Bucketfuls of Fraud


Bucket of Big Brother? Kentucky Fried FRAUD?

CameraFRAUD Exclusive— Remember when we told you about Councilman Bob Roecker admitting that he wanted to make “bucketfuls of money” from photo enforcement schemes in Prescott, Arizona?

Little did we know that his figure of speech for fleecing the public would take on a physical form… in the creation of an automated ticketing device hidden within a traffic bucket. Observant CameraFRAUD contributors noticed something amiss about this particular bucket, such as the dual LED and infrared flash units mounted to the left and right of the centered camera, as well as the cable sneaking out the rear to a nearby control van.

While both ATS and Redflex operate tripod-mounted cameras, this appears to be the first documented case in the United States where such a device was hidden within a traffic barricade. Spotted near 91st Avenue and Grand in the west valley, we assume that the device was a test model. Unknown is the detection technology: no radar unit appears to be inside the bucket, so laser-based speed detection would be our best bet.

Mounting an automated ticketing machine in a traffic bucket poses unique advantages and disadvantages for both the operators of the device as well as the driving public. Traditional photo radar and photo enforcement systems are not considered traffic control devices, and as such are legally able to to be blocked by sign-wielding demonstrators, often times forcing device operators to leave the area. However, as traffic buckets are traffic control devices, such methods to defeat them may fall into a legal gray area.

The upside to motorists? That momentary lapse of steering control could make the damn thing go flying. After all, for as much as you know you only hit a traffic bucket…

Spot any unusual cameras lately? Send us an email.

46 Responses to Bucketfuls of Fraud

  1. RPr says:

    how many points are those orange targets worth?

  2. James S says:

    These could still be legally blocked by protesters as long as the cone was not being used in the capacity of a traffic control device (TCD).

    From the looks of it, the cone is by itself on the curb and not part of a chain of other cones, therefore there is no driver necessity to obey is as a TCD anymore than you would be obligated to obey barricades stacked by the side of the road or signs laying flat on the ground.

  3. J.W. says:

    Better yet someone could use the handle that is so conveniently placed on top to rotate the bucket about 90 degrees so that is facing away from the road. From the traffic control device aspect it was never moved from it’s original location, and the barricade is still clearly visible. No harm no foul.

    I assume the laws requiring signage are still in effect for these fraud buckets though, right?!?! If that is the case why the hell are they going to such lengths to “camouflage” the scameras?

  4. Joe says:

    I would imagine that some law must exist in AZ that prohibits the unlawful use of a traffic barricade.

  5. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    finally!!! its about time they stop warning people that a camera is ahead!!! i say no warning signs and more cameras!!!

    how did that sign blocking campaign work out for you guys anyway? if i recall correctly…you get run off by the cops everytime it happens!!!

  6. Good point, how exactly does one “obey” a single traffic cone?

    JW, yes, the sign rules still apply.

  7. Shane says:

    That’s about as bad as a local town a few years ago that had a guy sitting in a lawn chair with a walker in front of him and a radar gun in his lap, radioing ahead. Well, actually, this is worse.

    I can’t wait for the vote in AZ. I’m sure these camera companies are going to have a real sad day when they are told to go packing. Just wish there were as many energized people in my home state of CO and my adopted home province of Alberta.

  8. jgunn says:

    It seems that “slowing people down” isn’t the point of that type of enforcement, it is for the raising of revenue. Of course, it’s the little yellow signs that one needs to look out for, not the van. It’s irrelevant whether there is a van or a black tripod 1/4 mile from the yellow signs. If it’s laser, jamming it is legal in AZ. (Wait, sir! The radar, sir! It appears to be… [Jam starts flowing through the computer screen] jammed!)

  9. Mark S says:

    Anyone figure out who owns this garbage? If you see one, pull over and turn the opening away from traffic and wait for whoever is in the van to come out. Then take some pictures/video of him/her.

    A picture of the control van would have been nice, too.

    Was their any other cone cameras around? There should be two of them if they are for speed enforcement.

    Has anyone compiled a list of license plate numbers of the scam-vans?

    Next time I see the one that is always sitting just before exit 242 on the i-17, I will get a picture of it.


  10. Will says:

    Or maybe, in a bizarre twist of events, the camera people are trying to work around the major complaint that cameras actually decrease safety by encouraging everyone to brake right before the camera. If they’re less visible, they’re not as intrusive.

    OR: we’re being paranoid and it’s not meant to capture speeders at all?

  11. I'm Back says:

    It looks like somebody put Wall-E or Johnny 5 under a traffic bucket. Maybe Disney should make a movie about it. Think about it Scam Cam companies… it would be good PR and indoctrinate little kids in to our Big Brother Janet Napolitano Predator Drone society.

    Anyone else see that General Dynamics is getting the shaft from Robert Gates? The F-22 Raptor program is being shelved for more Predator Drones. Winner = California and Raytheon. Loser = AZ and General Dynamics. That’s okay, with more lost jobs and tax dollars from the state, I’m sure we can make up with it by putting up more scam cams. 😉

  12. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    carefull Will… i can not tell which side of the fence you are on!!

  13. Actually, it’d be more fun to just cut the cord real quick. Wonder how long it would take for them to notice.

  14. uncle slam says:

    Been while since I said hi. But this intrigues me. I think this is what my beater car was born for. It’s US made so I guess it’s fit to fight for the Constitution of this nation.

  15. uncle slam says:

    captain gatso, britain.

    look it up.

  16. Malfeasant says:

    uncle slam, that is the only reason i regret buying a new car 😀

  17. Tim T says:

    The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requires that traffic control devices, especialy construction drums and cones, be what we in the construction business “crash worthy.” This means that if (and typicaly when) the sign, drum, etc is hit by a vehicle, no one is injured by debris going thru the windshield, etc.

    In this case, I’m questioning the safety of this “drum camera” if it were to be hit by a automobile or motorcycle

    The MUTCD is the Federal guideline for all traffic control devices used in construction and perminent signing. Every traffic engineer (and crash lawyer) knows this document and any entity approving the use of a device that endagers the traveling public is liable.

  18. Radical says:

    Wish I could post a pic of the Gatsos in England, I can however provide the link to the site with a ton of pics for you all 🙂


    A pint of petrol on that rubber cone would light it up quite well 😉


  19. Tim T, Redflex demonstrates on a daily basis they don’t care about MUTCD standards. The mobile van signage does not comply at all.

  20. I'm Back says:

    Robert Gates was defense secretary for both Bush and now Obama. I can’t tell which side of the fence THEY are on. I think it’s the side that screws over the middle class.

    I know you hate Bush from one of your late night spout-a-thons. Does that mean you’re an Obamabot?

  21. Glyph says:

    I can see why Grand Ave. would be an attractive location for a pilot program like this. Many drivers are confused or distracted by Grand’s diagonal path and six-way intersections. More importantly, it’s a State Highway that runs through several municipalities, any one of whom could lower the speed limit to 40mph.

    At that point, they wouldn’t be obligated by law to put up warning signs.

  22. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    of two candidates i think obama was the best choice!! and i can not tell you who i would have picked had it been left up to me ( someone besides those two)!!!

    mccain is nothing but bush just a little older and more believable!!! bush is a crook..you can see it in his eyes!!!

  23. jgunn says:

    PRS, that is some great news. I know a couple posters here won’t be happy, by it’s good for us.

  24. Mike says:

    “The original goal was to get them out as quickly as possible, and I think that was kind of part of our problem that we rolled them out too fast, and it didn’t give us enough time to educate the public.”

    Educate? Educate?!? I think they mean “pitch how great they are for ‘safety’ so the people don’t see through our B.S. so easily.”

  25. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    there was some good and not so good in that article… it most certainly is not a victory for either side… but hey.. when you are desperate for something of any importance… i assume you will claim victory even when it is not there!!

    yes mike!! you are the hero!!! you nailed it!! the smoking gun uncovered by you!!!

  26. Mike says:

    Don’t you have some kangaroos to feed?

  27. seethemsquirm says:

    I don’t think this one is for speed, it looks very much like a plate recognition camera, those are not flashes on the sides, they are IR LED clusters. This camera is identical to cameras that they use at the airport to track plates in their parking lots/garages.

    I saw this same (or one just like it) about 6 months ago on I-10 at the picacho exit between Tucson and Phoenix. They were setting it up in the morning, it was still there that night but was gone the next day when I went back through. It was a plain white van with no windows, no markings, just a cargo van. They had 4 of the drums, one on either side of the highway getting traffic both directions.

    On a more interesting note, I was in the right lane yesterday heading up to phx, somewhere around the queen creek exit there was a duffus, I mean DPS van, I was going 76mph, another vehicle was in the left lane and was pulling up on me, I got a flash just as he was even with me….interesting to see who will get the ticket. I immediately called my boss (vehicle registered in his name) and reported it to him, he said he would toss the ticket if we get one, or would photocopy his DL and send it with a note that it was not him driving.

  28. geez says:

    They will have video of the violation and will watch it to see which vehicle it was. Sorry if you feel they are violating your privacy that way.

  29. Stacey says:

    Keep an eye out for any suspicious horse trailers on the side of the road. lol

  30. Joe says:

    The good news is that with the lack of camera expansion, and with only 900k in Redflex revenue as a result of the scameras, it is highly unlikelythat Redflex has broke even on this.

    And soon, they will be the owners of a large quantity of scrap metal.

  31. geez says:

    oh but you will continue to say it was all about the money.
    “Show me the money!” oh wait, there are no piles of gold laying around.

  32. Doc says:

    Lt warriner’s still on th'”the cameras are doing what we intended…” BULLS#!T line. Whatever. Traffic fatalities are down to th’ lowest levels NATIONWIDE since 1961. Scameras aren’t NATIONWIDE, nor will they ever be! It couldn’t possibly have anyting to do with th’ fact that nobodys got any $$$$ to go anywhere! (Stat is from Foxnews.com, yesterday…)

    As for redflex’s revenue…cry me a river illegal aliens from austrailia! You don’t deserve any $$$$ from Americans! Take yer junk & your law breakin’ supporters & get th’ F*@K OUT! You morons are gonna’ get run out on a rail! The cameras are coming down!

    Remember…F R E E D O M ! ! !-Doc from Prescott

    P.S.-Th Great Barrier Reef called..They’re lookin for their lunch. I gave ’em redflex’s #…& told ’em about a little orderve named law breaking hypocrite.

  33. duece says:

    Doc, your postings are a mess.

  34. geez says:

    duece, you misspelled mess, it’s spelled _meth_
    (with doc’s lisp)

  35. Joe says:

    geez said:
    “oh but you will continue to say it was all about the money.”

    It IS all about the money. Or at least that was the plan. It’s just not panning-out for them.

    Redflex counted only on the considerable municipal thirst for increased revneue. They did not adequately consider the rising tide of civic backlash (which is even more considerable).

  36. RPr says:

    In 2008, traffic tickets generated $10,095,771 in revenue for the clean elections fund. Out of this amount, $7,710,739 million was disbursed to lawmakers and candidates during the primary and general elections. The rest went into the states general fund.


  37. Joe says:

    RPr brings up one of the most insidious political obstacles to the current bill before the legislature. The lawmakers will make up many reasons to hate the proposed bill (perhaps even the sponsor himself) as they personally (financially) benefit from the speed cameras. Napolitano poured some very hard concrete when she crafted this one. This is why it is so important to press forward with the bollot initiative, as a legislature bill could very possibly fail. Politicians like getting free $ for their campaigns, and the speed camera revenue gives them just that.

  38. Mark S says:


    That is because the redflex lackeys helped the legislature craft the bill in such a way that it would benefit the lawmakers. That way, redflex wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket to give lobbying money or gifts directly to the lawmakers.

  39. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:


    Phoenix, AZ
    1,121 Volunteers

    Welcome to CameraFRAUD. We are united in our effort to get rid of every speed camera, red light camera, and photo radar van here in Arizona and across the country. We were suc…

    Check out this Meetup Group →

    oh susan!!! yee of no education!!! when was the last time you got to vote on a bill honey? thats right… probably never… 99.999% of bills are voted on by our elected officials!!!! you will get your chance with this one!! be patient!!! but it will not be from your signatures… you will fall way short.. but alas!! the legislature will bail you out and get it on the ballot so that none of them take the heat in the next election!!! its called covering their own ass..!!! get a clue……. babe!!!

  40. j says:

    nobody pays the tickets anyways

  41. Brent says:

    Get ready state politicians…

    In the next elections, if your position on this issue isn’t clear, you’ll be questioned and if you’re wrong you’ll be clearly labeled:

    Are you in it for the citizens or the foreign-owned corporations?

    Get ready…

  42. Law A. Bidingcitizen says:

    or what brent? are all 20 of you going to “vote em out”?

    brent … which clown would you like to be in the circus?

  43. photoradarscam says:

    Another one bites the dust…

    The cameras are coming down, one way or another.

  44. 123uphotome says:

    Hey Silly, Don’t you know a License Plate Reader when you see one….These scan for stolen cars and plates, they dont take pictures….stay focused on our goal of eliminating those speed cameras

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