UPDATE 10-1-2011: PEORIA HAS TAKEN DOWN THEIR CAMERAS!
We have learned that Peoria has quietly approved a 6 month extension to last year’s 1 year extension of its dangerous red light camera “pilot” program. Last year, the Arizona Republic reported that crashes had more than doubled at intersections with red light cameras, but that didn’t stop the Peoria council from cashing in for another year. The new extension extends the contract on a month-to-month basis until April 2, 2011, well after coming elections. Technically, Redflex was operating without a contract between October 1 and October 6 when the city’s Materials Manager officially executed the contract extension. This extension comes without any apparent discussion at any city meetings or a review of the program’s performance despite such disastrous results from its first year.
A look through the contract reveals a couple of interesting items. On page 9 of the contract, provision 3.9 instructs the police to authorize Redfelx to issue a Traffic Ticket and Complaint based on a gender match despite prior Arizona Superior Court rulings that gender match is insufficient (Refer to cases of Stephen Thomas Palermo (LC2006-000235-001 DT), Craig Cameron Gillespie (LC2005-000597), and Daniel Gutenkauf). ARS 28-1561 requires a Traffic Ticket and Complaint to contain a form of certification by the issuing officer in substance as follows: “I hereby certify that I have reasonable grounds to believe and do believe that the person named herein committed the offense or civil violation described herein contrary to law” and on at least 3 occasions judges have ruled that gender match is not reasonable grounds to meet this requirement. ARS 28-1561 provides that a cop issuing a Traffic Ticket and Complaint without reasonable grounds to believe they’ve identified the violator is guilty of perjury.
Another interesting artifact is a sample of a public opinion poll (page 63) used by Redflex to show “overwhelming” support for red light scameras. One doesn’t have to be a polling expert to see how the questions are designed to achieve the illusion that photo enforcement is popular with the American public. Unfortunately for Redflex, those results have never been duplicated when a more honest polling methodology is used at the ballot box.