The Cameras Are Coming Down in Mesa

June 10, 2013

News last week out of Mesa via WarOnDriving.com

Another Arizona city is taking down their unpopular automated ticketing camera system.

This time it’s the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, which has a population of more than 400,000 residents. American Traffic Solutions has been issuing scamera tickets in Mesa intersections and via mobile devices since 2006. Their driver-distracting cameras and illegally parked radar vans are no longer welcome in the city after the Public Safety Committee voted to not renew the contract.

In 2011, a similar LAPD panel in Los Angeles voted to kick American Traffic Solutions out of that city as well. The main reasons given by the panel were that accidents had increased and most people who were sent the wallet-busting $500 citations by ATS simply ignored them.

It’s no surprise that Mesa would follow suit, given the public outcry about confusing intersection lines and the loss of due process. On the panel’s recommendation, the cameras will be torn out in 2014.

Mesa can look forward to their intersections being free from a private company with a profit motive spying on every motorist passing through.

Last summer residents spoke out on local news about the chaotic situation and uneven law enforcement for drivers:

No words from the ATS sockpuppets yet about their ouster. But it’s easy to assume their legal team and internet shills are going to  play their typical games with the media.


HOUSTON REVOLTS

July 28, 2011

American Traffic Solutions or Above The Statutes, Inc?

A scheme backed by American Traffic Solutions to conspire with City of Houston politicians in overturning a public election banning automated ticketing machines is backfiring as constituents express outrage as the program expands:

Amazingly, lost in the chaos surrounding the city’s insulting plan to expand the cameras are the much more significant questions surrounding American Traffic Solutions lobbyist and general scumbag counsel George Hittner, who did the dirty work constructing a phony lawsuit involving the city with the intent to punt the case to the same federal court where Hittner’s father happens to serve..

“Criminal Justice System” indeed.

Councilwoman Jolanda Jones may be the most honest politician in Texas since the ATS meltdown. Her proclamation is correct that since the cameras came in without a public vote, they can leave without a public vote.

“We can put it on city council next week. And we can vote for it [the ban].”

Who’s Jim Tuton and the American Traffic Solutions Sue Crew going to sue when the council cans the scam?

NEW: visit the CameraFRAUD 2012: Texas Forum beta


Arizona’s Most Toxic Assets: Redflex and ATS

February 25, 2011

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington

To: Arizona State Senators and Representatives
From: CameraFRAUD
2/25/2011

Two of the largest automated ticketing vendors on the planet have substantial roots within the State of Arizona. Combined, these corporations employ many Arizonans and generate tens of thousands of dollars in revenue each day.

And there’s never been a better time to finally say goodbye.

Photo ticketing schemes extract enormous amounts of cash from the local economies in which they pretend to serve. Instead of this money staying within our community, Redflex and American Traffic Solutions virtually launder these stolen funds through pseudo-local offices… and back to their respective faceless investment banks.

In one corner, American Traffic Solutions sounds downright patriotic in name. Their surveillance cameras even boast a sticker as being “Made in the USA.” Don’t let the smoke and mirrors fool you though: ATS is a pawn of the massively-corrupt investment firm and former bailout recipient Goldman Sachs.

In the other corner, Redflex is being purchased by Macquarie Ltd and the Carlyle Group, two firms which are equally disinterested in the well-being of Arizonans. These faceless monsters only care about profits, and how every last dime can be extracted from their voiceless victims.

Just like the large, faceless investment banks which helped contribute to our current national recession, ticketing vendors Redflex and ATS also create local booms and busts within local municipalities. Unfortunately, the local elected “leaders” are asleep at the wheel, and aren’t paying attention to this modern game of “Three Cup Shuffle.”

Cities and towns are lured in by the prospect of “free money,” usually to the chipper reminder that such ticketing programs are “violator funded.” Contracts are haphazardly entered into, cameras go up, and the money starts to pour in. But as with any scam, there’s always a catch. Programs which start out profitable usually end up in the red, as is the case with the City of Mesa’s beleaguered relationship with ATS.

Citizens revolt, avoid areas with overzealous enforcement, or simply grow savvy to methods to avoid detection. Unintended consequences include a population that has become savvy to avoiding process service, making a mockery of the supposed “rule of law.” Increases in yellow light timing can and have destroyed these profitable schemes, sometimes incurring the wrath of these money-sucking vampire vendors.

Attempts to cancel contracts administratively are met with threats of lawsuits. Cities actually forced to end their contracts due to citizen’s ballot initiatives have been sued by these vendors, proving that there truly is no honor among thieves once the honey pot runs dry.

When Goldman Sachs dumped $70 million worth of mismanaged assets in 2006-2007, they were called “toxic.” Then Goldman conned its way into receiving $12.9 billion in TARP funds through AIG, while turning around and handing out $14 billion in executive bonuses.

Now, it’s Arizona’s turn to drop two toxic “assets” once and for all: the physical presence of American Traffic Solutions and Redflex within the Grand Canyon State.


Then and Now: The Surveillance Playbook

November 15, 2010

Recent implementations of surveillance systems have followed a predictable playbook.

Politicians, government agencies, and corporations are pitting their collective agendas against us, and the rights of the individual are suffering.

Before heading up the Department of Homeland Security, then-Governor Janet Napolitano spearheaded the creation of a widespread surveillance system in Arizona. This article aims to show that while the names of the players change (Then DPS, now TSA; Then Redflex, Now RapiScan; etc), the game stays the same.

Creating the Problem

Then: As Governor, Napolitano urgently forces into place a statewide “photo enforcement” scheme on Arizona highways. A private contractor (Redflex) benefits and provides the surveillance equipment.

Now: As DHS Director, Napolitano rolls out “advanced imaging” scanners at airports nationwide while urging (threatening) other countries to follow suit. A private contractor (RapiScan) benefits and provides the surveillance equipment.

Mission Creep

Then: Redflex’s roadside ticketing cameras are found to record and transmit video 24 hours a day, despite denials by company lobbyists. Politicians feign outrage.

Now: RapiScan’s virtual strip machines are discovered to be capable of storing and transmitting images of travelers. Politicians feign outrage.

Alphabet Soup Agencies and Technological Snake Oil

Then: The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is charged with running the statewide surveillance network and vehemently defends its use. Phony statistics are used by the department to “prove” effectiveness, causing even supporting organizations such as AAA to question the official stats.

Now: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents utilize body scanners across the United States and agency officials vehemently defend their use, despite a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which stated that such measures would not have stopped the so-called (attempted) “underwear bomber,” the exact incident which prompted the accelerated rollout of such scanners.

Unequal Protection Under the Law and Lacking Common Sense

Then: Under RedflexDPS’ automated ticketing and surveillance scheme, no two drivers are protected equally under the law. A driver with his true home address on file is much more likely to be served in-person with a ticket, while a ticket may not even be mailed if the vehicle is registered to a corporation.

Now: For the most part,  TSA randomly selects who is to submit to a naked body scan, creating a clear standard of unequal protection. One can only hope that a true terrorist doesn’t slip through security because agents are too busy subjecting Grandma to “additional screening” for her carry-on pies.

Make it Clear Who’s Boss

Then: After outsourcing their responsibilities to Redflex, DPS created a unit to target and harass those who openly taunted their surveillance network. Detectives in the so-called “frequent flyer” division addressed the pressing threat of masked drivers and possible political opponents. When a horrible act of violence claimed the life of a photo radar company employee, DPS seized the opportunity to blame their opponents for being too “vocal.”

Now: TSA agents use the threat of “enhanced patdowns” —up and to the point of physical agent contact with travelers’ genitals (groping)— to prompt “compliance” with naked body scans. Those who “opt out” of naked body scans are publicly singled out, with widespread reports of TSA agents screaming “We have an Opt Out!” when confronted with a dissenter.

Conclusion

These parallel stories (ticketing cameras vs. naked body scanners) follow the same plot: The false promise of increased transportation safety via intrusive government surveillance.

Meanwhile, the inherent human right of freedom of movement is so severely crippled that obedient “compliance” is not only expected, but required.

Government regulations create a de facto monopoly over both roadways and airways regarding what hoops you will be required to jump through in order to proceed to your destination. Have the wrong papers or cross the wrong government agent, and you may find yourself detained, arrested, or even killed.

Welcome to the new United States: Land of the Fees, and Home of the Slaves


Bombshell: ‘Countless’ Served Tickets May Be Invalid

September 17, 2010

CameraFRAUD Demands FBI Investigation
Media Inquiries: media@camerafraud.com

Attorney and CameraFRAUD member Michael Kielsky has uncovered potentially damning information regarding photo enforcement process service within Arizona.

The revelation? Widespread, illegal certificates of service, admittedly completed by office workers instead of the actual server.

Developing…

Just got back from court with another Photo Radar case win — but how I won “shocked” even me.

The case was set for a process server hearing, and the process server was there, seemed to remember the service, and otherwise was a credible witness, leaving me little room to challenge the service.

I then asked if he had notes from the day of service, which he confirmed, and I asked if I could see them. I compared his notes to the certificate of service, and saw that some of the demographic specifics were off (the height was 5″ off, the age was specific instead of the range in the notes, the weight was off by 5 lbs.).

I then asked him about the differences (in that, more than anything else, the height seemed significant).

Bombshell alert:

He answered that he sends his notes in to the process service office, and then someone there fills out the certificate of service with all the details, and adds a digitized image of his signature, and the files it.

My jaw hit the desk. I asked him to confirm that the certificate was completed from his notes, and that he did not review it before it was signed, under penalty of perjury, with his digitized signature, and he confirmed, and said that’s the way they always do it, in 10’s of thousands of cases.

I argued to the judge that I had no issue with the digitized signature, but that the certificate of service was void, as it was completed and signed without his review, and it did not accurately reflect his own notes regarding the service.

The judge questioned the process server some more about this process, and, among other things, he admitted, that, well yes, for eviction service, that’s not how they do it, but for photo radar they do.

Case dismissed.

UPDATE: The FBI is the agency assigned to investigate public and judicial fraud. Their contact information is as follows. We encourage any reader who feels they may be a victim of false service to immediately file a report.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Special Agent Nathan T. Gray
201 East Indianola Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85012
Phone: (602) 279-5511
Fax: (602) 650-3204
E-mail: phoenix@ic.fbi.gov


Photo Unit Cop Caught Forging Documents

September 6, 2010

Geoffrey Jacobs (Photo: New Times)

A former officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s now-defunct Redflex “photo enforcement unit” was allegedly caught forging documents and using “state” resources — a DPS airplane — to stalk an ex girlfriend.

According to AZCentral, “[Geoffrey] Jacobs wrote a fake obituary regarding another ex-girlfriend and sent it to Hawaiian Airlines, along with a letter detailing how Jacobs was trying to cope with the “huge loss” of his fiancee. The letter was sent so Jacobs could transfer his ex-girlfriend’s ticket to another woman…”

If this officer was corrupt enough to forge documents for an airline ticket change, did any of the members of the public stand a chance when their citations were in his hands?

But wait, there’s more… This one’s for the “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about” crowd:

He also was found to have abused DPS resources when he flew a state-owned plane over the neighborhood where he believed an ex-girlfriend lived in an attempt to locate her new home.
And who better to help run the accident-increasing photo enforcement scheme than an officer who had great first-hand experience causing accidents:
Jacobs joined DPS in late 2002. Less than one year later, he was served with his first letter of reprimand for an October 2003 wreck in Tucson. The next year, Jacobs was in another wreck and lost eight hours of vacation pay.

Jacobs, according to the New Times, “was the trooper who arrested Republican Party Executive Director Brett Mecum in May 2009 for criminal speeding. “

Now Jacobs is redefining irony, by suing the state over his dismissal. His claim? “…Defamation and violation of privacy and constitutional rights. “

Perhaps one would be more compassionate for the troubled cop if he didn’t work in a police unit that defamed and violated privacy and constitutional rights on an automated level.

With forgery, stalker-like surveillance, and dangerous driving supposedly under his belt, he would fit in well with the corporate criminal culture at Redflex Group.

(Should a full investigation into this officer’s role in the photo enforcement unit be conducted by AZDPS? Sound off in the comments section)

“Photo Enforcement” Becomes Toxic

August 24, 2010

What do you do when your industry approaches market saturation and increased public opposition?

This is the question the peddlers of automated ticketing will have to start asking themselves in the immediate future if they hope to survive in any form whatsoever.

Almost all large United States cities have been approached by either Redflex or American Traffic Solutions pitching the tired, debunked claims of improved traffic safety.

Unfortunately for these companies, voters and drivers have awakened to the scheme and are opposing new and existing systems worldwide over a variety of reasons, from civil liberties concerns to the proper role of government.

Smaller and smaller communities are being being swindled into signing contracts with these corporations, resulting in millions of dollars being extracted from local economies and sent directly to the profiteering vendors.

The blowback to such installations has ranged from expected opposition to cold-blooded murder. Last week, the confessed shooter of a Redflex photo radar van driver in Arizona was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Unclear is the liability the State of Arizona will face for their “romp in the bed” with corporatism in the form of photo enforcement. Redflex was contractually obligated to provide “public service announcements” to explain automated ticketing to the public when the statewide ticketing contract was signed with the Department of Public Safety.

DPS is now being sued by the surviving family, and rightfully so. It doesn’t take an overpaid government beancounter to figure out that placing an unarmed civilian in a vehicle falsely marked as law enforcement is a bad idea.

With an onslaught of bad publicity, automated ticketing vendors may remember 2010 as the year their business model went sour. Lawsuits demanding refunds plague Redflex in Minnesota to the tune of millions of dollars while increased legal challenges in Florida and California threaten the very existence of red light cameras and so-called speed enforcement.

The Cameras are Coming Down… but in the end it may be due to the fatally flawed business model based on greed and inconclusive results that ATS and Redflex have depended on for over a decade.


Redflex Sales Hucksters are Commission-Based

August 19, 2010

Hi, Vince here from Redflex! Get ready to "snapshot" your way out of wreckless, drunken government spending with our new ScamWow! It's so easy!

Lobbyists who visit local city councils for Redflex are compensated on a commission-based scheme, and in one instance the cash was promised to be split with the wife of a local judge:

[Redflex] which also operates Victorian red light cameras – is at the centre of several court actions in Louisiana after a local council outside New Orleans turned off the cameras last January amid concerns company lobbyists were earning a share from camera fines…

Redflex Holdings allegedly agreed to pay 3.2 per cent of its share of camera revenue to the former United States councillor, who subsequently arranged to split the cash with the wife of a local judge.

Okay, camera apologi$t$: tell u$ again how it’$ not all about the money?


Australian Media Slams Redflex

August 12, 2010

It’s hard to find a mainstream media piece as perfect as this one. Enjoy the video and post your comments below.

Good: The lovely Tracy Grimshaw of A Current Affair asks the question of automated ticketing: “Life savers or just revenue raising cash cows?” CameraFRAUD as well as FireRedflex.com are mentioned in the story.

Better:

Quotes from the video: “Governments all around the world are in a lot of debt, they have to raise more money, and what better place to raise money than from penalties and speeding fines.”

“The cars are unmarked and there’s no warning sign until after you’ve driven past, and even then it’s tiny.”

REPORTER: “What do you do to pass the time when you’re sitting in here?”

REDFLEX DRIVER: “We watch the instrument.”

REPORTER: “And you need all three of you in here to do that?”

REDFLEX DRIVER: “That’s correct… at the moment…”

Best: The closing video of the UK show ‘Top Gear’ using a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher to take out a Gatso scam cam.


Paradise Regained

August 5, 2010

Dear Redflex,

We’re coming.

Sincerely,

CameraFRAUD


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