Photo Unit Cop Caught Forging Documents

September 6, 2010

Geoffrey Jacobs (Photo: New Times)

A former officer with the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s now-defunct Redflex “photo enforcement unit” was allegedly caught forging documents and using “state” resources — a DPS airplane — to stalk an ex girlfriend.

According to AZCentral, “[Geoffrey] Jacobs wrote a fake obituary regarding another ex-girlfriend and sent it to Hawaiian Airlines, along with a letter detailing how Jacobs was trying to cope with the “huge loss” of his fiancee. The letter was sent so Jacobs could transfer his ex-girlfriend’s ticket to another woman…”

If this officer was corrupt enough to forge documents for an airline ticket change, did any of the members of the public stand a chance when their citations were in his hands?

But wait, there’s more… This one’s for the “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about” crowd:

He also was found to have abused DPS resources when he flew a state-owned plane over the neighborhood where he believed an ex-girlfriend lived in an attempt to locate her new home.
And who better to help run the accident-increasing photo enforcement scheme than an officer who had great first-hand experience causing accidents:
Jacobs joined DPS in late 2002. Less than one year later, he was served with his first letter of reprimand for an October 2003 wreck in Tucson. The next year, Jacobs was in another wreck and lost eight hours of vacation pay.

Jacobs, according to the New Times, “was the trooper who arrested Republican Party Executive Director Brett Mecum in May 2009 for criminal speeding. “

Now Jacobs is redefining irony, by suing the state over his dismissal. His claim? “…Defamation and violation of privacy and constitutional rights. “

Perhaps one would be more compassionate for the troubled cop if he didn’t work in a police unit that defamed and violated privacy and constitutional rights on an automated level.

With forgery, stalker-like surveillance, and dangerous driving supposedly under his belt, he would fit in well with the corporate criminal culture at Redflex Group.

(Should a full investigation into this officer’s role in the photo enforcement unit be conducted by AZDPS? Sound off in the comments section)

“Photo Enforcement” Becomes Toxic

August 24, 2010

What do you do when your industry approaches market saturation and increased public opposition?

This is the question the peddlers of automated ticketing will have to start asking themselves in the immediate future if they hope to survive in any form whatsoever.

Almost all large United States cities have been approached by either Redflex or American Traffic Solutions pitching the tired, debunked claims of improved traffic safety.

Unfortunately for these companies, voters and drivers have awakened to the scheme and are opposing new and existing systems worldwide over a variety of reasons, from civil liberties concerns to the proper role of government.

Smaller and smaller communities are being being swindled into signing contracts with these corporations, resulting in millions of dollars being extracted from local economies and sent directly to the profiteering vendors.

The blowback to such installations has ranged from expected opposition to cold-blooded murder. Last week, the confessed shooter of a Redflex photo radar van driver in Arizona was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Unclear is the liability the State of Arizona will face for their “romp in the bed” with corporatism in the form of photo enforcement. Redflex was contractually obligated to provide “public service announcements” to explain automated ticketing to the public when the statewide ticketing contract was signed with the Department of Public Safety.

DPS is now being sued by the surviving family, and rightfully so. It doesn’t take an overpaid government beancounter to figure out that placing an unarmed civilian in a vehicle falsely marked as law enforcement is a bad idea.

With an onslaught of bad publicity, automated ticketing vendors may remember 2010 as the year their business model went sour. Lawsuits demanding refunds plague Redflex in Minnesota to the tune of millions of dollars while increased legal challenges in Florida and California threaten the very existence of red light cameras and so-called speed enforcement.

The Cameras are Coming Down… but in the end it may be due to the fatally flawed business model based on greed and inconclusive results that ATS and Redflex have depended on for over a decade.


Redflex Sales Hucksters are Commission-Based

August 19, 2010

Hi, Vince here from Redflex! Get ready to "snapshot" your way out of wreckless, drunken government spending with our new ScamWow! It's so easy!

Lobbyists who visit local city councils for Redflex are compensated on a commission-based scheme, and in one instance the cash was promised to be split with the wife of a local judge:

[Redflex] which also operates Victorian red light cameras – is at the centre of several court actions in Louisiana after a local council outside New Orleans turned off the cameras last January amid concerns company lobbyists were earning a share from camera fines…

Redflex Holdings allegedly agreed to pay 3.2 per cent of its share of camera revenue to the former United States councillor, who subsequently arranged to split the cash with the wife of a local judge.

Okay, camera apologi$t$: tell u$ again how it’$ not all about the money?


Australian Media Slams Redflex

August 12, 2010

It’s hard to find a mainstream media piece as perfect as this one. Enjoy the video and post your comments below.

Good: The lovely Tracy Grimshaw of A Current Affair asks the question of automated ticketing: “Life savers or just revenue raising cash cows?” CameraFRAUD as well as FireRedflex.com are mentioned in the story.

Better:

Quotes from the video: “Governments all around the world are in a lot of debt, they have to raise more money, and what better place to raise money than from penalties and speeding fines.”

“The cars are unmarked and there’s no warning sign until after you’ve driven past, and even then it’s tiny.”

REPORTER: “What do you do to pass the time when you’re sitting in here?”

REDFLEX DRIVER: “We watch the instrument.”

REPORTER: “And you need all three of you in here to do that?”

REDFLEX DRIVER: “That’s correct… at the moment…”

Best: The closing video of the UK show ‘Top Gear’ using a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher to take out a Gatso scam cam.


Paradise Regained

August 5, 2010

Dear Redflex,

We’re coming.

Sincerely,

CameraFRAUD


Cameras Coming Down In the US and Across the Pond

August 4, 2010

Ever since the British government announced and end of funding support for speed cameras across the country, headlines have been announcing the decisions of towns and villages across the country to end their automated ticketing scams. While the government has always insisted that the cameras are about safety, it is definitely apparent that no one wants to actually pay for this alleged benefit as location after location is announcing the end of their camera programs.

The move is not without its critics who conveniently ignore data that shows the decades-long trend of improving road safety slowed significantly after the saturation of scameras across the land:

“Using the road casualty rate from 1978-1990 it can be estimated that 1,555,244 more road casualties have occurred from 1991-2007 than would have if the 1978-1990 trend had continued.”

These same experts are predicting a bloodbath after the end of the program, in a desperate attempt to get motorists to wonder how they ever survived without cameras taking pictures and mailing fines to the owners of vehicles. These critics also ignore the results of Swindon’s decision last year to end their camera program. Six months after the switch off, there has been no increase in accidents, as well as other reports of increasing accidents.

Here in the US, Yucaipa, CA and Costa Mesa, CA recently ended their red light camera programs, as TheNewspaper.com has reported. Yucaipa was so desperate to end their contract that they paid Redflex $198,000 for the privilege. According to city data, Costa Mesa saw accidents INCREASE after installing cameras.


ATS Accuses Woman, 84 of Motorcycle Speeding

August 3, 2010

American Traffic Solutions scameras in Bluff City, TN accused an 84-year old woman from Lexington of speeding at midnight on a motorcycle late last month:

“I thought maybe I ought to send them the money and not worry about it, and that’s the last thing you should do.“

The victim thought upon receipt of the “notice of violation” that the ticket was a scam (and rightfully so) and got the matter resolved only after involving the local media.

Other ATS and Redflex FAILs this week include:

Changes bring DeLand red-light cameras to rolling stop
Officials will have to re-evaluate whether to pursue the use of red-light cameras now that… a new state law would take a big chunk of local ticket revenue.

Firm doubles Palm Coast’s fees
Here’s something to make Palm Coast officials see red: The company that runs its traffic light camera system is asking to more than double what it currently charges the city.

Seeing red over camera contract
A CITIZENS’ revolt against red light cameras in New Orleans has led to claims a Victorian company agreed to pay a share of the fines to a former city councillor if it won a contract.

Red light photo enforcement is no longer active in Yucaipa
“The program was not very productive in terms of paying for itself,” Hemsley said. The city anticipated a revenue of approximately $140,000, but has only collected $27,500. Since it is the court collection system that has resulted in lack of revenue, Hemsley said the Redflex and the city could not find a good solution or alternative to canceling the contract. “After negotiations with Redflex, we agreed to pay the balance due of $198,000 and terminate the agreement.”

Town’s Automated Traffic Enforcement Approaches One Ticket Per Citizen
Tennessee town of 17,000 has issued over 7,300 traffic tickets in half year since adopting system


ATS Leaves Building Unlocked, Open

March 21, 2010

A corporate security breach at American Traffic Solutions was uncovered by CameraFRAUD volunteers Saturday night. The photo radar ticket processing facility, located in the Phoenix-suburb of Ahwatukee, was left unlocked and unattended.

Numerous bundles of network cables were spotted throughout the building, potentially allowing anyone with a laptop to access internal systems containing vital “chain of evidence” data. A dozen trashcans full of unshredded documents were spotted, possibly containing  sensitive data on their “customers:” so-called “violators” who are accused of triggering the automated ticketing machines.

In addition, a strange childlike drawing was left on one wall, apparently detailing the flow of money involving notices of violation, Hertz rent-a-car (an ATS partner in toll road technology), and local police departments. While the crudely-drawn stick figures don’t mention safety, it’s clear the corporate hieroglyphics were used to emphasize revenue and money.

ATS has a history of leaving important things unlocked. A year ago in March 2009, CameraFRAUD discovered automated ticketing boxes at intersections left unlocked and open. ATS responded by installing cameras to —yes— watch the cameras at certain locations in Mesa.

In case you’re wondering why it looks like they’re leaving the building, ATS is downsizing to a smaller processing center on nearby Southern Avenue. Industry sources report plummeting toll road revenue, as well as a sharp increase in resistance to the company’s products and services. Litigation, class-action lawsuits, and canceled contracts nationwide are just the beginning.


New Mexico DOT Bans Red Light Cameras

March 19, 2010

Thursday the New Mexico Department of Transportation issued a ban on all red light cameras operating on state roads and highways because of lack of evidence that cameras increase safety and increasing evidence that revenue generation is the primary motivation:

“While the true safety impact of the use of these cameras is still murky at best, one thing has become clear to the commission – more and more New Mexico cities seem to be putting driver-generated revenues ahead of sound traffic management techniques,”

Eight automated ticketing machines across the state will have to be removed within 60 days.


Breaking: Cameras Rejected Nationwide

November 3, 2009

congrat

redflex

Photo Radar / Photo Enforcement has never survived a public vote in the United States

Breaking News:  Automated ticketing schemes– including red light cameras– appear to have been defeated by public vote in two communities in Ohio as well as one in Texas.

Beleaguered Redflex Group of Australia appears to have failed in their attempts to keep their invasive surveillance and ticketing products on the roadways in Heath / Chillicothe Ohio, while American Traffic Solutions faces termination in College Station, Texas.

UPDATE: ATS paid community outsiders to hold pro-cam signs and call police on actual voters:

ats

News 3 asked a consultant from “Keep College Station Safe” and ATS, if the two men were paid. The consultant, also from

Houston, told News 3 at least 12 people were “under contract.”

 

Read the rest of this entry »


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