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Red light photo enforcement is no longer active in Yucaipa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
June 23, 2010
What do you call people who talk tough when it comes to a boycott over Arizona’s SB1070 but can’t seem to get enough of the stolen money they procure through automated ticketing?
The entire Los Angeles City Council.
Today we shamelessly borrow from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann “Worst Persons” segment in nominating Councilman Richard Alarcon as the “Worst of the Worst” for his comments regarding the city’s contract with beseiged scam provider American Traffic Solutions:
Councilman Tom LaBonge strongly backed the LAPD, citing a report that there have been no deaths from red-light-running accidents at affected intersections since cameras were installed. Councilman Richard Alarcon warned that if the cameras were shutdown and someone was killed at one of those intersections, “the media would have a field day.“
Of course, lets not let statistical fact get in the way of Alarcon waving the “safety” flag. From the same article:
The LAPD’s statistics show that about half of the 32 photo-enforced intersections have either had no change in accidents or an increase, said Councilwoman Janice Hahn.
Being as bold to make up a meaningless uncorrelated statistic such as “no deaths at red light camera intersections” while ignoring the data of their own police department showing that red light cameras have actually had a negative effect on safety is classic intellectual dishonesty.
7th District LA Councilman Richard Alarcon: You are today’s Worst Person in the World!
[Bonus! Send Alarcon a message using his online web form here]
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.
All about the money, as always
Coming soon: “Going out of Business Sale”?
File storage… contents unknown
Side offices for management appear occupied
Motivational posters always help when firing employees
Is ATS hiring children to process tickets?
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.
March 19, 2010
Down 6.7% over the last five days… 24% over past month… 34% over past three months… 44% over past year… Down a staggering 63% over the past five years.
Scottsdale-based rival American Traffic Solutions “not faring much better,” says one internal source. The privately-owned firm is burning through a Goldman Sachs cash infusion; may be faced with “meaningful” layoff prospects soon as larger contracts begin to stall nationwide and “healthy” toll revenues continue to decline…
November 3, 2009
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:
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 »
October 30, 2009
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.
October 28, 2009
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…”
September 28, 2009
Raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from photo radar and dangerous red light scams (during an unprecedented economic recession) “may” have political consequences says Captain Obvious, who is apparently working for the mainstream media:
What’s unclear is the political costs to be paid by city officials when residents vote in November on whether to keep the devices. People on both sides of the issue are saying that public sentiment against the cameras could translate into votes against candidates who are seen as supporting them.
In Heath, where cameras generated $554,729 in fees in their first two months of operation, Mayor Richard Waugh said he understands why the anti-camera crowd would want to make him the poster boy for photo enforcement.
(From Columbus Dispatch)
September 24, 2009
From the St. Petersburg Times:
Florida local governments are trying to find new revenues as tax collections decline, but hopefully Tarpon Springs is not so desperate for cash that it will install red light cameras and issue expensive tickets to residents and visitors just to shore up the city budget.
During a recent City Commission budget session, Mayor Beverley Billiris suggested installing red light cameras to provide new revenue, saying, “There are cities making $15,000 a week off those things.” […]
There are even broader concerns about red light cameras.
When it comes to safety, there is not universal agreement that the cameras reduce collisions… If the goal is to reduce intersection crashes, better results are obtained by lengthening the time the light stays yellow as well as building in a slightly longer pause before the cross street’s light turns green. […]
Lawsuits have been filed against local governments because of such issues. Local governments in Florida are among those now fighting lawsuits — and incurring legal fees.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of red light camera use is that local governments may become so dependent on the revenue that they are tempted to toy with traffic light timing to increase the flow of dollars. San Diego and Dallas were accused of shortening the yellow light cycle on traffic lights so more motorists would be caught running red lights. Such behavior belies the claim that the goal is to improve safety.
Read entire article…