Year In Review: Redflex, ATS Beaten Down in 2013

January 1, 2014

WarOnDriving.com

2014 is here!

Alas, another year has gone by where drivers in 33 states were having their wallets drained by flashing boxes in intersections and creepy vans parked along the side of the road.

2013 also marked the largest and most widespread scandals the industry has ever been exposed for and it only promises to get worse for Redflex, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), Affiliated Computer Services (ACS – Xerox) and others in the new year.

In light of that good news, we bring you:

TOP 10 TRENDING SCAMERA STORIES OF 2013

10. License Plate Scanners Being Used in Red Light Cameras to track every driver

Although this little nugget of info has been known for years, the ACLU uncovered the widespread use of license plate scanners which were set to data mine every driver passing by, regardless of any suspicion that they were violating the law. In a year where blanket surveillance came under major fire, this was more ammo for motorists’ rights advocates to heavily criticize the dubious nature of red light cameras. Read more – [link]

9. Judge in Ohio Orders Refunds, Camera Seizures

A Cincinnati area Judge really put the hammer down hard on red light cameras in a nearby village. He ruled Elmwood Place and Optotraffic in contempt of court for continuing to issue photo tickets for months after he initially ruled them illegal.

Refunds were also ruled by Judge Ruelman and the cameras were to be seized. [read more]

8. $4.2 Million in Camera Ticket Refunds for New Jersey Drivers

American Traffic Solutions (ATS) were caught up in yet another multimillion dollar lawsuit, this time in the Garden State, where drivers were awarded over $4 Million in refunds. Why? So glad you asked. It’s because they were issuing red light camera tickets in 18 municipalities where they were actually illegal. Minor detail, of course. Read more – [link]

7. Michigan Kills Red Light Cameras Before They Go Up

We are proud to say that this website actually sounded the alarm in Michigan when a camera shill of a legislator was trying to sneak through a Red Light Camera bill back in May. Michigan Campaign for Liberty’s Tony DeMott lead the rally cry to successfully defeat the cameras before a single one could be installed. Thanks Tony!

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6.  Protestor Arrested in Florida

Wayne Schmidter, a man who has had to defend himself from violations of his free speech in the past, was handing out flyers at an intersection with Red Light Cameras in Apopka, FL. An overzealous police officer demanded to see both his permit to hand out flyers and his ID, neither of which are required under any law in that jurisdiction. Schmidter answered he did not have either, nor did he need them and was then arrested. Amazingly, the Judge who heard Schmidter’s previous civil rights suit was eating at an establishment near by and ran out to tell the officer he’d better back down! Read more – [link]

5. Multiple States Move to Ban Photo Ticketing

State Legislatures in Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Missouri and Ohio all advanced bills in their 2013 sessions to make red light cameras and photo radar completely illegal. Citizen backlash against the unconstitutional camera systems has demanded legislators file these bills – in some cases under major duress! Expect these states as well as others to take the issue up again in 2014. After all, the Cameras Are Coming Down!

4. Redflex Faces Massive Financial Troubles

Fallout from the bribery scandal in Chicago (don’t worry, that one’s coming too) crushed any expectations of staying above water that Redflex may have had. Shortly after it was announced that they were losing their contract in Chicago, Redflex put out a press release that detailed their grim fortunes to come – [link]

Later on in the year, the camera vendor announced that their profit had dropped a whopping 50 percent! Look out below! [read more]

3. Missouri Court System Condemns Red Light Cameras

Missouri courts spend the last 4 months of 2013 absolutely obliterating the state’s red light camera scheme. In September, they deemed that it violated due process. In November, the 2nd highest Court in Missouri ruled that red light camera programs are unenforceable and thus void. Later that month, the MO Appeals Court agreed and upheld that ruling. And in December, the MO Appeals Court ruled that red light cameras are unconstitutional!

2014 should be the end of red light cameras in Missouri and the court system, not legislature, will be the ones to thank for that.

2. Florida Caught Up in Yellow Light Time Shortening Scandal

And they say Journalism is dead in this country. One News Affiliate in Tampa Florida proved that it’s still alive in 2013 when they blew the doors wide open on a $50 Million dollar yellow light shortening scheme being carried out by American Traffic Solutions and several municipalities. They estimate that $50M figure is what’s been stolen by ATS by lowering yellow light duration to illegal and very dangerously short durations.

Thanks to WTSP (Tampa) for doing this great public service and the fallout continues to be felt across the state [read more]

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1. Chicago-Redflex Bribery Scandal

And now the Granddaddy of them all and the scandal which rocked the entire mafia of photo ticketing, the Chicago Bribery Scandal. To prop up their $80M per year photo ticketing racket, a few palms need to be greased, right? Chicago is no stranger to this form of corruption, but the city never seen a scandal with bribery that tallied as much money as Redflex was dishing out, under the table.

[read more] from Chicago Tribune’s David Kidwell

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In true Chicago style, the contract with Redflex, which was announced to be dead and gone in 2013, by Mayor Emanuel, has been quietly extended to January of 2014. When the Redflex cameras are finally shut off, and they will be, that company will plunge into multimillion dollar deficits from which it will be nearly impossible to dig out of. 2013 brought more citizen, lawmaker and court backlash against red light cameras and photo radar than ever before. It will only continue to grow and crescendo in 2014!

Happy New Year and keep motoring!

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Redflex in Shambles: Karen Finley Flees Along with 2 Other Top Execs

March 2, 2013

Arizona, this one’s for you.

More fallout from the Redflex (we’re too corrupt for) Chicago Scandal. This time investors and bought politicians should be running for cover, deep cover. That being said…..

Memo to Arizona Politicians:

You have refused to do anything about a system that was too corrupt for Chicago and for that you will pay dearly. Yes, THAT Chicago – the one whose mayor is Rahm Emanuel.

Members of the Arizona Republican Party, like Rep Karen Fann for example, have been given opportunities to ban Redflex and their scamera boxes from the roadways of Arizona, multiple times. Your party platform specifically states you are to oppose photo radar.

However, when given legislation (SB 1352, SCR 1029, HB 2579) or a wildly popular initiative that would get rid of Redflex and their unconstitutional system of phoney baloney ticketing, all we hear are excuses. It’s deafening and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

For the democrats who claim to give a rip about civil liberties – your defense of photo radar makes you a complete joke.

The game is ending and so is your career. Deal with it.

Speaking of people whose career is over with, Karen Finley, Redflex CEO aka the Wicked Witch of the West is done, fired, adios.

finleyredflexGone with her are two other top executives, the CFO and top attorney (General Counsel). The Redflex Death Watch is currently entering it’s 4th week and we’re on the third halt of trading their stock. It will resume trading on Tuesday in Australia and so far the predictions are not good.

This house of cards has been swaying violently ever since Janet Napolitano installed their ring of spy cameras across Arizona highways only to skip town and head to D.C. The Redflex Chicago Scandal (yet to be named) will end the company as we know it. Investor confidence is shattered and will likely result in a sale with a measly sum compared to the 2011 bid by the Carlyle Group and Macquarie.

They should have done the deal and now they’re out of luck.

“Out of luck” is the best that any politician in Arizona who has defended photo radar or taken money from Redflex and their lobbyists can hope for. Behind bars is another scenario.

Some advice to Reps Karen Fann, Sonny Borrelli, Victoria Steele and Juan Escamilla – you’d better give any money back you took from the Redflex Gangsters and vote YES on the “Photo Radar Prohibition” bill when it goes to a floor vote in the AZ House. If this company and their kind is too corrupt for Chicago, think about what’s about to happen in Arizona.

This is just getting started. The cameras are coming down!

Redflex Chicago

Who knew it would be Chicago that finally crushed Redflex?


Reminder: HB 2579 Goes to Committee Tomorrow

February 20, 2013

Bill-hb2579This is just a friendly reminder to all you enthusiasts of safe roads, rule of law and equal protection of said laws in Arizona.

The bill to ban the dangerous red light and photo radar cameras still littering the streets and intersections of multiple cities in Arizona gets its first vote of 2013 on Thursday.

Legislature foisted this system upon the motorists of our state and now it’s time for them to end it.

An excellent example of what your legislators want to hear was sent to us yesterday [link].

The Transportation Committee in the AZ House will debate and vote on HB 2579 tomorrow

You can copy/paste their emails from the list below. Your fellow Arizona motorists thank you!

kfann@azleg.gov, rgray@azleg.gov, vsteele@azleg.gov, bbarton@azleg.gov, sborrelli@azleg.gov, jescamilla@azleg.gov


Redflex and American Traffic Solutions Dirty Scheme for “Clean” Elections

February 17, 2013

There has been a lot of whining down at the state capitol in the last two weeks as anti-photo radar/red light camera activists have applied serious pressure on legislators to cosponsor and support HB 2579.

They’ve used every excuse in the book and here are some highlights:

“I don’t cosponsor any bills, that’s just my policy.”

“It doesn’t matter if a bill has cosponsors and you should leave it up to the bill sponsor to contact them.”

“If I cosponsor this bill, another legislator who doesn’t like me might kill the bill to even the score.”

“I really wanted to cosponsor, but I just couldn’t find the time to go over and sign my name on it before it was filed.”

“You’ve missed some (arbitrary or made up) deadline and I’m no longer allowed to sign on.”

“All the phone calls and emails are a turn off and you should really back off before you upset your reps and they vote against your bill.”

These are what we call excuses and poor ones at that.

The real deal is that your legislature is mostly bought and paid for by photo ticket money that funds their campaigns.

From WarOnDriving.com

The Redflex scandal in Chicago isn’t going away, any time soon. Politicians who may or may not be in bed with the camera vendor in other cities and states may claim that Chicago’s corruption doesn’t apply elsewhere.

Anyone using this excuse is either lying, ignorant or both.

Let’s take the entire state of Arizona as an example. More than 10 municipalities, such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tucson, Chandler, Prescott Valley, Surprise, etc still use a combination of speed or red light cameras. Despite the fact that photo tickets sent by mail are not legally binding in Arizona, millions of dollars in fines are still collected.

10% of that money goes into a fund ironically called “clean elections,” which provides public funding to political campaigns, like members of the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives. These folks, not coincidentally, are responsible for allowing photo radar and red light cameras to litter the roads and scam Arizona motorists.

What’s also NOT a coincidence is that 80% of candidates for Arizona Legislature use “clean” election money to fund their campaigns. If you connect the dots, that means that Redflex and American Traffic Solutions fund their operation and basically own them. If a bill (currently HB 2579) to ban them passes, most of that clean election money will instantly vanish. The political gravy train would stop dead in its tracks and there would be quite a few state senators and reps scrambling to find a way to fund re-election in 2014.

Those are the hard facts and they’re undeniable. Chicago-style corruption with backdoor payola is still likely to be going on, but the scheme in Arizona is right there in plain sight.

[CONTINUE STORY]


Redflex Ousted From Chicago; Is Arizona Next?

February 12, 2013

In case you missed it:

Just in time for the Scamera Ban bill to be filed in Arizona Legislature, the ground is crumbling around Redflex Traffic Systems, who used to own the freeway photo radar system in this state.

Now Redflex is losing a huge chunk of business that was even bigger than Arizona /DPS. The corruption at Redflex is so bad that even Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, who brought Redflex in as a lobbyist, has now been forced to cancel their contract, effective July 2013.

HB 2579 would make photo radar and red light cameras illegal in Arizona. It should be heard in the AZ House Transportation Committee this week.
More from WarOnDriving.com –

13% of Redflex Traffic Systems’ yearly revenue will evaporate in the next 6 months.

You don’t have to take our word for it, just check their latest news release [here].

This one is going to hurt and Redflex knows it. Last Wednesday, the foreign held camera vendor requested that the Australian Stock Exchange halt trading their stock ahead of the news that hit on Friday about the massive corruption in Chicago and the ongoing internal investigation.

The AUS gave them their wish, but it only temporarily staved off the investor bloodletting which came during Monday’s resumed trading of Redflex common shares.

At close of market, the stock had lost nearly 25% of its value as news hit the wires in Australia about the coming demise of Redflex’s largest (by far) contract. By 2012 figures, this would mean the company will start losing money very quickly.

Redflex’s deal with Macquarie Bank in 2011 fell apart in late negotiations after a shareholder revolt, but don’t be surprised to see them seek a bidder or have a hostile takeover bid before the summer of 2013.

The news is especially problematic as legislatures in Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Ohio are considering bills to make photo ticketing illegal in their respective states… [Continue Reading]


Time Magazine – “Big Brother Backlash”

February 16, 2012

The CameraFRAUD meetup group was mentioned in this piece by Time Magazine’s “Moneyland.”

With bills like SCR 1029 making their way through state legislatures in Arizona, Iowa, Colorado and Florida to name a few in 2012, the citizen backlash is being felt by politicians everywhere on the state level.

The question is, are they listening?

Read entire article at moneyland.time.com.


Peoria Speed Traps Confuse Drivers

December 19, 2011

From PhotoRadarScam.com

Dubious Traffic Engineering and Politics Predominate Over Public Safety on Arizona Roadways

People place blind trust that the governments responsible for determining speed limits are qualified and have conducted a proper analysis to arrive at the correct number. Many firmly believe that driving even just a little above the posted limit can be indeed be extremely dangerous. But this new video on Youtube shows that posted speed limits we see are sometimes nothing more than the result of a political whim, as in the city of Peoria, AZ the limits are established by ordinances that are established by the city council. Although difficult to see, the video shows a roadway in North Peoria, the stretch of Pinnacle Peak between 83rd Ave & 91st Ave where speed limits are set for 30mph going Westbound, but 45 going eastbound. There is no discernible difference in each side of the road (low density residential with no schools or school crossing), and the road is one lane in each direction. What could the engineering justification possibly be to call for a 15mph difference in speed limits based only on what direction you’re going? The only reasonable answer is that the city wants to create a speed trap.
The video also shows another location just south of Happy Valley Road on 91st Ave. As you approach the 3-way intersection, the last 1/8 of a mile drops from 40mph to 30mph. When you turn from Happy Valley onto 91st Ave southbound, you can go 45mph for the 1st 1/8th mile, then the limit drops to 30mph for about 3/8 of a mile, then raises up to a standard 40mph limit. Again, there are no schools and no discernible changes in road design or neighborhoods over these distances. These limits are nothing more than a speed trap, and nothing more than city officials screwing with drivers.
What’s interesting is how all of this sharply contrasts with information published by ADOT about speed limits:

[Since most citizens can be relied upon to behave in a reasonable manner as they go about their daily activities, many of our laws reflect observations of the way reasonable people behave under most circumstances. Traffic regulations are invariably based upon observations of the behavior of groups of travelers under various conditions.

[Generally speaking, traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of vehicle operators are found to be successful, while laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority of drivers encourage wholesale violations, lack public support, and usually fail to bring about desirable changes in driving behavior. This is especially true of speed zoning.]

ADOT continues to explain that reducing speed limits will NOT change traffic speeds and will not change accident frequency and that there is no “direct relationship between posted speed limits and accident frequency” and that, “speed in itself is not a major cause of accidents.” ADOT then proceeds to identify such locations as those described in North Peoria as a speed trap:

[It is accepted within the traffic engineering profession that there is a demonstrated need to produce as much uniformity as possible in the traffic flow and to eliminate the so-called speed trap. A speed trap may be defined as a street or road which is wide enough, straight and smooth enough, and sufficiently free of visibility limiting obstructions to permit driving a certain speed, but where the law nevertheless calls for a much lower speed.]

According to ADOT, “Speed zoning in Arizona is based on the widely accepted principle of setting speed limits as near as practicable to the speed at or below which 85 percent of the drivers are traveling.” But after spending a few minutes on the side of the road at either of these locations one can clearly see that the 85th percentile speed is closer to 40 or 45mph (common on Phoenix-area arterial roads) than the 30mph displayed on the speed limit signs.
So why is the city of Peoria so careless about road safety? There are only a few possible answers:
  1. Arrogant and/or incompetent city council who either believes they are qualified traffic engineers or that they know more than traffic engineers.
  2. They have allowed incompetent city traffic engineers to remain employed.
  3. They are more interested in revenue generation from speed traps than safety.
For clues to the answer, we can look to other city council decisions. Over 3 years ago, Peoria started a pilot red light camera program at 4 intersections. The results were disastrous, leading to over a 100% increase in accidents. But for some reason (read: $$$), the city decided to renew and extend the “pilot” program multiple times (guess they don’t understand what you’re supposed to do when a pilot program fails). Finally after 3 years and continued disastrous results, the city reluctantly ended the dangerous cash cow red light camera program after being unable to justify the program under the guise of safety any longer.
But the city of Peoria isn’t alone in the world of dubious traffic engineering. Take the new stretch of 303 West of I-17 for example. This is brand new freeway, 2 lanes in each direction separated by a significant distance. This stretch has very few on and off ramps, and very little traffic. Yet the speed limit is only 55mph! Contrast this to the 101 freeway which has a great deal of traffic and is usually crowded, on and off ramps every 1 mile, and the limit is 10mph faster. I don’t think you have to be an engineer to know that the new stretch of 303 freeway is every bit as safe as the 101, if not safer. So why the lower limits?
Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 28-702 allows the establishment of speed limits on the State Highway System “upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation.” The MUTCD also requires a traffic engineering study. So where is this engineering and traffic investigation that found a speed limit of 55mph to be appropriate on the 303 but not on the 101?
State and local governments have become lazy, arrogant, and exploitative. They have forgotten that their purpose is to serve the people and do what’s in the best interest for the public rather than the government. ADOT’s own literature contradicts their actions and appears to violate state law. This isn’t about safety. It’s about what it’s always about: power and money.

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