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!
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]
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
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!