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.


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.


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