By on March 17, 2010

The photo enforcement industry announced on Friday the creation of a new red light camera and speed camera advocacy group. The Partnership for Advancing Road Safety (PARS) describes itself as an organization that seeks to use best practices to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on American highways. The group’s number one priority is countering the growing nationwide backlash against the use of automated ticketing machines that has resulted in multi-million dollar loses for camera vendors.

“While a vocal minority may oppose road safety cameras, our research indicates just the opposite — 80 percent of the public support intersection safety cameras and 67 percent support speed safety cameras,” said PARS Executive Director David Kelly. “Automated road safety cameras share one thing in common with other proven safety countermeasures — they save lives. And that’s the message PARS intends to communicate to everyone we can reach.”

Kelly provides a respectable face for the group as the former chief of staff for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a former senior staffer at Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The group itself, however, is the creation of the public relations firm APCO Worldwide. The website was registered by APCO. The PARS contact on the group’s press release, Jeffery A. Smith, listed a “jsmith@advancingroadsafety.com” email address, but the phone number given rings the offices at APCO.

The “founding members” that hired APCO for this public relations project include Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions, UK-based Lasercraft and Redspeed, Germany-based Traffipax and Australia-based Redflex. The overseas companies use front groups to evade laws prohibiting direct foreign influence in the US electoral process. Redflex, for example, specifically cited an “APCO nationwide poll” in a press release issued earlier this month, making no mention of its connection to the firm.

“In a recent nationwide opinion poll, voters showed 80 percent support of the red light cameras as a safety tool,” the Redflex news release stated.

Despite the bold claim, neither red light cameras nor speed cameras have ever survived a public vote. In nine out of nine municipal referenda on the issue, automated ticketing lost with as much as 86 percent of the public voting against cameras.

[Courtesy: TheNewspaper.com]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

9 Comments on “Partnership for Advancing Road Safety Is New Photo Enforcement Industry Front Group...”


  • avatar
    Contrarian

    If we ever get an honest and competent DOJ in the future, I’d love to have a criminal or rackateering type investigation of these and similar scumbags.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I would WELCOME an authoritarian-style crackdown on our highways, enforcing things like lane discipline, aggressive driving, failure to signal, even speeding. But don’t hand it over to machines.

    A few weeks ago, I had just left a state highway and was cruising through a small town. I didn’t realize I was going 45 in a 35 (very few signs) until I saw a cop in the oncoming lane, looking me right in the eye wagging his finger at me. I smiled and nodded to him and immediately slowed down. I found that very effective…if your goal is reducing danger, not just raising money. Nobody’s time was wasted and the goal was achieved without creating an adversarial feel.

    • 0 avatar
      MidLifeCelica

      I too, have been effectively slowed by the simple ‘Yeah, I see you speeding there” look and and the pointed finger!

      I’ve often thought that speed control could be more easily and cheaply implemented by manufacturing and stratgically placing life-size plastic outlines of cop cars on the side of the road. All it takes is for one person to be fooled and hit the brakes to cause a large chain of suddenly law-abiding citizens to appear. Every once in a while, park a real cop car behind the cutouts, or mount a few cheap radar emitters on some of the fakes.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    Crummy logo. Unfortunately this has a good chance of duping a good chunk of voters (the same people who can’t spell “enforcement” or locate their state on a map, for instance.) If this is their war banner, I say that “vocal minority” who oppose these twisted thieves should band behind a fancy name and corporate logo of their own. How does ANTICAM sound?

  • avatar
    jet_silver

    What gall in the framing: “80 percent of the public support intersection safety cameras and 67 percent support speed safety cameras.” The trick this pony’s doing is trying to conflate automatic ticketing and safety.

    George Orwell smacked this safety business in “As I Please”, Tribune, 8 November 1946. He said if you really want to save lives, make the speed limit 12 mph. Of course, there is a tradeoff between saving time and saving lives and that was his point but he put it slightly differently.

  • avatar
    geeber

    While a vocal minority may oppose road safety cameras, our research indicates just the opposite — 80 percent of the public support intersection safety cameras and 67 percent support speed safety cameras,” said PARS Executive Director David Kelly.

    That’s because 99 percent of the people in favor of these cameras believe that they will only capture the antics of other bad drivers…not themselves.

    Just as they favor their neighbors using mass transit, support higher taxes for other people and want to stop irresponsible other people from having too many abortions or owning a handgun.

    They, of course, will be somehow magically exempt from these restrictions or enforcement efforts. Because it’s only when the other guy exceeds the speed limit that it’s a bad thing.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    “While a vocal minority may oppose road safety cameras, our research indicates just the opposite — 80 percent of the public support intersection safety cameras and 67 percent support speed safety cameras,” said PARS Executive Director David Kelly. “Automated road safety cameras share one thing in common with other proven safety countermeasures — they save lives. And that’s the message PARS intends to communicate to everyone we can reach.”

    LOL

    Let me spin that for you even further, Mr. Kelly…

    “Our research indicates that 100 percent of the public supports intersection safety cameras and 100 percent supports speed safety cameras,” said PARS Executive Director David Kelly. “Automated road safety cameras share one thing in common with other proven safety countermeasures — they generate revenue. And that’s the message PARS intends to communicate to everyone we can reach.”

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Day-amn, that logo is bad – they managed to make it look both incompetent and ominous at the same time. How the hell do you even do that?

  • avatar
    shaker

    They should have named their org: “The INSTITUTE for Advancing Road Safety”, to fall in line with other fine organizations that use propaganda and skewed polling to advance purely economic agendas.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India