Top 10 CameraFRAUD Stories From 2010 – Part I

December 27, 2010

News in the world of scameras was everywhere in 2010. It would be nearly impossible to cover it all, but we’d first like to thank our friends from across the country for providing endless info and effort to push back on the fraud that is photo ticketing. Our right sidebar is where you’ll find links to their websites filled with stories of volunteers fighting the same good fight that we have been since 2008 in Arizona.

Collectively we accomplished a lot in 2010, but what’s coming in 2011 will more than likely be even bigger and better, so get ready.

In the first part of this look back, we’ll give you  stories #10 – #6. Tuesday will feature the top 5.

10. The Easter Bunny “Eggs Photo Radar.”

On the day before Easter, Shelton was on the scene at the intersection of Rural and University in Tempe to film an unknown person dressed up like the Easter Bunny “doing the job that Arizona State Legislature” refused to do in 2010. The egg definitely spoiled some serious profits for Redflex

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9. Stats from all over show that cameras create more dangerous intersections and roadways.

Time and time again, statistics from independent studies and state departments of transportation show that camera installation is associated with increased accidents. Here are a few more examples (of many) that were released in 2010.

Los Angeles

New Mexico

Baytown, TX

Winnipeg, Canada

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8. CameraFRAUD is covered by The Fox News Channel.

Because of the magnitude of the scamera issue, national news coverage is nothing new, but this report by the infamous news outlet in March covered angles that had been neglected by other national press.

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7. Paradise Valley photo radar and red light cam scam takes major heat.

Paradise Valley was the first municipality in the United States to adopt photo ticketing. The initiative to ban the cameras in that town began to expose politicians, law enforcement and judges who are what we call “scamera apologists.”

In September, Channel 10 gave us the chance to have a  debate with former Police Chief John Wintersteen who has a very cozy relationship with both Redflex and ATS.

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6. California begins to see through the red light camera rhetoric

Anaheim and Loma Linda saw major victories for the anti-photo ticketing movement. Anaheim was one of 5 cities that were able to vote on banning red light cameras and had the largest margin of victory with 73% casting their ballot to keep ATS’s automated ticketing machines out of their intersections.

Loma Linda city council was presented with clear evidence that red light cams are dangerous and signal timing is what actually increases safety. In an amazing display of common sense and public service, the cameras were taken down and an extra second added to yellow light times.

That city will undoubtedly see a decrease in collisions and more friendly intersections for motorists. Hopefully that action will serve as a model for many other municipalities who are actually trying to do the right thing and protect their citizens rights while increasing safety. This was the definition of win-win.

Come back Tuesday for our Top 5 stories from 2010!

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Christmas, CameraFRAUD Style

December 24, 2010

Whatever your persuasion, these Christmas videos always seem to bring about that holiday cheer that can only come from those who truly appreciate all the freedoms and liberties we stand up for as Americans.

Enjoy!

**you may need to click the link to watch these videos on youtube.com.**

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Redflex Lawsuit Will Cost Tempe Taxpayers

December 21, 2010

Tempe and Redflex aren’t talking because, well, their talking points are now gone. Any justification either one had left for the ring of scameras found within that city can no longer be used.

Photo radar is now costing everyone in Tempe money for legal fees, regardless of whether they’ve been ticketed.

This is clearly about money, always has been and now the local media is having a different conversation than they were two years ago. The biggest change is the PR campaign by city officials and camera company lobbyists has transformed into a silence routine. They know they’re finished and are just attempting to “bury the lead.”

Unfortunately for them, they don’t have that option anymore. 3TV tried to get both sides to comment on their impending lawsuit and both declined.

It’s a good thing we all know what the score is!


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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


Anti-Camera Sentiment Hits Silver Screen

September 9, 2010

The Problem

Growing frustration over the intrusion of automated ticketing machines is showing up more often in the arena of entertainment.

A big-screen remake of 1930s superhero “The Green Hornet” is set for release in January of 2011, and the producers of the film are using the violent destruction of a “red light camera” as the ending action sequence (video) in a 2 minute 30 second trailer available on YouTube.

The Reaction

The “superheros” find themselves snapped by what appears to be a Hollywood adaption of the infamous “Redflex scamera head.”

Response to the “cash flash” is swift, as a missile is launched from the vehicle which subsequently dispatches the scamera to a fiery, explosive demise.

The Solution

The highly-rated BBC program “Top Gear” recently used a similar, real-life sequence to terminate the existence of a Gatso lookalike.

The tables were turned in the 2008 action-thriller “Eagle Eye,” in which a rogue central computer named “ARIAA” used red light cameras and license plate recognition to locate and scramble missiles against a driver and passenger who were attempting to shut the system down.

Actual removal of the ticketing devices around Arizona is proving to be much less entertaining. Observers report that the Redflex – DPS cameras on the US-60 have started to come down, with cameras in the highway median being removed first.

Redflex’s piezo in-ground sensors will remain in place, becoming the property of Arizona Department of Transportation. They will likely remain unused as ADOT has their own network of sensors to anonymously monitor freeway traffic speeds.


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.


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