The TaxPayers’ Alliance and Drivers’ Alliance last week calculated that UK speed cameras issued £87,368,227 (US $131,256,380) worth of tickets in fiscal 2009 without any demonstrable safety benefit. Since speed cameras were first installed on British roads in 1991, the roads became more dangerous than they would have been without photo enforcement, according to the report.
Tag: Speed Camera
At least four of the country’s top rental car firms sell information on their customers to a photo enforcement firm. American Traffic Solutions and its subsidiary, ATS Processing Services, signed contracts through which Avis, Budget, Hertz and Advantage agreed to hand over information on renters so that ATS can collect extra money on photo tickets.
The group CameraFraud.com announced yesterday that 127,000 Arizona voters had made it clear that they want voters decide the future of automated enforcement in the state. The figure fell short by about ten percent of the number legally required to force a measure onto the ballot against the will of lawmakers. Initiative proponents see this as a merely temporary setback. Arizonans Against Photo Radar Chairman Shawn Dow believes that his group is stronger than ever and will be able to flex its political muscle to force change in the state.
The South Carolina House of Representatives voted Thursday to make the state’s ban on photo radar explicit. In 2006, the office of the attorney general issued an opinion stating automated ticketing conflicted with state law, but Ridgeland officials decided to ignore the ruling and operate a speed camera van on Interstate 95. The town of 2500 wants to deploy cameras to ticket out-of-state drivers as they pass through the seven-mile stretch within the town’s limits.
The Orange County, California Superior Court is making it difficult for Santa Ana to turn a profit on its red light camera program. From November 2009 to February 2010, the city lost a total of $145,414 on automated ticketing, meaning the city’s Australian camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems, is walking away with $400,000 in general taxpayer money every year. The nearby city of Anaheim, which has nearly the same population, made a profit of $41,584 from red light running tickets over the same period. Anaheim not only has no red light cameras, a public referendum has been set to ban them for good in November.
A federal judge on Thursday sharply criticized the legal filings of an Australian photo enforcement vendor less than two weeks before a jury trial was scheduled to begin. Redflex Traffic Systems is being sued by its Arizona-based rival, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), on the grounds that the Melbourne-based firm won the recently canceled statewide speed camera contract with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) by allegedly lying about the certification of its equipment. If it loses, Redflex could be forced to pay its rival millions in potential damages for lost business. Already, the company’s overall legal defense bill has reached $6.2 million for the past year.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) signed into law last week a proposal that would create an entirely new form of automated ticketing machine, an “airport business” camera. The move followed his approval last month of legislation designed specifically to revive his state’s moribund red light camera program.
Although independent studies have shown a link between the use of photo enforcement equipment and a statistically significant increase in the number of collisions, opponents of photo radar have produced few concrete examples of these incidents. In Arizona, the group CameraFraud.com has begun using freedom of information laws to get its hands on examples of accidents that would not have happened but for the presence of a speed camera van (view studies).
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana has until 4pm today to meet the demands of Redflex Traffic Systems, the company that until January operated red light cameras and speed cameras for the local government. The Australian firm is absolutely furious that parish officials have withheld payment while the program faced lawsuits from citizens and corruption probes from federal investigators. Redflex insisted that the “millions of dollars” owed must be deposited in the Redflex accounts before the close of business today.
A US District Court judge on Monday in effect told the two largest photo enforcement firms that they need to act more like grown-ups. In November 2008, American Traffic Solutions (ATS) filed suit against its Australian competitor, Redflex Traffic Systems, alleging that the company won Arizona’s statewide photo radar contract by lying in bid proposals regarding the use of radar units not certified by the Federal Communications Commission. US District Court Judge Frederick J. Marton decided in August that the suit had merit and should proceed to trial (view decision), but he showed signs of fatigue when faced with eleven separate motions and other items requiring judicial disposition Monday.
Speed cameras worldwide were plagued by accuracy problems this week. In Scottsdale, Arizona, a black man received a white man’s tickets on five occasions. Because this man happened to be Larry Fitzgerald, one of the top wide receivers in the National Football League, his case was received the attention of TMZ. In five of six automated ticketing photographs mailed to Fitzgerald, who is black, a white man is unquestionably behind the wheel of a Cadillac Escalade.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, desperately seeking new sources of revenue to cover a $19.9 billion budget shortfall, yesterday declared a state of fiscal emergency. As part of his proposed solution, Schwarzenegger called for the deployment of a massive statewide speed camera program to generate at least $397.5 million in net profit to state and local government.
Under the proposal, existing red light cameras at intersections would be converted into “speed on green” cameras that issue citations to motorists who try to speed up at an intersection to make the light. Those who slow down and fail to make the light will be mailed a red light camera ticket.
“Various federal rules are tying our hands and preventing us from reducing costs in some state programs,” Schwarzenegger explained at a news conference yesterday. “I want to remind the federal judges and the politicians California is not Washington. We do not have the luxury of printing money or running trillion-dollar deficits.”