Arizona Republic Loses Respect of Readers for Pushing Agenda of Redflex and ATS

March 21, 2011

We’ve seen this before. The AZ Republic seemingly couldn’t exist if they didn’t find some industry shill for.

For the past 4-5 years since the last economic boom-bust in AZ, the Republic has been the mouthpiece of the ticket camera industry in Arizona which appears to be the next bubble ready to burst. It really shouldn’t be any surprise given the fact that Redflex has embedded reporter Michael Ferraresi for a few years now.

In that time, photo tickets have gone from a 90% pay rate down to less than 30% and freeway camera systems commissioned by both the city of Scottsdale and the state of AZ have been an utter failure. Redflex has gone from revenue in the $100’s of millions down to near zero profit. Their cameras as well as those of ATS have been shut off, by voters and legislative action, in huge numbers while millions of tickets are going unpaid.

After an expose last year, Ferraresi’s name has not been seen on an article about Redflex since, but his influence over the angle the Republic takes on photo enforcement remains.

It would be naive to think that a daily newspaper like the Arizona Republic wouldn’t sell out to corporate interests, especially in a time of economic turmoil that has been responsible for the demise of publications much older and more respected than our local “daily.” However, the reports about Redflex, ATS and police statistics are becoming more and more delusional and shrouded in mystery.

Last week, there was a report about traffic stats coming out of Mesa which suggested red light camera installations and crash data could be interpreted with a positive correlation. However, the study was not available to be viewed by the public and calls by CameraFRAUD volunteers requesting a copy of the study went unreturned. This is bizarre behavior by both Mesa PD and the Republic. The absence of any type of fact checking or public disclosure at all is very disturbing.

Another article appeared last week that seemed to be a glowing PR piece about the business of photo ticketing expanding throughout AZ and the entire country, but had no mention of all the places that have completely banned camera ticketing. There was no mention of the battles in Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Washington, California, Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina and Tennesse and only briefly mentions Henry Bentley who owns banthecams.org in Florida. There was no mention of others who are pushing a state-wide ban through Florida state legislature.

This article also casts the current AZ referendum as a mere nuisance, but at the same time says that Arizona is a “hot bed” and has critics “among the most vocal.” While the voices coming from this website do carry weight, any meaningful research of 2011 photo ticketing industry news would show that Missouri is currently the most embattled state with the most vocal opposition. Again, the Republic fails to do their diligence.

Of course, they couldn’t help mentioning the IIHS study, which includes the city of Chandler. The writer interviewed a spokesman from that institute, but either didn’t bother to contact the city of Chandler or didn’t include their input because it didn’t serve the purpose of his spin. Several major media outlets in the Phoenix area were told last month by city representatives from Chandler that the numbers from the study were clearly bogus and not relevant to where red light cameras had actually been placed.

The photo enforcement industry isn’t the only topic that the AZ Republic keeps blinders on for, or is co-opted by corporate interests, but this may be the most blatant.

Expect to see more puff pieces and cheer leading for Redflex and ATS as SCR 1029 moves towards a vote in the AZ House, which would place the all out ticket camera ban that Arizonans have been asking for on the ballot.

If newspapers are meant to be predictable and biased towards special interests, the Arizona Republic can be very proud.


Accidents Double Since Redflex Cams Installed

September 1, 2009

postitCollisions at four intersections in Peoria, Arizona have doubled since the introduction of Redflex’s deadly red light cameras, the Arizona Republic reports in an article titled: “Peoria officials question the value of red-light cameras.”

According to numbers from the Police Department, collisions at the four intersections have doubled since a private company finished installing red light cameras in June 2008.

During the 2007 fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30, there were 36 collisions at the intersections. In fiscal 2008, there were 73.

As yet another example of the Republic’s editorial bias (the paper is unabashedly pro-photo radar and has hired former automated ticketing insiders), the entire article fails to mention even once the vendor responsible for making Peoria a more dangerous place to drive: Redflex Traffic Systems.

The same Republic writer, Dustin Gardiner, mentioned Redflex over thirteen times in a puff piece last week when he helped promote Redflex’s development of so-called “solar-powered” speed cameras.


Breaking News: Redflex Van Driver Arrested for DUI

September 9, 2008

From AZCentral.com:

SCOTTSDALE – Police arrested the driver of a Redflex photo radar van on suspicion of DUI.

Roderick M. Ruffin, 53, had a blood alcohol content over 0.15 on Saturday while he was driving to Tempe to set up the van, police and company officials said. The legal limit is 0.08, and Ruffin’s blood alcohol level is considered an extreme DUI.

The motorist, in a tape of a 911 call, described the van to a dispatcher.

“On the back of it, it says photo enforcement vehicle on the back and the guy is deuced,” the caller said.

[…]

ACTION ALERT: Call Redflex CEO Karen Finley at (623) 207-2000 (press “0” at auto-answer prompt) and tell her drunk driving on OUR streets is unacceptable!


CameraFRAUD.com Success: Media BLITZ!

August 22, 2008

ACTION ALERT!
We got their attention. Now, we need your help to get this in the national media. Please take a moment to send these links to your favorite publications. Some suggestions include DRUDGE Report, CNN, and USA Today. Enjoy!

UPDATE, SAT Aug 23 2:11PM: We’re getting some national coverage. See “new” links below:

KTVK-TV 3: VIDEO: “Many protest radar in Scottsdale”

KTVK-TV 3: 9PM (More extensive follow up video)

(NEW!) MSNBC.com has picked up the Tribune article

AZCentral: Speed camera protesters say “Honk for Privacy”

East Valley Trib: Protestors bash photo radar at protest

KTAR 92.3FM’s coverage (ran promos for this story all day)

KNXV-TV ABC 15 – People in Scottsdale Protest Photo Radar

The Arizona Republic featured us in their Saturday print edition (see “Valley and State”)

The East Valley Tribune also featured us in their Saturday print edition.

Photo.BLORGE (Australia) has picked up the story

(NEW!) Phoenix New Times mentioned CameraFRAUD, linking to the KTAR story

KPHO 5 or KPNX 12 were also present, (waiting on footage)

(Even Cat Galaxy Media was present, a special-interest “Cat-talk” net radio station. )

If you attended, please post a reply to this message about your experience today!


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