Less than two years after the first freeway flash, almost a hundred fixed and mobile Redflex speed cameras will cease operation this week in a bittersweet outcome for both opponents and supporters of automated ticketing.
The disastrous program, which was met with significant resistance and became a political hot potato, was the only statewide program in operation within the United States.
Let us not forget or allow any politician from this day forward in any city, in any state, to ignore what even Redflex’s own investors referred to as “an expensive failure.”
Even more important to recognize is that not all losses can be accounted for on a balance sheet. The Arizona Department of Public Safety and Redflex allowed private citizens to drive and operate photo radar vans bearing the department’s emblems and likeness.
In April of 2009, Douglas Georgianni was shot and killed as he sat inside of one of the DPS-marked Ford Escapes, with not even a remote chance to defend himself from the attack.
DPS Lieutenant James Warriner then attempted to use the tragedy for shameful political gain by blaming anti-camera opponents, casting fault away from where it belonged: the shooter, and those who put Mr. Georgianni in harm’s way. (In one of the most underreported Arizona news stories of 2010, DPS is now facing a significant survivor’s lawsuit from the family of the victim.)
Business at Redflex continues as usual, with the company encouraging clueless municipal police and sheriff departments nationwide to lend them their insignia for the profitable mobile radar units.
With a ballot initiative to ban automated ticketing statewide failing to gather the required signatures, the return of the statewide freeway program is possible. While state officials cited increased public opposition and the possibility of a ban in their decision to not renew the contract with Redflex, the thought that public officials will do the right thing and avoid entangling alliances with dubious foreign-owned corporations is a pipe-dream.
Don’t let up now. Monitor the news for mentions of Redflex and ATS sneaking into new communities and email the city / town councils a link to this or other CameraFRAUD articles. Make them vividly aware that a vote for photo enforcement is a gamble against their political future, and that the backlash of the “cash flash” can be… fast.
While we celebrate some of the cameras coming down this week, CameraFRAUD won’t be going anywhere until all of… “The Cameras are Coming Down!”