Reminder: HB 2579 Goes to Committee Tomorrow

February 20, 2013

Bill-hb2579This is just a friendly reminder to all you enthusiasts of safe roads, rule of law and equal protection of said laws in Arizona.

The bill to ban the dangerous red light and photo radar cameras still littering the streets and intersections of multiple cities in Arizona gets its first vote of 2013 on Thursday.

Legislature foisted this system upon the motorists of our state and now it’s time for them to end it.

An excellent example of what your legislators want to hear was sent to us yesterday [link].

The Transportation Committee in the AZ House will debate and vote on HB 2579 tomorrow

You can copy/paste their emails from the list below. Your fellow Arizona motorists thank you!

kfann@azleg.gov, rgray@azleg.gov, vsteele@azleg.gov, bbarton@azleg.gov, sborrelli@azleg.gov, jescamilla@azleg.gov


Redflex and American Traffic Solutions Dirty Scheme for “Clean” Elections

February 17, 2013

There has been a lot of whining down at the state capitol in the last two weeks as anti-photo radar/red light camera activists have applied serious pressure on legislators to cosponsor and support HB 2579.

They’ve used every excuse in the book and here are some highlights:

“I don’t cosponsor any bills, that’s just my policy.”

“It doesn’t matter if a bill has cosponsors and you should leave it up to the bill sponsor to contact them.”

“If I cosponsor this bill, another legislator who doesn’t like me might kill the bill to even the score.”

“I really wanted to cosponsor, but I just couldn’t find the time to go over and sign my name on it before it was filed.”

“You’ve missed some (arbitrary or made up) deadline and I’m no longer allowed to sign on.”

“All the phone calls and emails are a turn off and you should really back off before you upset your reps and they vote against your bill.”

These are what we call excuses and poor ones at that.

The real deal is that your legislature is mostly bought and paid for by photo ticket money that funds their campaigns.

From WarOnDriving.com

The Redflex scandal in Chicago isn’t going away, any time soon. Politicians who may or may not be in bed with the camera vendor in other cities and states may claim that Chicago’s corruption doesn’t apply elsewhere.

Anyone using this excuse is either lying, ignorant or both.

Let’s take the entire state of Arizona as an example. More than 10 municipalities, such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tucson, Chandler, Prescott Valley, Surprise, etc still use a combination of speed or red light cameras. Despite the fact that photo tickets sent by mail are not legally binding in Arizona, millions of dollars in fines are still collected.

10% of that money goes into a fund ironically called “clean elections,” which provides public funding to political campaigns, like members of the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives. These folks, not coincidentally, are responsible for allowing photo radar and red light cameras to litter the roads and scam Arizona motorists.

What’s also NOT a coincidence is that 80% of candidates for Arizona Legislature use “clean” election money to fund their campaigns. If you connect the dots, that means that Redflex and American Traffic Solutions fund their operation and basically own them. If a bill (currently HB 2579) to ban them passes, most of that clean election money will instantly vanish. The political gravy train would stop dead in its tracks and there would be quite a few state senators and reps scrambling to find a way to fund re-election in 2014.

Those are the hard facts and they’re undeniable. Chicago-style corruption with backdoor payola is still likely to be going on, but the scheme in Arizona is right there in plain sight.

[CONTINUE STORY]


HB 2579 Goes to Arizona House of Reps Transportation Committee on 2/21

February 17, 2013

From the CameraFRAUD meetup group:

Sunday, February 17, 2013 to Thursday, February 21, 2013, 7:00 AM

There’s no way to tell which order the chairman (Karen Fann) will schedule it, but the info is available here – [link]

This bill would make using ANY unmanned devices to issue traffic citations and fines illegal in the state of Arizona. That would mean all of Redflex and ATS’s scameras would come down and be shipped out to another state that still puts up with this unconstitutional racketeering.The best way you as an individual can help would be to swing by the House of Reps building at 1700 W Washington in Phoenix, sign into their system and register as a supporter of this bill. We understand that many of you couldn’t fit that into your schedules, so there’s another option…

The next best thing you could do is send a friendly email to every member of the transportation committee before Thursday and let them know why you personally want these cameras off your streets and traffic lights. They want to hear from you!

Spread the word far and wide that a bill to ban the scameras is once again making its way through Arizona Legislature. We’ve lost by just one vote the last two years, so any help we get could push us over the top this year!

Copy/paste the list below or email each individually:

kfann@azleg.gov, rgray@azleg.gov, vsteele@azleg.gov, bbarton@azleg.gov, sborrelli@azleg.gov, jescamilla@azleg.gov

Ban Redflex and American Traffic Solutions

The Photo Radar Prohibition Bill (HB 2579) will be voted on in the Arizona House of Reps Transportation Committee on Thursday February 21st.


Redflex Ousted From Chicago; Is Arizona Next?

February 12, 2013

In case you missed it:

Just in time for the Scamera Ban bill to be filed in Arizona Legislature, the ground is crumbling around Redflex Traffic Systems, who used to own the freeway photo radar system in this state.

Now Redflex is losing a huge chunk of business that was even bigger than Arizona /DPS. The corruption at Redflex is so bad that even Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, who brought Redflex in as a lobbyist, has now been forced to cancel their contract, effective July 2013.

HB 2579 would make photo radar and red light cameras illegal in Arizona. It should be heard in the AZ House Transportation Committee this week.
More from WarOnDriving.com -

13% of Redflex Traffic Systems’ yearly revenue will evaporate in the next 6 months.

You don’t have to take our word for it, just check their latest news release [here].

This one is going to hurt and Redflex knows it. Last Wednesday, the foreign held camera vendor requested that the Australian Stock Exchange halt trading their stock ahead of the news that hit on Friday about the massive corruption in Chicago and the ongoing internal investigation.

The AUS gave them their wish, but it only temporarily staved off the investor bloodletting which came during Monday’s resumed trading of Redflex common shares.

At close of market, the stock had lost nearly 25% of its value as news hit the wires in Australia about the coming demise of Redflex’s largest (by far) contract. By 2012 figures, this would mean the company will start losing money very quickly.

Redflex’s deal with Macquarie Bank in 2011 fell apart in late negotiations after a shareholder revolt, but don’t be surprised to see them seek a bidder or have a hostile takeover bid before the summer of 2013.

The news is especially problematic as legislatures in Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Ohio are considering bills to make photo ticketing illegal in their respective states… [Continue Reading]


BREAKING: Redflex Exposed by Chicago Media, Rejected by City

October 17, 2012

From WarOnDriving.com

Redflex Crushed by Chicago Media, Blogs; Loses Bid for Speed Cameras

The Chicago Tribune has been busy exposing the already well known connection between Rahm Emanuel, Redflex Traffic Systems and high dollar lobbyists.This time the damage was a bit more fatal to Redflex, who has now lost out on the lucrative speed camera dragnet, which Emanuel has forced down the throats of his electorate. And their red light scamera program in Chicago (the largest in the U.S. with 384 cameras) is now in jeopardy.Local media and blogs have begun piling on the beleaguered Australian camera vendor today, even printing the rejection letter [link] from the city for the speed camera contract proposal.

The whole matter is allegedly based on unreported hotel bills paid by Redflex for John Bills, a Chicago Dept. of Transportation official who oversaw their operations within the city, that amout to $910. It’s hard to believe that there isn’t more to this particular scandal than just that ethical blunder.

The Expired Meter, a motorist blog in the Windy City summed up the series of events quite nicely, but this is still a developing story:

More on this story from other major media outlets in Chicago:

>City axes speed camera firm’s bid, citing delay in reporting ethics case (Chicago Tribune)

>City’s Red-Light Camera Vendor Under Scrutiny (NBC Chicago)

>Speed camera contract bid thrown out (WGN TV)

>City Tosses Bid By Red Light Camera Vendor For Speed Camera Contract (Chicagoist)


The Axis of Fraud is Trying to Buy a Congressman in AZ

April 17, 2012

They already own countless city council members, mayors and state legislators so it only makes sense that the scamera lobby would want to move on up and buy themselves a brand new Congressman as well.

Given Ben Quayle’s penchant for posting photos all over the web for Nik Richie’s Dirty Scottsdale under an assumed identity, photo fraud vendors Redflex and American Traffic Solutions (ATS) were a perfect fit for campaign financiers to the little internet prankster turned Congressman.

George, “The Hitman” Hittner, executive general counsel of the mafia-like corporate leech, ATS (owned by Goldman Sachs), has thrown his support behind Quayle. Redflex’s Jay Heiler has been Quayle’s spokesman since his 2010 Congressional campaign.

Arizona should really be proud to be represented by such a creepy guy, who once faked having a family, just to seem somewhat normal compared to his internet persona, “Brock Landers.” Brock (also the name of a character from the almost-porn flick Boogie Nights) spent day and night posting pictures of women at Scottsdale night clubs in various stages of intoxication and undress.

Don’t let Brock, err Ben fool you, those days of what some conservatives in Arizona call “internet porn” really prepared him to be a “responsible adult” and cosponsor the SOPA bill which would shut down any website at the drop of a hat if the almighty DOJ didn’t fancy its content. One wonders if Ben’s old buddy Nik would get a pass even though he outed him 2 years ago. At least Nik was kind enough to wait until most of the early ballots had been returned so it wouldn’t cost Brock Ben the election.

Quayle, Hittner and Heiler – what a team!

Image


Time Magazine – “Big Brother Backlash”

February 16, 2012

The CameraFRAUD meetup group was mentioned in this piece by Time Magazine’s “Moneyland.”

With bills like SCR 1029 making their way through state legislatures in Arizona, Iowa, Colorado and Florida to name a few in 2012, the citizen backlash is being felt by politicians everywhere on the state level.

The question is, are they listening?

Read entire article at moneyland.time.com.


Top 10 Scamera Stories of 2011

January 3, 2012

In our estimation, these were the ten biggest stories related to photo radar and red light cameras from around the U.S. in 2011

We hope you enjoy this look back at activism and politicians meeting head-to-head throughout the past year.

#10 - Texas legislature eliminates penalties for driving without a license plate

#9 –  Michael “Big Brother” Bloomberg calls for a “camera on every street corner

#8 - Mayor, Police Chief Take Down Colorado Springs Red Light Cameras

#7 - Redflex’s Gamble Backfires, Sale to Macquarie/Carlyle Canceled, Stock Plunges

#6 - Peoria Red Light Cams Finally Come Down After 3 Yrs of Increased Accidents

#5 - Redflex Kicked Out of Tempe Arizona Over Cash Grab Lawsuit

#4 - 15 Simultaneous Red Light Camera Protests in Florida

#3 - Voters Kick Red Light Cameras Out of 7 Cities in 3 States on Election Day

#2 - Houston City Council Votes 11-1 to Ban Red Light Cameras

#1 - Activists Convice LAPD Comission and LA City Council to Take Cameras Down


Peoria Speed Traps Confuse Drivers

December 19, 2011

From PhotoRadarScam.com

Dubious Traffic Engineering and Politics Predominate Over Public Safety on Arizona Roadways

People place blind trust that the governments responsible for determining speed limits are qualified and have conducted a proper analysis to arrive at the correct number. Many firmly believe that driving even just a little above the posted limit can be indeed be extremely dangerous. But this new video on Youtube shows that posted speed limits we see are sometimes nothing more than the result of a political whim, as in the city of Peoria, AZ the limits are established by ordinances that are established by the city council. Although difficult to see, the video shows a roadway in North Peoria, the stretch of Pinnacle Peak between 83rd Ave & 91st Ave where speed limits are set for 30mph going Westbound, but 45 going eastbound. There is no discernible difference in each side of the road (low density residential with no schools or school crossing), and the road is one lane in each direction. What could the engineering justification possibly be to call for a 15mph difference in speed limits based only on what direction you’re going? The only reasonable answer is that the city wants to create a speed trap.
The video also shows another location just south of Happy Valley Road on 91st Ave. As you approach the 3-way intersection, the last 1/8 of a mile drops from 40mph to 30mph. When you turn from Happy Valley onto 91st Ave southbound, you can go 45mph for the 1st 1/8th mile, then the limit drops to 30mph for about 3/8 of a mile, then raises up to a standard 40mph limit. Again, there are no schools and no discernible changes in road design or neighborhoods over these distances. These limits are nothing more than a speed trap, and nothing more than city officials screwing with drivers.
What’s interesting is how all of this sharply contrasts with information published by ADOT about speed limits:

[Since most citizens can be relied upon to behave in a reasonable manner as they go about their daily activities, many of our laws reflect observations of the way reasonable people behave under most circumstances. Traffic regulations are invariably based upon observations of the behavior of groups of travelers under various conditions.

[Generally speaking, traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of vehicle operators are found to be successful, while laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority of drivers encourage wholesale violations, lack public support, and usually fail to bring about desirable changes in driving behavior. This is especially true of speed zoning.]

ADOT continues to explain that reducing speed limits will NOT change traffic speeds and will not change accident frequency and that there is no “direct relationship between posted speed limits and accident frequency” and that, “speed in itself is not a major cause of accidents.” ADOT then proceeds to identify such locations as those described in North Peoria as a speed trap:

[It is accepted within the traffic engineering profession that there is a demonstrated need to produce as much uniformity as possible in the traffic flow and to eliminate the so-called speed trap. A speed trap may be defined as a street or road which is wide enough, straight and smooth enough, and sufficiently free of visibility limiting obstructions to permit driving a certain speed, but where the law nevertheless calls for a much lower speed.]

According to ADOT, “Speed zoning in Arizona is based on the widely accepted principle of setting speed limits as near as practicable to the speed at or below which 85 percent of the drivers are traveling.” But after spending a few minutes on the side of the road at either of these locations one can clearly see that the 85th percentile speed is closer to 40 or 45mph (common on Phoenix-area arterial roads) than the 30mph displayed on the speed limit signs.
So why is the city of Peoria so careless about road safety? There are only a few possible answers:
  1. Arrogant and/or incompetent city council who either believes they are qualified traffic engineers or that they know more than traffic engineers.
  2. They have allowed incompetent city traffic engineers to remain employed.
  3. They are more interested in revenue generation from speed traps than safety.
For clues to the answer, we can look to other city council decisions. Over 3 years ago, Peoria started a pilot red light camera program at 4 intersections. The results were disastrous, leading to over a 100% increase in accidents. But for some reason (read: $$$), the city decided to renew and extend the “pilot” program multiple times (guess they don’t understand what you’re supposed to do when a pilot program fails). Finally after 3 years and continued disastrous results, the city reluctantly ended the dangerous cash cow red light camera program after being unable to justify the program under the guise of safety any longer.
But the city of Peoria isn’t alone in the world of dubious traffic engineering. Take the new stretch of 303 West of I-17 for example. This is brand new freeway, 2 lanes in each direction separated by a significant distance. This stretch has very few on and off ramps, and very little traffic. Yet the speed limit is only 55mph! Contrast this to the 101 freeway which has a great deal of traffic and is usually crowded, on and off ramps every 1 mile, and the limit is 10mph faster. I don’t think you have to be an engineer to know that the new stretch of 303 freeway is every bit as safe as the 101, if not safer. So why the lower limits?
Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 28-702 allows the establishment of speed limits on the State Highway System “upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation.” The MUTCD also requires a traffic engineering study. So where is this engineering and traffic investigation that found a speed limit of 55mph to be appropriate on the 303 but not on the 101?
State and local governments have become lazy, arrogant, and exploitative. They have forgotten that their purpose is to serve the people and do what’s in the best interest for the public rather than the government. ADOT’s own literature contradicts their actions and appears to violate state law. This isn’t about safety. It’s about what it’s always about: power and money.

Red Light Camera Company Steals From Elderly

December 14, 2011

Courtesy of WarOnDriving.com:

Florida Red Light Cameras Scam Woman on Fixed Income

Nobody who’s paying attention is going to pretend the US economy is in good shape, nor has it been since 2007.

In Green Cove, Florida a retiree was not only sent one of these scam tickets, but was charged extra just to fight it in court.

What a racket they have going out there in North Florida. From the news report below by First Coast News, it sounds like the cameras are on the way to even more communities.

Will the citizens of Green Cove say enough is enough?


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