9 Unforgettable Photo Radar Stories of 2009


Here’s to 2010 being the year the cameras come down! But first CameraFRAUD would like to take one last look at what made 2009 a tremendous year for news in photo enforcement. Enjoy!

1. Trash Your Tickets – In December of 2008, The New Times published an article letting Arizona Motorists know that they can legitimately ignore their photo radar tickets, without any repercussions. Of course, if a process server finds you, there’s an obligation to reply. The idea of ignoring tickets was repeated throughout 2009 and soon the entire system became overwhelmed with unpaid tickets. DPS, Redflex and ATS have no solution to this self imposed problem other than to issue more tickets and increase fines. Bravo!

2. Ban Photo Radar in AZ Initiative – In January, CameraFRAUD held a press conference at the State Capitol to announce the Initiative to Ban Photo Radar Statewide. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was present and the first to sign. 153,000+ validated signatures are needed to put the initiative to a vote in November of 2010. The deadline to turn them in is July 2010 and we are well on our way.

3. Monkey Mask Motorist – Some may call him a scofflaw and others call him a brave dissenter. Whatever your judgment of the man is, he certainly captured the attention of DPS, Local Media and a public outraged by the photo radar scameras. His case is still pending but it’s clear that the Arizona Department of Public Safety wants to make an example out of him. They approached the flight attendant while he was at work with 37 civil traffic violations caught on camera. He maintains that he will not pay because there is no proof in any of the photos that he is the driver.

4. Sheriff Babeu Bans Photo Radar in Pinal County, Terminates Redflex Contract – In January, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu presented the County Board of Supervisors with his reasons for terminating the contract with Redflex and ending the program. This fulfilled Sheriff Paul’s campaign promise to rid his county of the scamera system. If only other elected officials were as true to their word as him!

5. Redflex Driver Shot and Killed inside van – While on duty in April, Redflex Van Operator Doug Georgianni was fatally shot from a passing vehicle on the 101 Freeway near 7th Avenue. The shooter was quickly apprehended by a DPS officer. He had apparently acted alone. The tragedy was later politicized by DPS Lt. James Warriner who stated that vocal criticism of Redflex had led to the murder.

6. Paradise Valley Ticket Fraud – In June, one of our volunteers realized that Paradise Valley had illegally shortened yellow light times at the intersection of Tatum and McDonald in an effort to create more violations to drum up revenue. After the city was called numerous times about the short yellow times, they were forced to admit that 1,063 tickets were issued illegally. The tickets were either canceled or refunded if they had been paid. This would have represented almost $200,000 in revenue to the city.

7. 3,600 Tickets Same Day Same Court – Our volunteers were tipped off, local media was alerted and the circus ensued. By a scheduling gaffe of epic proportions, 3,600 photo radar tickets were assigned to the same down town Phoenix Civil Court for the same day at the same time. Obviously logistics and simple physics would not allow for that many people to be herded through our court system like sweaty cattle in the July heat. Somewhat predictably, the number of people who actually showed was dramatically less than 3,600, but a gigantic line of those who did formed. CameraFRAUD volunteers were on site to capture the moment and collect signatures for the initiative. After all was said and done, about 100 people who were scheduled to appear in court actually showed.

8. State Legislature Fails To Ban Photo Radar – Many proposals and bills to ban photo enforcement and end the statewide freeway contract with Redflex, but they all died for one reason or another. Representative Sam Crump, Republican from Anthem was the most vocal and active opponent of the program but his efforts alone weren”t enough. Our elected officials proved that they are more concerned with filling the state’s coffers than about safety or the public good. It is more and more apparent that it will be up to the citizens of Arizona to impose the ban. November 2nd, 2010 could be the day that happens, if CameraFRAUD and Arizona Citizens Against Photo Radar are successful in their public awareness and political activist campaigns.

9. CameraFRAUD vs Redflex Debate – In November, Shawn Dow squared off with Jay Heiler, Director of Government Affairs with Redflex, in a debate over photo enforcement hosted by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. Heiler was the infamous Chief of Staff for Fife Symington while he was governor of Arizona. This was the first time that there was a sanctioned event pitting the scamera company with the volunteer organization. Both sides presented their arguments clearly but it was apparent from the beginning that Heiler was determined to poison the debate with his manipulative brand of corporate rhetoric and attack Shawn’s enthusiasm. Score the debate for the good guys.

33 Responses to 9 Unforgettable Photo Radar Stories of 2009

  1. Brent says:

    Quite a year! 2010 will be just as interesting; and the final year this is an issue.

    Goodbye RedFlex.. Cya ATS..

  2. Beau Jangles says:

    Shawn you got lit up at that debate, just admit it. You looked and acted like a child.

    • jgunn says:

      Jay Heiler is a dead corporate highly paid douchebag. I could pimp myself out for thousands of dollars too, but I have higher standards for myself than being a 2 bit whore. Heck, the hookers down on van buren have higher standards than that prick.

    • Stacey says:

      PLEASE, just Shawn’s response to Hitler’s, I means Heiler’s comment in regards to the polls Redflex paid for was worthy of salutation.

  3. lenox8081 says:

    I must have gotten 15 of these in the mail in 2009 and didn’t pay any of them!

  4. Sure says:

    Good piece.

  5. Will Kay says:

    I hear that DP$ has started to send out “Final Notice” letters if you fail to respond to their “Notice of Violation”. I suggest people ignore them as well. There really is no end to how much they’re willing to harass people for the purpose of illegally extorting money.

    • Mark S says:

      I wonder how much money in postage has been spent on mailing out these scam letters?

      I received a total of three of them for my one scam ticket. As I recall the postage was 32 cents for each of them.

      At least they never got a dime out of me. Never saw a process server and the scam ticket was dismissed.

  6. Alyssa says:

    As a side note…DPS parks a camera van on the corner of Scottsdale Rd and Camelback Rd on Sundays..I work nearby and the driver (ATS employee) comes in to my restaurant to get food before parking the van and starting his day of illegal activity. The last time he came in I bursted out, “HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT? GET A REAL JOB!!” as he walked out the door. Good thing my boss has a good sense of humor otherwise I would have lost my job!

    • Will Kay says:

      If I were that restaurant manager or owner I would waste NO time telling that hypocrite to find somwhere else to eat and instruct my staff to not let any of their employees patronize that establishement.

  7. Stacey says:

    New York Times

    A version of this article appeared in print on January 3, 2010, on page A18 of the New York edition.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/us/03arizona.html

    • Dr Jett says:

      I like how DPS Lt. Jeff King said that he doesn’t understand the backlash because DPS just wanted the public to obey the speed limits. He doesn’t mention that there have been no highway studies to determine what is a safe rate of speed. He doesn’t mention the speed that 85-95% of the drivers actually use which would be the safest speed for travelers on the highway. He does know that the $$$$$$$$$$ are not rolling in as expected. The citizens are fed up with being robbed and watched 24/7. How hard is that to understand Lt King!

      • Will Kay says:

        He doesn’t understand why AZ citizens don’t like having their Constitutional rights violated by being tracked and monitored by live streaming video 24/7?

  8. Stacey says:

    You would think the legislators would figure out how the public feels about photo radar.

    • Dr Jett says:

      We could make it clear to the legislators by voting all of the photo radar supporters in the legislature out of office! That would be a real clear message.

  9. Stacey says:

    Job Opening at Redflex

    WESTERN REGION Government Affairs/Lobby Manager

    From Career Builder.com

    Job Snapshot Location: Phoenix, AZ 85085

    Other Pay: 401K Plan and Great Benefits

    Employee Type: Full-Time

    Industry: Law Enforcement
    Sales
    Marketing

    Manages Others: No

    Job Type: Government
    Customer Service
    Business Development

    Experience: Not Specified

    Post Date: 12/4/2009Contact Information Ref ID: WESTERN REGION Government Affair

    Description

    Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. has contracts with more than 240 U.S. cities, and is the largest provider of digital red light and speed enforcement services in North America. With photo speed programs in nine states and photo red light programs across 22 states, REDFLEX has consistently led the market in contract wins, system installation rates and market share.

    Our organization empowers you to do your best work.

    Job Description- WESTERN REGION Government Affairs/Lobby Manager

    Location: Phoenix, AZ

    Summary: This position is responsible for participation in the management of legislative lobbyists relationships in the States of AZ, CA, OR, WA, CO. This person will work closely with the Vice President of Government Affairs to develop lobby strategy tied to category goals, manage lobbyist engagements including but not limited to: educating, establishing strategy, executing direction, grass roots development, political media interface and managing a budget for government affairs.

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    Development and execution of plans including model legislation, bill sponsors, grass root engagements.

    Block and tackle hands on management of legislative goals.

    Coordinate testimony strategy at key hearings

    Represent the company in key legislative organizations

    Lobbyist Management in key geographies

    Management of multifaceted broad-scale initiatives.

    Participates in meetings with Public Relations Agency.

    Media campaign management.

    Requirements
    Minimum Job Requirements:

    This position requires a four year college degree in Business, Political Science or a related field. 10-15 year experience in government affairs. Advanced Degree a plus. This position will require up to 50% travel.

    Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required:

    Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    Strong legislative process understanding
    Constitutional Law understanding a plus
    Experience as lobbyist a plus
    Ability to operate as a matrix project manager coordinating information and resources from multiple functional areas.
    Strong research skills
    Self starter
    Strong multi-tasking skills
    Works well under pressure
    Excels in fast paced/high growth environment
    Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office

    Please send resume with salary requirements to [Click Here to Email Your Resumé]No calls Please
    RECRUITERS NO PHONE CALLS

    EOE

    http://www.careerbuilder.com/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?ipath=EXIND&siteid=cbindeed&Job_DID=J8A8116SFWFMB4XYH0Z&cbRecursionCnt=1&cbsid=315ac94aa3a14fed88ffbb1780d07d50-315784485-JP-5

    • “Industry: Law Enforcement
      Sales
      Marketing”

      Sales and marketing used as description words for a law enforcement job should probably make everyone a little uncomfortable.

      • Dr Jett says:

        I am insulted to have law enforcement added to an honorable profession such as sales and marketing.
        The job description should read: Lie, cheat & steal in the name of law enforcement.
        Job summary: Priors for weaseling out of lawsuits when caught telling corporate lies.

    • We need someone from our organization to apply and get the job and spend a few months “trying” to do a good job, but actually make things worse and get all of the good dirt!

  10. Stacey says:

    If you don’t have the stomach for putting your thumb on legislators and the thought of prison time scares you, hows about a job out in the field?

    Field Technician 674
    Redflex Traffic Systems

    Job Snapshot
    Location: Davenport, IA 52801

    Base Pay:
    $16.00 – $18.00 /Hour

    Other Pay:
    Great Benefits, and 401K plan.

    Employee Type: Full-Time

    Industry:
    Law Enforcement
    Government – Civil Service
    Transportation

    Manages Others: No

    Job Type: Installation – Maint – Repair
    QA – Quality Control
    Government

    Experience: Not Specified

    Post Date: 12/15/2009
    Contact Information
    Ref ID:
    674 Field Technician

    Description
    Job Description:Field Technician
    Reports to:Field Supervisor
    Dept: 674
    Salary Range:$16-$18 DOE
    Class:Non-Exempt

    SUMMARY:

    Install and maintain digital based photo enforcement solutions for City Public Safety programs. This position is for the Davenport, Iowa area.

    This team member must ensure the equipment within their regions maintain the standards of 95% operation time and 90% issuance rate.

    DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

    1) Ensure proactive routine maintenance deadlines are met while keeping active equipment above contractual requirements.

    2) Work closely with the Helpdesk personnel to identify and resolve customer related issues resulting from equipment deficiencies.

    3) Work closely with Maintenance Field Supervisor and Customer Service representatives to keep service levels high.

    4) Perform daily checks of enforcement systems to confirm operations and monitor all systems as equipment dictates.

    5) Perform video survey as required for new business development.

    6) Monitor and document the timely completion of preventative maintenance program, work with field supervisors to adapt procedures to match equipment demands as technology evolves.

    7) Provide installation support for new approach builds.

    8) Any other duties and/or responsibilities assigned.

    9) Work environment:
    a) Approximately 90% work is outdoors
    b) Work at heights in excess of 10ft
    c) Periodically lift up to 50 lbs
    d) Periodic on call work outside normal business hours
    e) Up to 20% travel
    f) Periodic overtime
    g) Work near moving traffic

    Requirements

    MINIMUM JOB REQUIREMENTS:

    The position requires an Associates Degree or Technical Institute certificate in a technical field (engineering or computer science) or related work experience. Experience in digital photography, network installation and computer technology is required. A+ and N+ Certification is a plus. Ability to work outside with minimal supervision required. Reliable transportation required and Some Travel required.

    KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES REQUIRED:
    Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
    Strong multi-tasking skills.
    Effective organizational skills.

    http://www.careerbuilder.com:80/JobSeeker/Jobs/JobDetails.aspx?ipath=EXIND&siteid=cbindeed&Job_DID=J8D62Y7302WNJB5GJVW&cbRecursionCnt=1&cbsid=395de46bc46a4042bd5fcb3bb28ec9f7-315783053-R1-4

    • Brent says:

      Wow, $16-18 an hour to risk having your friends and neighbors find out you’re a pirate who’s financially raping the rest of the community.. what a deal..

      Or worse, being video’d and put online to see what a great contributor to the community you really are.

    • Dr Jett says:

      Experience: Prison time preferred, computer crimes desirable, general lowlife thief.

      Just trying to make the job experience needed more specific to help Redfux get the employee that they really desire.

    • Drinking on the job OK.

  11. RPr says:

    Drudge picked up the article http://www.drudgereport.com/

  12. Frankie says:

    The job description needs to simply say “needed Tax Collector”

  13. Jason N. says:

    Where is the Travis Towsend pick ax story? Didn’t see that on there…..

  14. Steve F. says:

    With regards to #8..I’m glad that the state legislature failed.

    If they succeeded, only state roads would be affected, and cities and counties would still be free to institute camera enforcement.

    That would also free up a huge number of process servers to serve those tickets, pushing the enforcement rate even higher.

    With the state cams still active, that keeps the anger level at a high, and encourages people to not only sign the ballot petitions, but to actually seek them out.

    Because of that, we have a chance to not only teach the state a lesson, but also arrogant city councils and boards of supervisors.

  15. Yep says:

    Steve F. definitely has a good point…

  16. karen says:

    #1 has changed. telling people to trash their tickets is bad news. doesnt matter now who was driving of if you you are not served. if the vehicle is registered to you then you are still responsible for the ticket and will lose your license. update your mailing address because thats not an excuse either.

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