AZ Firefighter: Red Light Camera Program a Sham

February 19, 2011

A CameraFRAUD member, who is a local Fireman, sent us the text of a letter he has sent to several Arizona state legislators.

This member also commented that he collected dozens of signatures to ban photo ticketing in Arizona from Police Officers who felt the same way he did, but are bound by rules for public employees not to speak out.

We’ve kept this info confidential in order to comply with unfair rules that city and state employees are bound by in public statements about their jobs.

Letter:

For your research into voting on SB1352, “Photo Radar Prohibition”, I would like to provide you with my personal experiences as a firefighter of 25 years in how photo traffic enforcement has negatively effected the publics safety. Then, I would like to illustrate how the photo traffic enforcement industry and their supporters have consistently altered the raw data into their favor for financial gain.

I was assigned at an East Valley fire station in the 1990’s when one of the first red-light cameras were installed there. Within a few weeks, I realized that we were responding to those monitored intersections for vehicle accidents more than ever before. Initially, we were told that the increase in accidents was only temporary and then that the rear-end collisions were a trade-off for more severe accidents. Regardless, we heard often from drivers who blamed the cameras for their unfortunate actions. Months later, the entire crew laughed around the kitchen table when press releases erroneously stated that accidents were down and the cameras were working. Since that time, I have continued to see a higher rate of accidents where cameras are located no matter what my fire station assignment has been.

In 2001, it was found that violations had suddenly decreased 73% overnight at 5 of the 17 cameras of the city that I worked for. It turned out that a city worker had increased the yellow light timing at these intersections from slightly below the federal minimum to approximately one second above. The police department wasted no time in celebrating the reduction in the press, but the camera vendor took legal action against the city for breech of contract. The change was apparently costing them and the city $300,000 a month in potential revenue. Subsequently, the cameras at those five originally identified as “deadly intersections” were removed. At this point, I realized beyond any doubt that photo enforcement was all about money.

Over the years, I have followed this issue closely and have seen an unwavering trend in the reports given to the media. Simply put, studies that favor photo enforcement can be traced back to the camera companies, insurance industry, or others who gain to make money from the technology, as they are very skilled in how they work the statistics to their favor. The most recent national study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an example of this, as they deemed a suburb of Phoenix as the poster child for red-light cameras with a 79 percent decrease in fatal accidents. When one looks past the numbers, it is revealed that the study is scientifically flawed, fails to account for a multitude of roadway infrastructure upgrades that hold many driver safety benefits of their own, a continuous decline of the nationwide fatal accident rates, and so much more.

Reports that find neutral or negative findings with the camera technology are from organizations that have no financial stake in the matter. The Virginia Transportation Research Council and Texas Transportation Institute are two of the most respected organizations that each completed their own exhaustive studies finding that photo enforcement increased accidents and caused taxpayers more money in the long run. These reports both recommended that a more efficient route to safety would be in intersection re-engineering, more visible traffic lights, proper yellow light timing, and more.

As a politician, I am sure that you have seen when one statistic can be used to argue either side of the debate. However, when all of the details are revealed and the trickery is exposed, only one side is left standing. I urge you to look past all of the numbers that you are presented with for the unbiased truth.

In closing, all 15 of the past elections across the USA where voters got a chance to speak their mind on photo enforcement, they gave walking papers to the camera companies in all 15 elections. Ironically, just before most of those elections, commissioned polls by the camera companies themselves stated that photo enforcement was overwhelmingly favored. Now, add in the (failed by a slim margin) petition to put such a vote to Arizonians that resulted in just shy of 150000 signatures and approximately 70% of the drivers who refused to pay their citations from the 18 month freeway camera program, well, that should speak volumes to any elected servant of the people.

I hope that you will endorse this bill with your vote and put Arizona down as the 15th state of the Union that ban photo traffic enforcement. Thank you for your time in reading this letter and your public service in office.

End letter.

The cameras are coming down.

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SB1352 Passes Committee

February 17, 2011

The photo radar prohibition bill has jumped over its first hurdle in Arizona State Legislature. It was passed out of the Government Reform Committee. This is the first step to kicking Redflex and ATS off your streets.

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Photo Radar/Red Light Camera Ban Call to Action

February 14, 2011

Last week, an email was sent out to the CameraFRAUD meetup group about SB1352 being heard in the Government Reform Committee on Wednesday February 16th, starting at 9 am.

Quoting from the letter:

If you are a big supporter of our cause or haven’t been involved in a while, we absolutely need your help! We’ve maneuvered SB1352 into the Government Affairs committee, where 4 of the members actually cosponsored it. If the committee approves it, the bill can be moved to the Senate floor for a debate.
Bill Discussion:
Wednesday February 16th, 9 am.
Arizona State Senate – Gov’t Reform Committee
Capitol Complex
1700 W Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
You will be able to find the group out front around 0830.
Come ready to speak, even if it’s just for a minute or two. We need as many people as possible. Be positive and remember that we are winning this argument now.
Let’s all get down to the capitol complex and speak out in favor of this ban on photo ticketing! We’ve put up with this long enough and it’s time to put a stop to the shortened yellow lights, increased collisions, Constitution shredding and unwarranted surveillance-tracking.

Frank Antenori to Push Red Light Camera Ban in AZ

January 21, 2011

Finally someone is ready to sponsor a bill that echos the will of the people in Arizona.

No matter what pundits outside of this state have speculated about, photo ticketing is the most galvanizing issue for the people of Arizona.

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Arizona and Florida Introduce Red Light Camera Bans

January 11, 2011

The first day of legislative cycles have begun in Arizona and Florida.

Bill sponsors and their cosponsors in both states are extremely confident that red light cameras will be turned off and taken down by year’s end. The recent election results in 2010 that saw several cities ban the red light ticketing scam continue to prove that the system is extremely unpopular.

The two operators of the ticketing machines, Redflex Traffic Systems and American Traffic Solutions are currently tied up in lawsuits in which both are suing their own customers, the cities they operate in.

Adding to the woes of Redflex, in particular, would be the requirement that they notify their shareholders of the impending bans in Arizona and Florida. Events like this tend to have a negative impact on stock prices and the timing couldn’t be worse for Redflex, which is currently up for sale.

2011 is not off to a good start for automated ticketing pushers.


Arizona Voters Beat Back Legislature on Prop 112

December 15, 2010

Consider this post a victory speech for the people of Arizona. Their legislature was clearly trying to pull one over on the voters. In effect, they voted unanimously to put the clamps on citizens initiatives, like the current effort to ban photo ticketing in Paradise Valley, which will soon be joined by those in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Tempe, etc.

Prop 112 received little press outside of this site and was so close that it went to a recount, which will be validated this coming Monday. CameraFRAUD has been given the numbers and are happy to announce that it will fail by approximately 190 votes.

We’d like to thank everyone who read our original post, “Vote No on Prop 112.” With more than 1,000 views leading up to election day, it’s clear that you were able to swing this one the right way!

Zero thanks go out to AZ State legislature. You have been a poor representative of the people and were out to deceive them with this proposition. Just remember that we are going to be watching you very closely in 2011.


AZ Prop 112 Failing

November 15, 2010

It’s nowhere near the time to celebrate yet, but this sneaky little devil of a proposition, which had no business being on the ballot is failing by 123 votes according to the AZ Secretary of State website.

The problem with Prop 112 is that it was deceptive from the very beginning. The state legislature unanimously voted this one through while trying to sell that it would give citizens initiatives “more time.” Nothing could be further from the truth. It gives LESS time for citizens to collect signatures, 2 months less to be exact.

It’s already hard enough to get a citizens initiative on the ballot, needing 10-15% of registered voters to sign in a state that covers a lot of real estate, but has three very spread out population centers. Now your state legislatures wants you to jump through more hoops to exercise the will of the people.

Let’s hope this initiative fails, but it’s within the margins for an automatic recount, so anything could happen when it comes to those numbers. Of course, Prop 203 saw almost all the headlines due to its close tally and controversy over the measure to legalize, in some forms, what has been a banned substance in Arizona for decades. Prop 112 has had a closer margin the entire time, but has hardly been reported on.

The worst part of this saga is that the local media, in some cases, is still getting the measure confused. Countless times, TV news stations around Phoenix have reported that Prop 112 would give more time to collect signatures.  It’s apparent they are not doing it on purpose because the wording was very deceptive and they’re just repeating what the measure says.

CameraFRAUD was the only group to come out against 112 and we continue that fight today. It’s out of our hands at this point, but just be aware that if the count turns the wrong way, that could make the difference between a citizens initiative (paid or volunteer) making the ballot and not.

Just one more time, we’ll post the only Anti-Prop 112 ad seen anywhere… down with 112!!


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