and speed cameras are higher than the law allows.
Attorneys are basing the suit on a state law that was passed by the State Legislature in 2005. The law states "the amount of the fine issued for an infraction generated through the use of an automated traffic safety camera shall not exceed the amount of a fine issued for other parking infractions within the jurisdiction."
Texas Police Chief Fired for Questioning Red Light CamerasJun. 18, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article --
Questioning the wisdom of photo enforcement can be fatal to the career of a top law enforcement official. Former Texas police Chief Michael Clancey found this out the hard way when he dared to suggest that the College Station City Council should not use red light cameras as a budgetary tool. Clancey filed a lawsuit in federal court last month demanding punitive damages and back wages from the city which, he claimed, violated his First Amendment rights.
Winnipeg, Canada Police Caught Lying with Accident DataJun. 13, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article -- Alternate Article
The Winnipeg, Canada Police Service has been caught a second time underreporting the number of accidents at red light camera intersections in order to make the lucrative program appear effective. The Winnipeg City Auditor was first to note the police tactic in a 2006 audit report. This week, the Winnipeg Sun newspaper found the police are still using the same technique to protect a program which generated $14,086,804 CAD in revenue for 2008.
Italy: Police Raid Speed Camera Company Caught in Fraud ScandalJun. 10, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article - Follow Up
Italian police yesterday raided the Brescia headquarters of a speed camera manufacturer accused of fraud involving seventy municipalities throughout the country. Officers from the Guardia di Finanza, the law enforcement arm of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, seized computers, machine components and fifty speed cameras as evidence.
City, facts collide: Red-light cam intersection crashes higher than claimedJun. 10, 2009 Winnipeg Sun - Article
The City of Winnipeg says collisions at red-light camera intersections have fallen dramatically since the photo enforcement program began in 2003.
But collision data obtained by the Winnipeg Sun from Manitoba Public Insurance shows the number of crashes at the intersections is substantially higher than what the city is reporting.
Speed Limit Reduced *AFTER* Speed Camera
Stop Radar Abuse: Court ruling puts onus on city to abide by lawFeb 8, 2009 Winnipeg Sun - Article
Photo radar tickets for nine Winnipeg motorists have been tossed out of court after a precedent-setting case has ruled it unlawful to use photo enforcement in construction zones when workers are not present.
California: Short Yellow Forces Ticket Refund in San Carlos
The city of San Carlos, CA was found to be violating state law by setting yellow light times too short at red-light camera intersections. 411 tickets to be cancelled or refunded.Feb 5, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Revenue, or safety? How could setting a yellow light time shorter than legally allowed be safe? Seems like it would be more prudent to correct or lengthen the yellow light times before resorting to cameras. --admin
Rival company suing state photo-enforcement firmFeb 5, 2009 Arizona Republic - Article
Redflex-rival ATS claims that Redflex made material misrepresentations (fraud) regarding its equipment in its bid to obtain lucrative contracts.
Houston Manipulated Study to Make Red Light Cameras Appear Safer
Documents show that Houston, Texas mayor and police manipulated a study to make it appear red light cameras reduced accidents.Feb 2, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Italy: Red Light Camera Makers Arrested for FraudJan 30, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Red light cameras shut down across Italy in massive fraud scandal involving 109 public officials and contractors.
Red Light Camera and Speed Camera CrimeLineJan. 7, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article <<<<< Summary of 32 cases!
Redflex has failed to meet contract requirements including
providing data, maintenance reports, equipment certifications, and
Do Denver red-light cameras deter violations?Jan. 4, 2009 RockyMountainNews.com - Article
Redflex Pays FCC $22,000 in Illegal Radar Use SettlementJan. 2, 2009 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Driver of photo-radar van arrested for DUIby Erin Norris - Sept. 9, 2008 12:35 PM The Arizona Republic - Article
Arizona Official Confirms Redflex Falsified Speed Camera DocumentsJul. 9, 2008 TheNewspaper.com - Article
Motorists race to challenge red-light cameras (Red Light Sensors Moved After InstallationJul. 9, 2008 USAToday.com - Article
Hunt Highway crash figures double those reportedJun. 28, 2008 East Valley Tribute - Article
Transportation Officials Using Bogus Worker Death DataOct 24, 2005 TheNewspaper.com - Article
According to a 2001 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, automobiles accounted for only 15 percent of highway construction accidents involving an injury. Trucks were the primary cause of injury in 45 percent of cases and road grading and surfacing equipment caused 15 percent of injuries. Construction machines caused 53 percent of fatalities and trucks caused 26 percent.
This means that many accidents classified as "work zone related" in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics include instances where, for example, a dump truck backs over a worker or an asphalt steam roller hits a worker (examples). That's why the National Transportation Safety Board recommended in 1992 that, "the reporting of work zone fatalities should be revised to distinguish between persons driving highway maintenance vehicles within work zones and other drivers who crash in work zones while traversing the work zone site."
Studies show that regardless of the rationale, double fines have not shown significant safety benefits. The Texas Transportation Institute investigated the effect of a 1998 double fine law in Texas and concluded, "The studies indicated that the double-fine law had little effect on traffic speed characteristics in the work zones examined."
How can we trust a company that will not voluntarily comply with laws? The sign laws are simple and easy to comply with, yet Redflex doesn't want't to comply with them.
ARS 28-654 requires and defines signage before photo enforcement installations. The main requirements are a) two signs - one at 300ft before a camera and another at more than 300 feet (typically installed at 1/2 mile). The other requirement is that signs must comply with MUTCD standards. See this blog entry for more information.
This permanent sign was later moved to not be hidden by the Exit sign.
Sign hidden by barrier, not at required height.
Sign hidden by fence, not at required height.