If the Arizona Republic, New York Times and Washington Post did their jobs, CameraFraud would not exist. All too often one finds media coverage of photo enforcement amounts to little more than a restatement of talking points provided by a camera company. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the following excerpts from around the country. These news articles calmly reassure the public that ATS, Redspeed and Redflex will use not one, not just two, but three actual human beings to pour over and examine every detail of a violation to ensure nobody but deserving scofflaws ever receives a traffic citation in the mail.
Three Redflex employees review the violation. Each agent views different images and looks for specific information, matching motor vehicle records with the vehicle in the images. After the review is completed, Redflex recommends a violation, and then the Canton Police Department can accept or reject it. — Canton Republic, 3/9/09
Three people at Redflex review the tickets before being sent to [Redwood City Police] for final approval. — San Mateo Daily Journal, May 30, 2008
Three REDFLEX technicians review the material and discard shots that do not clearly show the driver’s face or vehicle license plate. The information is then sent to the Escondido Police Department for review, and tickets are mailed. — San Diego Union-Tribune, December 26, 2008
Technicians at ATS’ facility in Phoenix, Ariz., will review the images three times before deciding whether to forward them to the sheriff’s office. — Tampa Bay Tribune, March 5, 2009
As part of RedSpeed’s system, three company employees review video from the cameras before sending footage of apparent violations to police. Sworn officers then make the final determination on whether a ticket should be issued. — Chicago Daily Herald, March 2, 2008
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Too bad it isn’t true. You see, the Chicago suburbs right now are taking heat for doing a bait-and-switch routine on the public. Red light cameras were supposed to “save lives” by stopping “red light runners.” In reality, up to 100% of the tickets have been issued to people who aren’t running red lights. ATS, Redspeed and Redflex have hit the jackpot by ticketing people for turning right on red — even if they stopped before turning and even though turning right on red is legal.
The Village of River Forest wanted to save itself from public backlash by cutting the charge for the owners of cars that make right-hand turns to $50 while straight through violations earn the owner a $100 ticket. The camera vendor’s reaction to this milquetoast compromise? No way.
“According to the vendor, it isn’t possible to separate and forward only the desired infractions from this camera other than by examining each captured violation,” the Village of Schaumburg explained in a recent memo. This wouldn’t seem to be a problem if you had three employees dedicated to examining every violation. But apparently, it is:
RedSpeed Sales Consultant Michael T. Lebert suggested such a change could cause problems for the company’s computer system. RedSpeed monitors red light cameras for nearly 60 communities, and the system is automated, he said. — Pioneer Press, July 16, 2009
Maybe ATS, Redspeed and Redflex are employing cyborgs.