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.


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?


ATS Accuses Woman, 84 of Motorcycle Speeding

August 3, 2010

American Traffic Solutions scameras in Bluff City, TN accused an 84-year old woman from Lexington of speeding at midnight on a motorcycle late last month:

“I thought maybe I ought to send them the money and not worry about it, and that’s the last thing you should do.“

The victim thought upon receipt of the “notice of violation” that the ticket was a scam (and rightfully so) and got the matter resolved only after involving the local media.

Other ATS and Redflex FAILs this week include:

Changes bring DeLand red-light cameras to rolling stop
Officials will have to re-evaluate whether to pursue the use of red-light cameras now that… a new state law would take a big chunk of local ticket revenue.

Firm doubles Palm Coast’s fees
Here’s something to make Palm Coast officials see red: The company that runs its traffic light camera system is asking to more than double what it currently charges the city.

Seeing red over camera contract
A CITIZENS’ revolt against red light cameras in New Orleans has led to claims a Victorian company agreed to pay a share of the fines to a former city councillor if it won a contract.

Red light photo enforcement is no longer active in Yucaipa
“The program was not very productive in terms of paying for itself,” Hemsley said. The city anticipated a revenue of approximately $140,000, but has only collected $27,500. Since it is the court collection system that has resulted in lack of revenue, Hemsley said the Redflex and the city could not find a good solution or alternative to canceling the contract. “After negotiations with Redflex, we agreed to pay the balance due of $198,000 and terminate the agreement.”

Town’s Automated Traffic Enforcement Approaches One Ticket Per Citizen
Tennessee town of 17,000 has issued over 7,300 traffic tickets in half year since adopting system


Updated – Governor Brewer: Turn Off Those Sensors

July 22, 2010

What exactly is going on here? It appears the deflection technique is in full effect at the Governor’s office, DPS and ADOT.

CameraFRAUD volunteers have been inquiring about Redflex’s continued operation of speed sensors after their contract expired with all three offices. We have evidence that nobody is taking ownership of the issue.

In an AZCentral “article,” it was stated that until the equipment is required to be completely removed, Redflex will still be operating their speed sensors and capturing our data for their use.

The contract states that they have 120 days to remove their equipment after it expires, but nowhere does it say that they can continue to collect data. These are public roads that Redflex littered with their mechanical heaps and they’d have to have some type of permit or contract for the continued operation of them.

Is anyone in charge here in AZ? The governor’s office emailed us and said it was false information being passed around. Maybe they need to make a phone call to Redflex and politely tell them that they’ve over-stayed their welcome.

Unless they want to use that data to make a case that Shoba, Redflex’s Master of Panic, is right. She predicted that “dangerous and aggressive driving” will be on the uptick. We’re still unclear about how those sensors can detect dangerous and aggressive driving. Maybe they can let us in on that.

Leaving the camera piezo sensors on to supposedly just collect data is a sham: our freeways are already equipped with intelligent traffic system sensors, which monitor the speed of traffic every one half to one mile. The boys from down under are up to no good.

But Governor Brewer’s spokesman has been very public lately in saying that she still wants a citizens vote on Photo Ticketing for the entire state.

We have 120,000+ names of AZ voters that agree with that sentiment.

Actions speak louder than words Governor Brewer. You’ve seen that work mightily in your favor lately.

Let’s vote on it.

**UPDATED**

ADOT has responded to our inquiry by posting a comment. Here it is:

Tim Tait, ADOT says:

Just to provide a bit of clarification, when the photo enforcement program ended, ADOT ensured that the power was off at all camera locations and that all in-pavement loop detectors were disconnected. ADOT has independent sensors (in-pavement and acoustical) that help to count cars and track general traffic flow; these sensors provide data that computers convert into the traffic maps and the travel-time estimates. ADOT’s system and that installed for photo enforcement are totally separate.

ADOT will continue to monitor the process of removal of the camera infrastructure to ensure that it is done safely and within all standards, just as we would do for any other project.

I hope this helps to provide some clarity.

- Tim Tait, ADOT
ttait@azdot.gov
602-712-7070

If the power has been shut off to Redflex’s fixed cameras and loop detectors (speed sensors) the info provided for this article was false:


Redflex Paranoia Kicks in to High Gear

July 16, 2010

Redflex really likes watching you. They want your every move on AZ freeways tracked and documented. Why? Because they can turn your right to travel in to a profit scheme.

Redflex says they can control you. Jay Heiler said on Fox News that their cameras are all about “compliance.”

Now Redflex wants you scared. After all, that’s how they pulled one over on the entire state and had their lobbyists stick a massive state-wide contract in to a budget proposal, courtesy of Janet Napolitano. They convinced State Legislature that Arizona Freeways were so dangerous that only cameras could save us from ourselves.

What they didn’t tell anyone is that their cameras would be taking live video, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What Redflex does best is lie. In fact, they lied and mismanaged their way from having a license to print money off the backs of Arizonans, to a complete money losing failure.

Now all they have left is to keep tabs on you for a couple more months. They’ll try to make a case that the freeways have fallen in to chaos now that the threat of them sending drivers a bill for $181 is gone. Never mind that most tickets were ignored and many were immune from them, including Redflex employees.

Here’s Shoba, Redflex’s Master of Panic, telling us that all out lawlessness is about to ensue:

“This should be a wake-up call to everyone in the community to be even more careful and watch for a large increase in aggressive, dangerous driving,” said Shoba Vaitheeswaran.

Talk about paranoid.

Redflex, ATS Running Out of Lobbyist Hacks

June 27, 2010

Winning isn’t enough for the folks of CameraFRAUD and ACAPR(Arizona Citizens Against Photo Radar) anymore.

Last night, ABC 15 gave us the opportunity to post a piece opposite to one written by a Lobbyist Group for Redflex and ATS, called SARA (Safer Arizona Roads Alliance). The group is funded by both companies.

Let’s just say that the talent pool is even more shallow these days. Those looking for an actual debate are going to yearn for the work of Jay Heiler and his alien hands.

Peters starts off her piece by asking and answering her own question with a one word answer. Very attention grabbing!

Incidentally, the cameras coming down is not just an idea, it happens to be a reality.

Next she starts in with the nanny-state rhetoric of “If they save even one life…” Unfortunately there are a lot of freedoms we could give up to save “just one life,” such as no longer being allowed to drive cars, or even leave our houses. That logic could go on forever, but you get the point. Joanna would probably be happier living in a place like Australia, for example.

Jay Heiler hands over lobbyist duties to Joanna Peters of SARA

Joanna, just like every other Redflex/ATS lobbyist is making her arguments under a completely false premise.  She claims the traffic surveillance ticketing cameras are saving lives, when the statistics do not support her claims. She also misses completely on the argument that speed is the cause of 1/3 of all accidents, with no data to back it up. Let’s take a look at some numbers from ADOT:

Exceeding the posted limit is shown to be a factor in less than 5% of crashes in Arizona for 2008. I don’t have a calculator out, but 5% doesn’t sound like 1/3. Maybe Joanna can do the math on it and get back to us. All the cameras can do, is (allegedly) measure  how much someone is over the posted limit. That, of course, is always in question, especially with the revelation that Redflex was using un-certified equipment for that brief 11 year period starting in the late 1990’s.

Another fun fact is that exceeding the posted limit is only observed on .48% of Arizona motorists. Yes that’s less than one half of 1%. Speeding doesn’t seem to be quite the problem Redflex, ATS, DPS and their Lobbyist friends make it out to be.

Joanna also identifies herself as a parent in the “essay” written for Channel 15 in an attempt to gain sympathy of the reader. None of these tactics are new by any means, but it would be nice to debate an issue without meaningless pandering and false statistics.

Maybe Jay Heiler can fill us all in on what he’s been up to lately, because mentoring his successors doesn’t appear to be on that list.


Two Weeks Left!

June 16, 2010

Have you hit the 7 sheets by 7/1 Challenge yet? If not, don’t fret, there’s still time. Our

volunteers are planning a few signature gathering events for the next two weeks, including one at Chapparral Park this weekend.

Check the CameraFRAUD meetup page for more details, or better yet, make your own event.

Just remember, signatures are due by July 1st. There will be a couple more meetings to bring your sheets in, including one on or around June 30th.

If you can’t make it to either and have sheets, please PLEASE let someone know and we’ll make arrangements to come pick them up from you.

Remember, you don’t need an official time or date to collect signatures either. Just ask friends, family and coworkers to sign. Or spend an hour or two at a Gas Station, Grocery Store or wherever you can find people gathering in mass.

Let’s leave that horse trader Jay Heiler and his scameras in the dust!!


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