“Invisible” Speed Cameras Under Development

August 25, 2008

Nearly invisible speed cameras mounted in the pavement will soon begin issuing speedingtickets in Malaysia… A pair of the “Intelligent Studs” sit in between lanes raised just 4mm from the ground, virtually indistinguishable from other lane markers in the road… they can also be used to track the location and times of all passing vehicles through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software… Malaysia already allows anyone with a cameraphone or other digital camera to issue speeding tickets to strangers, friends and enemies by uploading a picture to a police website. — Cameracops.blogspot.com

With admission from ATS’ own website that they actively monitor all of their cameras (even when no violation is occuring), does it come as any surprise that the technology shall continue to evolve and creep deeper into the daily lives of everyone?


Chandler to expand automated enforcement?

August 25, 2008

The City of Chandler is appearently considering the expansion of their automated enforcement systems, according to the blog “Camera Cops:”

“The city’s contract with Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., a Scottsdale photo-radar vendor (but an Australian owned company), expires in April. Chandler police want to take advantage of the contract’s allowance for a free test program to determine if expanding the system would reduce collisions.”

Apparently the City of Chandler isn’t aware that nothing is ever truly “free,” especially when multi-million dollar contracts with illegitimate, foreign-owned companies are at stake.


ABC15.com: Valley group aims to dim the lights on photo radar

August 21, 2008

See the video at ABC15.com.

Some call it the flash they fear.

Photo enforcement cameras are popping up across the Valley and many law enforcement agencies consider them a useful tool to cut down on red light runners and speeders.

But for one Valley organization, the photo radar cameras are nothing more than a way for big brother to keep an eye on drivers.

“Obviously, the pole belongs to the city and we can take enforcement action on that if we need to," said Tempe sergeant Steven Carbajal.

See the rest at ABC15.com.


AZ ACTIVISTS PLAN PHOTO RADAR PROTEST

August 19, 2008

Fraud and deceit alleged on the part of camera operators

SCOTTSDALE, AZ, Aug 20, 2008 (Direct news media distribution)—- Local activists will soon express their disapproval with Redflex Group and American Traffic Solutions, Inc., two suppliers of automated traffic-enforcement equipment to the State of Arizona and various municipalities.

WHEN: Friday, August 22nd – 5:00 PM

WHERE: N.E. corner, Scottsdale Road and Thomas Road, Scottsdale, AZ.

WHY: CameraFRAUD.com, a web blog detailing the activities and politics behind the cameras, is inviting the public to join other valley activists.

Recently revealed information shows that Redflex Group and the Department of Public Safety may have knowingly conspired to use non-certified radar guns in at least two of their mobile van units, a move that prompted the agency to temporarily remove the vans from service.

Redflex had offered to refund up to 4,800 citations that were issued, but then later agreed with DPS that such a refund wasn’t necessary—calling the breach of due process an “honest mistake,” according to the Easy Valley Tribune1.

In July, Redflex was forced to terminate an employee who was discovered by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to have broken no less than four Arizona laws, including using an official notary stamp to falsify documents relating to traffic citations2.

Those attending the protest are advised to bring plenty of drinking water as temperatures are expected to reach 103 degrees.

Redflex Group is a privately-held company based in Australia performing law-enforcement activities in the United States3.

American Traffic Solutions, Inc., is headquartered in Scottsdale AZ, along with the company’s Orwellian “Global Network Operations Center,” which is “linked to all active cameras and data collection devices worldwide”4.

CameraFRAUD.com, founded in 2008, is a non-partisan group dedicated to “Slowing, Stopping, and Reversing the Theft of our Privacy.” They can be reached online at http://www.CameraFRAUD.com. Limited media interviews or questions may be requested via email at media@CameraFRAUD.com.

1. http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/123214

2. http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/24/2464.asp

3. http://www.redflex.com/html/holdings/index.php

4. http://www.atsol.com/about/AboutUs.html


Security officials to scan D.C. area license plates

August 19, 2008

From the AP / WTOP:

Homeland security officials in the Washington area plan to dramatically expand the use of automated license plate readers to prevent possible terrorist attacks.

Officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia have agreed to install 200 license plate readers on police vehicles, at airports and along roads. The plan announced Friday will be funded by federal homeland security grants for the area.

[…]

The readers will scan every license plate that passes by and will run the numbers through federal criminal and terrorist databases.

New York officials recently said they plan to scan license plates of all cars entering Manhattan.

If cameras prevented crime, we wouldn’t see all the footage on the nightly news of the armed gunman robbing the local convenient store. In the best of scenarios, camera footage can be used to investigate crimes that have already occurred. A terrible example of such is the well-known footage of the 9/11 hijackers walking through airport security.

Lets analyze the flawed logic behind DHS’ license plate scanners:

  1. Terrorists do bad things.
  2. Cameras can scan license plates and compare the data to terrorist databases.
  3. Law enforcement can catch terrorists.

Did you catch it? The break in logic happens somewhere between items 1 and 2; if there’s a “terrorist database,” and we know who the terrorists are (and, apparently have their license plate number already), why are we waiting for the plate scanners to pick them up? Why aren’t warrants being issued for the arrest of these suspected terrorists?

Instead of being tough on terrorism, DHS is acting like a kid in a candy store: the gobstoppers and gumballs of technology are sweet and taste really good, but are actually nothing but a bunch of empty calories. And the taxpayers are getting stuck with the cavities.


What is “Fraud”?

August 18, 2008

Wikipedia defines fraud as “deception made for personal gain.” Websters’ defines it a little more potently: “deceit, trickery… intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.”

No matter what your views are on photo radar, one thing is for sure: Redflex has perverted the truth by falsifying speed camera documents. In fact, they were so blatent about such forgery and fraud, Redflex was called on the carpet by the Arizona Secretary of State’s office just last month:

“Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer last week confirmed that documents used to convict motorists of speeding in Lafayette, Louisiana contained elements that had been falsified. Brewer revoked the license of Cheryl Krough, notary public for photo enforcement vendor Redflex after concluding that she violated four Arizona laws while purporting to certify a speed camera deployment form for use in official hearings.

The article continues:

At issue was the form used in an attempt to convict motorists Mark and Phil Abshire of speeding on October 10, 2007. Krough signed this document, certifying that van driver Scott Michael Bernard had sworn to the truth of the document’s contents in her presence. The secretary of state’s office saw no evidence that this ever took place.

“It cannot be determined whether the signer was in the notary’s presence when the notary notarized the form,” Cota wrote.

Krough, who worked in the Scottsdale, Arizona office for Redflex, was 1400 miles away from the Redflex employee who drove the van that day. The secretary of state’s office expressed a certain amount of indignation that in response to an investigation of the matter by the Arizona Attorney General’s office, Krough, “wrote a short response to the complaint on a post it note.”

Who’s watching the watchers? Those we’re entrusting to enforce the law are breaking it, and when caught doing so try to explain away their actions on a post-it note!

Perhaps it’s time to cover the camera lenses with post it notes. What’s good for the goose is….


Valley Activists Hang “Fraud” Signs on Photo Radar Equipment

August 18, 2008

This is only the beginning.


Busybodies Try to Revive the 55

August 18, 2008

From USAToday:

“…with high fuel costs reviving memories of the energy crisis of that decade, proposals to bring back the “double nickel” or something like it are emerging, with backers saying federal speed limits could save fuel, money and perhaps lives.”

We’re from the Federal Government, and we just want to help (take away your money).


Follow Up: Plate Recognition Technology

August 18, 2008

From AZFAMILY.com:

Phoenix police officers are patrolling streets with a new secret weapon… It’s an automated license plate reader. Cameras mounted on top of police cars are taking pictures of plates, then comparing them to a database of stolen vehicles. They can read up to 50,000 plates in only a few hours.

Phoenix PD is vague about the automated reader’s capabilities as to whether they are only using it with a stolen vehicle database, or with other “watchlists” such as expired tags, expired registrations, outstanding parking tickets, etc.

Thanks to Mike for bringing this article to our attention in the comments section.


Is plate recognition technology next in the Valley?

August 18, 2008

From The Telegraph:

The latest development in CCTV is the increased use of automatic number plate recognition systems, which read number-plates and search databases for signs that a vehicle has been used in crime.

A national automatic number plate recognition system is maintained by the Association of Chief Police Officers along motorways and main roads. Every number plate picked up by the system is stored in a database with date, time and location for two years.

With almost every intersection in the valley sporting photo radar and red light cameras, it’s feasible for those systems to be linked in the future to a database that logs every license plate read – even those not snapped for a violation. Recent information trickling out of Redflex and ATS indicates that their systems actually record video of all “violations.”

Can you imagine receiving a notice in the mail saying you drove too much last Tuesday? Or how about a kindly reminder sent to you asking you to not drive Scottsdale Road as often? Such scenarios are quite plausible under Arizona’s open embrace with the surveillence society mantra.


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