“Photo Enforcement” Becomes Toxic

August 24, 2010

What do you do when your industry approaches market saturation and increased public opposition?

This is the question the peddlers of automated ticketing will have to start asking themselves in the immediate future if they hope to survive in any form whatsoever.

Almost all large United States cities have been approached by either Redflex or American Traffic Solutions pitching the tired, debunked claims of improved traffic safety.

Unfortunately for these companies, voters and drivers have awakened to the scheme and are opposing new and existing systems worldwide over a variety of reasons, from civil liberties concerns to the proper role of government.

Smaller and smaller communities are being being swindled into signing contracts with these corporations, resulting in millions of dollars being extracted from local economies and sent directly to the profiteering vendors.

The blowback to such installations has ranged from expected opposition to cold-blooded murder. Last week, the confessed shooter of a Redflex photo radar van driver in Arizona was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Unclear is the liability the State of Arizona will face for their “romp in the bed” with corporatism in the form of photo enforcement. Redflex was contractually obligated to provide “public service announcements” to explain automated ticketing to the public when the statewide ticketing contract was signed with the Department of Public Safety.

DPS is now being sued by the surviving family, and rightfully so. It doesn’t take an overpaid government beancounter to figure out that placing an unarmed civilian in a vehicle falsely marked as law enforcement is a bad idea.

With an onslaught of bad publicity, automated ticketing vendors may remember 2010 as the year their business model went sour. Lawsuits demanding refunds plague Redflex in Minnesota to the tune of millions of dollars while increased legal challenges in Florida and California threaten the very existence of red light cameras and so-called speed enforcement.

The Cameras are Coming Down… but in the end it may be due to the fatally flawed business model based on greed and inconclusive results that ATS and Redflex have depended on for over a decade.


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?


ATS Van Caught Speeding, Failing to Signal

August 16, 2010

American Traffic Solutions or Above The Statutes, Inc?

An American Traffic Solutions / City of Mesa “photo enforcement” vehicle was caught red handed early Saturday afternoon breaking various traffic laws.

The incident occurred early Saturday afternoon on westbound US-60 in Mesa, Arizona near exit 181. A CameraFRAUD volunteer witnessed and recorded the incident.

The white Chevrolet Uplander was observed exceeding the posted speed limit on the US-60 and failing to signal a right-hand turn onto north Stapley Dr.

CameraFRAUD Tyranny Response Unit issues "Notice of Violation" to American Traffic Solutions

CameraFRAUD has collected details about the “tali-van” scofflaw, and in a twist of roles, will issue a “Notice of Violation” to American Traffic Solutions on Monday.

Much like the millions of notices the Scottsdale-based company issues each year, the violator will be given the option of paying an arbitrary “fine” or attending a hearing.

An “Assessed Donation” in the amount of $5,000 made payable to the Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation by American Traffic Solutions is requested by CameraFRAUD to cure the violation and the flagrant disregard for the law exhibited by the photo radar van driver. (Disclosure: We are not affiliated with CCBF, nor are they a sponsor or part of our request).

Automated ticketing vendors have a long history of breaking various statutes and flaunting the law when it suites their needs. In September of 2008, a Redflex van driver was arrested for DUI while driving from Scottsdale to Tempe to set up the vehicle.

In September of 2009, another Redflex driver was caught on tape in north Phoenix driving recklessly in the fully-marked faux-DPS Ford Escape.

In addition, numerous high-ranking executives of both ATS and Redflex have ignored their own tickets in a blatant example of do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do.

ATS has never been shy invoking “the children” as a reason for the usage of automated ticketing. Now that they’ve been caught (again), it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is and make a donation to a worthy, independent cause.

We eagerly await a response from American Traffic Solutions and will keep you posted with what happens.


Australian Media Slams Redflex

August 12, 2010

It’s hard to find a mainstream media piece as perfect as this one. Enjoy the video and post your comments below.

Good: The lovely Tracy Grimshaw of A Current Affair asks the question of automated ticketing: “Life savers or just revenue raising cash cows?” CameraFRAUD as well as FireRedflex.com are mentioned in the story.

Better:

Quotes from the video: “Governments all around the world are in a lot of debt, they have to raise more money, and what better place to raise money than from penalties and speeding fines.”

“The cars are unmarked and there’s no warning sign until after you’ve driven past, and even then it’s tiny.”

REPORTER: “What do you do to pass the time when you’re sitting in here?”

REDFLEX DRIVER: “We watch the instrument.”

REPORTER: “And you need all three of you in here to do that?”

REDFLEX DRIVER: “That’s correct… at the moment…”

Best: The closing video of the UK show ‘Top Gear’ using a vehicle-mounted rocket launcher to take out a Gatso scam cam.


Oh, (no) Snap! Red Light for Red Light Cams

August 11, 2010

Orlando, Florida is now potentially on the hook for over $4 million in refunds after a judge rules the ticketing scheme to be invalid.

LaserCraft was the initial vendor for Orlando, until American Traffic Solutions purchased the Georgia company in June of this year. ATS has automated ticketing operations throughout Central and South Florida, as well as a vested interest in tolling.

In a rare example of honor among thieves, Redflex has refused to operate cameras in the Sunshine State, calling such operations “illegal.” (Update: No such thing as honor among thieves; Redflex proceeded to bid on contracts in Homestead, FL despite their own securities statement acknowledging such schemes to be illegal.)

Video: MyFoxOrlando: Red light cameras violate law.


Breaking: Cameras Rejected Nationwide

November 3, 2009

congrat

redflex

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:

ats

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 »


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.


Surveillance-Peddlers Push Bogus Studies

October 22, 2009

surveillance

They're watching you... but who's watching them?

Companies on the forefront of invasive and liberty-threatening surveillance systems are on the attack, paying big bucks for studies to “prove” that everyone loves being watched.

American Traffic Solutions, a red light camera and photo radar profiteer, claims a whopping 77 percent of NY voters supposedly support their revenue generating scheme. The “poll” was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, known for using trick questions and “push polling” to get the results desired by the client:

“As our roots are in political campaign management, our research is focused on producing information that compels decisions – and then results and across both political and public affairs research, as our tag line suggests, we work with our clients “Turning Questions into Answers.

BRS Labs, a developer of technology which “reports unusual or suspicious behaviors based on memories it has acquired through [surveillance camera] observations,” paid Harris Interactive to conclude 96 percent of Americans “feel the federal government… should be able to use video surveillance in an effort to counteract terrorism” and “protect” people in public places.

The survey continues:

“Four out of five adults feel that in extreme cases, such as a terrorist attack, the government should be able to use any available means to protect citizens…”

BRS’ product, “AiSight,” is an advanced snooping tool which compiles and records human activities into patterns. Patterns deemed unusual or unacceptable can be flagged. Independent camera systems can be integrated together, easily allowing a person to be tracked from place to place.

“AiSight takes visual input from a camera, learns what activities and behaviors are typical, and generates real-time alerts when it identifies activities that are not normal… It takes in external visual input (computer vision), while its machine learning engine observes the scene, learns and recognizes behavioral patterns and responds accordingly. Surveillance is 24/7…”

Feeling safer yet?


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.


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