Arizona’s Most Toxic Assets: Redflex and ATS

February 25, 2011

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington

To: Arizona State Senators and Representatives
From: CameraFRAUD
2/25/2011

Two of the largest automated ticketing vendors on the planet have substantial roots within the State of Arizona. Combined, these corporations employ many Arizonans and generate tens of thousands of dollars in revenue each day.

And there’s never been a better time to finally say goodbye.

Photo ticketing schemes extract enormous amounts of cash from the local economies in which they pretend to serve. Instead of this money staying within our community, Redflex and American Traffic Solutions virtually launder these stolen funds through pseudo-local offices… and back to their respective faceless investment banks.

In one corner, American Traffic Solutions sounds downright patriotic in name. Their surveillance cameras even boast a sticker as being “Made in the USA.” Don’t let the smoke and mirrors fool you though: ATS is a pawn of the massively-corrupt investment firm and former bailout recipient Goldman Sachs.

In the other corner, Redflex is being purchased by Macquarie Ltd and the Carlyle Group, two firms which are equally disinterested in the well-being of Arizonans. These faceless monsters only care about profits, and how every last dime can be extracted from their voiceless victims.

Just like the large, faceless investment banks which helped contribute to our current national recession, ticketing vendors Redflex and ATS also create local booms and busts within local municipalities. Unfortunately, the local elected “leaders” are asleep at the wheel, and aren’t paying attention to this modern game of “Three Cup Shuffle.”

Cities and towns are lured in by the prospect of “free money,” usually to the chipper reminder that such ticketing programs are “violator funded.” Contracts are haphazardly entered into, cameras go up, and the money starts to pour in. But as with any scam, there’s always a catch. Programs which start out profitable usually end up in the red, as is the case with the City of Mesa’s beleaguered relationship with ATS.

Citizens revolt, avoid areas with overzealous enforcement, or simply grow savvy to methods to avoid detection. Unintended consequences include a population that has become savvy to avoiding process service, making a mockery of the supposed “rule of law.” Increases in yellow light timing can and have destroyed these profitable schemes, sometimes incurring the wrath of these money-sucking vampire vendors.

Attempts to cancel contracts administratively are met with threats of lawsuits. Cities actually forced to end their contracts due to citizen’s ballot initiatives have been sued by these vendors, proving that there truly is no honor among thieves once the honey pot runs dry.

When Goldman Sachs dumped $70 million worth of mismanaged assets in 2006-2007, they were called “toxic.” Then Goldman conned its way into receiving $12.9 billion in TARP funds through AIG, while turning around and handing out $14 billion in executive bonuses.

Now, it’s Arizona’s turn to drop two toxic “assets” once and for all: the physical presence of American Traffic Solutions and Redflex within the Grand Canyon State.


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?


Paradise Regained

August 5, 2010

Dear Redflex,

We’re coming.

Sincerely,

CameraFRAUD


Kansas City Robbery Botched

October 30, 2009

radar robbery

Artists's rendition of a recent 1.7 million dollar heist. Suspects may be armed and up for re-election.

Stupid Criminals – Municipal authorities in Kansas City, MO have failed at a recent robbery attempt.

The city officials used red light cameras to extort over 1.7 million dollars out of their constituent’s pockets. The cost to install the cameras? 1.7 million dollars.

“The city expected more revenue,” said KMBC reporter Micheal Mahoney. “The program that was designed to make money for the city may end up costing [them] money.”

Proving there’s no honor among thieves, scam cam vendor American Traffic Solutions has pocketed most of the dough:

The city budget director, Troy Schulte, said that most of the income from the fines are going to the vendor, American Traffic Solutions.

No charges have been filed against Kansas City by Kansas City in the failed robbery, although over 3,000 people have decided to fight back by requesting a hearing. The unexpected battle took the attackers off-guard:

There are 3,000 cases waiting to be heard at the (Kansas City) Municipal Court, which means the (Kansas City) police need overtime workers to re-examine the red-light pictures.

Other recent failed ticketing robberies include beleaguered Redflex Group’s statewide Arizona effort.


ATS Refuses to Bid on “Unattractive” Contract

October 28, 2009

ats

Further proof it’s all about the money: American Traffic Solutions pouts as a municipality fears increased litigation from red light camera and photo radar programs:

 

…in setting up an initial 10-camera program, county attorneys drafted a bid requirement that calls for the winning company to put any fines it collects from the projected $150 tickets into an escrow account for at least four years. That way, if Orange gets sued and loses, the ticket money could be paid back.

“The leading vendors in the industry will not enter into such an unattractive relationship,” wrote a representative from American Traffic Solutions, or ATS, which opted not to bid.

“Unattractive relationship” being doublespeak for “can’t make a quick buck.”

ATS is one of the few companies which will even operate an automated ticketing scheme within Florida, with chief rival Redflex calling such operations illegal within the Sunshine State:

“Legal opinions indicate that automated enforcement in the state of Florida remains illegal…”


Redflex Investors Call AZ Program “Failure”

October 18, 2009

postitRedflex’s statewide “photo enforcement” program in Arizona is being called an expensive failure by the beleaguered firm’s own investors.

Apparently, these photographic pirates are upset that the “take” from their heist wasn’t what they were expecting:

“Hunter Hall has concluded that, so far, the ‘Arizona statewide’ program has been an expensive failure. We attribute responsibility for this outcome to a board that we believe is ill-equipped to handle contracts of such significance.”

The backlash against automated ticketing in Arizona, including a proposed statewide ballot initiative outlawing the cameras, now threatens the Australian firm’s 11 other lucrative contracts with municipalities throughout Arizona.


Happy Birthday Photo Radar: DPS May Cut 350

October 13, 2009

Roger and Karen

DPS Director Roger Vanderpool seen mingling with Redflex's Karen Finley. Cops be damned: To these people, its all about the cash and cameras

Who didn’t see this one coming?

Arizona Department of Public Safety politicos outsourced their officer’s duties to an illegitimate, foreign-owned corporation on an unprecedented scale. When Redflex was granted the authority to take the department’s insignia and vehicle dress and apply it to photo radar vans, protecting life and property suddenly took a back seat to shareholder profit.

PHOENIX — Budget cuts could leave as many as 350 Arizona Department of Public Safety employees out of work, according to the DPS officers’ union.According to the union, the budget proposal sent to Gov. Jan Brewer calls for 250 rank-and-file patrol officers to be laid off.An additional 100 civilian support jobs would be eliminated, the union said.When asked for comment about the 15 percent reduction in budget, DPS declined.

DPS Dir. Roger Vanderpool, a strong supporter of photo radar and a Janet Napolitano appointee, probably won’t survive this fiasco at the agency: his contract is up in February.

Don’t worry, Rog: Redflex has a history of hiring former top cops.


Redflex Photo Van Caught Violating State Law

October 10, 2009

City of Tempe Police read a measuring wheel to determine photo radar sign distances on 10/9/2009.

City of Tempe Police read a measuring wheel to determine photo radar sign distances on 10/9/2009.

Tempe Police were called mid-Friday after CameraFRAUD activists observed a “photo radar” van breaking the law.

The van, owned and operated by beleaguered Redflex Group, often surveils drivers eastbound on Elliot Road near the Loop 101.

CameraFRAUD activists measured out the spacing of the signs to determine they were not in compliance with the law, which specifies the warning sign closest to the photo radar van be must be placed “approximately 300 feet” away:

At least two signs shall be placed in a location before a photo enforcement system. One sign shall be in a location that is approximately three hundred feet before the photo enforcement system.

Tempe Police confirmed the sign was posted at 743ft, and the van was removed from operational status pending the investigation. In addition, both of the warning signs appeared to be placed deliberately behind trees and shrubs, preventing proper notification to oncoming traffic as required.

Despite the clear violation of the law, no immediate citation was issued by Tempe Police to the Australian company. The fate of any “notices of violation” generated by the van while it operated outside of the law (more than usual) remains unclear, with the expectation that the burden of “guilty until proven innocent” applies even in the event of municipal and vendor error.


Layoffs at Redflex?

October 1, 2009

redflexVia email:

…Not sure if you have heard but Redflex is laying some people off.  This is due to them screwing the pooch on the DPS contract so bad.  Not sure how many but I was one of the first.  Too bad you really can’t see how the operation is run there.  Totally screwed up is a nice way of saying it…

It’s not just those low on the corporate ladder that might be looking for a new job at beleaguered photo radar and scam cam vendor Redflex Group. Shareholders are infuriated at the way the company has been run lately, and are attempting to oust the “leadership” team down under.

Don’t be surprised to see that shake-up have direct consequences for Redflex Traffic Systems, the pseudo Arizona/Delaware subsidiary of the Australian firm.

Occam's razor: This complicated workflow of photo enforcement doomed it from the beginning by combining the worst from government and industry.

Occam's razor: This complicated workflow of photo enforcement doomed it from the beginning by combining the worst from government and industry.

The statewide Arizona contract has been a nightmare from the start, going from being a halo project that could be used to sell other entire states, to a disaster entailing a huge investment of money just to deal with the sheer amount of equipment needed to surveil those driving within the Grand Canyon State.

Hiring a cop to write paper tickets is a simple, straightforward process. When you unnecessarily complicate a task, Occam’s razor kicks in and the system collapses under its own weight. Combine that with the typical bumbling bureaucrats in government and you have the same predictable result: failure.


Councilman: “Cameras Increase Accident Rates”

September 29, 2009

goodjobLoma Linda, California may become the latest municipality to end dangerous automated ticketing schemes within its jurisdiction.

The city has about a year left with beleaguered, faux-Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems. Of Australia.

The city’s experiment with red-light cameras may be coming to an end.Nearly four years after the cameras were put in at four intersections, the City Council is looking at the possibility of removing them.

The council has directed staff members to investigate its options for terminating its five-year contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the Arizona-based company that operates the cameras. The contract expires in a little more than a year.

Councilman Rhodes Rigsby gave a presentation to his colleagues last week, challenging the view that the cameras have cut down on accidents caused by red-light runners.

“Most well-conducted studies show that red-light cameras increase overall accident rates,” Rigsby said.

(Source: Contra Cost Times)


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