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.

DPS Corrupted from Photo Radar Cash?

October 8, 2009

Witness reports indicate this was a photo radar-related accident. Is DPS trying to keep these incidents quiet? (.pdf file)

Witness reports indicate this was a photo radar-related accident. Is DPS trying to keep these incidents quiet? (.pdf file)

Exclusive — Two serious accidents. Two remote areas. One common link: a photo radar van was there.

As DPS prepares to hail photo enforcement as the savior of Arizona’s highways once again, they may be covering up violent and deadly accidents actually caused by the cameras.

Earlier this month in Southern Arizona, a passenger vehicle collided with a school bus head-on, killing 3. While the accident occurred directly in front of a DPS-branded Redflex photo van, DPS wasted no time doing preventative damage control: “DPS says the van played no role in the accident…” reported KVOA, despite the early and incomplete nature of the investigation.

In July of this year, a serious collision occurred in a remote area near Cordes Lakes, AZ. Multiple witnesses provided written statements to DPS directly linking a nearby photo van as a component of the accident, with one witness going as far as listing a “white photo radar truck” as a vehicle involved in the accident. A report supplement filed by a DPS officer included the following narrative:

“All the witnesses reported seeing the gray… car loose [sic] control of the vehicle as it passed the photo radar van…”

Unlike real tickets written by real police officers, the Arizona Department of Public Safety actually gets a “cut” from each paid photo enforcement ticket. Now, during a time of budget nightmares and cutbacks, it appears DPS will do anything to protect that precious revenue stream.

Even if it means putting profit above public safety.

DPS is planning on releasing a photo enforcement “year end review”. The “results” are predictable, the numbers are cherry-picked, and the lies are all the same.

DPS claims reductions in accidents and fatalities in the 20% range within the Phoenix metro area can be directly linked to photo radar. They purposefully ignore the fact that traffic fatalities are reaching an all-time low nationwide, according to the NHTSA:

The U.S. DOT today announced that the number of overall traffic fatalities reported in 2008 hit their lowest level since 1961… fatalities in the first three months of 2009 continue to decrease. The fatality rate, which accounts for variables like fewer miles traveled, also reached the lowest level ever recorded.

In Clark County, NV, an area compatible to the density and population of Phoenix,  has seen a 19.4% decrease in fatalities during the same period. Nevada outlaws the utilization of automated ticketing schemes statewide.

DPS has tried to play these games before, resulting in even pro-photo radar organizations questioning the agency’s ways:

“…even the prominent motorist advocacy group AAA Arizona, however, have publicly questioned the methodology used to arrive at those conclusions. Linda Gorman, AAA Arizona’s director of public affairs, says there were many factors that could have resulted in a drop in collisions.

For instance, there were six-percent fewer drivers on the road in Maricopa County, equating to 10,000 fewer drivers per day on some stretches of highway, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. DPS also has made an effort to put more patrol officers on highways, all of which led experts to predict fatalities would drop by nearly 30 percent.

Gorman added that AAA supports photo radar… “Right now we’re experiencing an unprecedented proliferation of photo enforcement on our freeways, and it seems that it’s turned into one that’s more focused on the revenue.”

(DPS’) Graves admits the statistics released by DPS aren’t scientific or definitive…

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has publicly stated that photo radar money is “corrupting law enforcement.” A former DPS officer even went as far as to say he’s ashamed of his former agency for the blatant cash grab.

If DPS is proven to be cooking the books for favorable statistics or hiding photo radar-related accidents, the department stands to lose any remaining credibility it may still have.

The result? The actual officers and public safety will suffer if the people no longer trust the State’s highest-level law enforcement agency.

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.

Speed Cam Money Went to Gov’t, Not Research

September 24, 2009

motivational-govtHeadlines like these sure cast automated ticketing in a warm, fuzzy light. Of course our favorite beleaguered ticketing vendor, Redflex, hails from down under as well.

“Spinal cord speed cameras now revenue raisers”

It has been revealed the New South Wales Government is now collecting the revenue from speed cameras which were installed specifically to raise money for research into spinal cord injuries.

The speed camera plan was announced in 2003 by the former Premier Bob Carr and the quadriplegic actor Christopher Reeve.

Ten speed cameras were installed in school zones across the state for the program.

During a budget estimates hearing, the Government said the money now goes into Consolidated Revenue.

The revelation angered the Nationals MP Duncan Gay.

“The original announcement was that 10 extra speed cameras would be put in place specifically for this,” he said.

“Those 10 cameras are still in place, yet you are now telling us that quietly, in the dark of night, this whole procedure has changed and the people of New South Wales are being duped.”

St. Ptb Times: “Put The Brakes On Red light Cams”

September 24, 2009

postitFrom 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…

Accidents Double Since Redflex Cams Installed

September 1, 2009

postitCollisions at four intersections in Peoria, Arizona have doubled since the introduction of Redflex’s deadly red light cameras, the Arizona Republic reports in an article titled: “Peoria officials question the value of red-light cameras.”

According to numbers from the Police Department, collisions at the four intersections have doubled since a private company finished installing red light cameras in June 2008.

During the 2007 fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30, there were 36 collisions at the intersections. In fiscal 2008, there were 73.

As yet another example of the Republic’s editorial bias (the paper is unabashedly pro-photo radar and has hired former automated ticketing insiders), the entire article fails to mention even once the vendor responsible for making Peoria a more dangerous place to drive: Redflex Traffic Systems.

The same Republic writer, Dustin Gardiner, mentioned Redflex over thirteen times in a puff piece last week when he helped promote Redflex’s development of so-called “solar-powered” speed cameras.

Tucson Vice Mayor doesn’t like 24/7 video

January 29, 2009

big_brotherWhat part of, this technology will be abused, did you not understand!

Vice Mayor Karen Uhlich told Fox 11 News, “When the Mayor and Council approved the red light cameras, we were explicitly told that the cameras would be only be activated during a violation. We were told they would not be running all the time.”

 Click here for the rest of the story.

Maricopa County Judge: Photo Enforcement Unconstitutional

January 28, 2009

gavel-slamIt looks like the courts are finally beginning to catch on.

According to Judge John Keegan, the law violates the U.S. Constitution because it denies equal protection under the law.

He says it also crosses a clause on equal privileges and immunities in Arizona’s state Constitution.

Go read the story…

“We’re taping you, 24/7.”

January 22, 2009

watchingyouThat’s the message that Representative Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, believes that everyone should be privy to.

State lawmakers were “surprised” to learn that the “photo enforcement cameras they authorized last year to catch speeders are actually taking – and keeping – videos of everyone who passes,” according to the East Valley Tribune.

“…they learned that the cameras do more than snap still photos of those clocked driving at least 11 miles over the speed limit. In fact, they actually are recording streaming video around-the-clock.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said what’s worse is that Redflex Traffic Systems, the private company hired by the state to set up and operate the cameras, advertises that it has technology that actually can scan in the license plates of every vehicle that passes the cameras. And that, Biggs said, allows creation of a database that can find out where people have been at any given time.”

Of course, this isn’t news to the people who’ve read over the past 4 1/2 months.

In honor of their rekindled interest in representing the will of the people, we humbly present the following reading list. Feel free to send this list to your state reps (click for lookup/contact info).

Arizona Representative and Senator
Recommended Reading List


1/19/09: Redflex and Red China: Partners in Oppression

1/08/09: Scottsdale Secretly Tracking License Plates

12/12/08: Show Low To Track Drivers Like Cattle

12/07/08: Delays, Technical Problems Plague Redflex Rollout

12/05/08: DPSRedflex Contract Available Online (The politicians should have read this already!)

9/16/08: Cameras to Track Everyone, Everywhere

9/09/08: Redflex Driver DUI

ATS Investor Receives Bailout Money

October 30, 2008

It’s official: Goldman Sachs, the troubled firm which sunk over $50 million into scam-cam vendor American Traffic Solutions last month, is now the recipient of a sizable infusion itself.

This time, you’re the investor.

The nine banks to get half of the $250 billion to be invested by the government as part of a massive rescue bailout of the financial system are: Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street and Merrill Lynch, soon to be taken over by Bank of America.

Half of $250 billion is $125 billion, divided by nine leaves $13.8 billion for Goldman Sachs.

What a scheme! You pay for the tickets. You pay for the bailout. And, you pay for the insurance.

Didn’t we warn you that “All They Want To Do Is Take Your Money?

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