By on March 8, 2010

The private company that operates speed cameras in Denver, Colorado is ignoring the provisions of state law designed to protect the public. Motorist Bill O’Neil used his cell phone camera to document the lack of warning signs around a photo radar van issuing tickets on First Avenue in January, KMGH-TV reported. City officials entrust Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australian company compensated based on the number of tickets it is able to issue, with the responsibility of placing the signs. A police spokesman told KMGH that signs were out, just on the other side of the road.

Similar tactics are used in the city of Fort Collins, where a speed camera van was hidden behind a bridge abutment on Tuesday. The warning sign was placed on the ground, partially obscured by a planter, the Coloradoan newspaper reported.

In Genoa, Italy a local judge has ruled that average speed cameras are illegal. Justice of the Peace Elena Paolicchi canceled a ticket issued on the A7 between Genoa and Milan after motorists organized by the website challenged the reading of the system known as Tutor. A written ruling has not been issued in the case, but the challenge was filed questioning the system’s accuracy and the integrity of the evidence. Red light camera systems known as T-Red caused such a controversy with the shortening of yellow lights and corrupt, backroom deals that Italy’s Ministry of Interior last year banned private companies from operating photo enforcement devices.


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7 Comments on “Colorado, Italy: Speed Camera Operators Caught Disregarding Law...”

  • avatar

    “A police spokesman told KMGH that signs were out, just on the other side of the road.”
    Oh great, we’re supposed to “read” these signs in our rear-view mirrors?

  • avatar

    Why place the signs? I mean, regular police officers running a speed trap don’t, and the whole point of the trap is to, you know, catch people. Signage would also encourage rapid deceleration (and subsequent rear-enders) on the part of speeding motorists, just as they do now if they see a cruiser parked on the side of the road. In both cases (cameras and cruisers) by the time you see them, you’ve already been Bomarc’ed.

    Signs are a sop to public opinion, and an unsafe one at that.

    If you’re going to use speed cameras, they need to be ubiquitous (or at least they need to appear so). If you’re going to sign, blanket warnings about “speed enforced bv cameras” on speed limit signs should be good enough.

    • 0 avatar

      Serious law enforcement officials maintain that the point of speed traps is to encourage general obedience of speed limits. This is why they don’t object to services like and its ilk, and will use unmanned squad cars on the roadside (sometimes with emergency lights running) for the deterrent value. For them, the real goal is public safety, and yes, blanket warnings about enforcement mechanisms should be sufficient. But once the corrupting influence of govt revenue streams creeps into the picture, officials know that public outrage will certainly follow, and thus the requirements for signage that puts the veneer of “enforcement” over the greed. Because who doesn’t like the idea of “somebody else” picking up the tab for govt services when those caught are obviously “traffic scofflaws” who deserve what they get?

    • 0 avatar

      I generally agree, except the signs themselves should act as a deterent to speeding. I am required to take a safe driving course every two years as a requirement of my employment. A retired CHP officer told us that he would leave his radar running whenever he took a meal break with the idea that all of the worst speeders generally have radar detectors and would slow down when they detected his radar. He said when he was actually looking for speeders he would simply “shoot” cars that appeared to be speeding to get a number for the ticket. He also said that he would almost never leave a post at a freeway construction site to pull somebody over. The purpose in sitting at the construction site was to be a visible presence that would get people to slow down. He said that somebody would have to be driving well over the speed limit for the construction zone or driving erratically (DUI) to get him to chase them down and remove that presence for all of the other drivers to see. Placing signs around the camera van works in much the same way, people see the signs and slow down. General warnings on speed signs would work about as well as the general signs we already have in California “Speed limits radar enforced”, that is not at all. People simply ignore them. They don’t ignore a CHP officer alongside the freeway or their radar detector going off.

  • avatar

    Colorado passed a law a few years ago regarding the use of speed radar vans. They are required to place a “Photo Radar in use ahead” sign a specified distance in front of the radar van when in use. Permanent signs are not allowed. In addition to catching speeders, they also catch people too preoccupied with cell phones, text messaging, etc. to read the sign. I drive past the radar vans on 1st Ave. across the street from Denver Country Club every day. They stick out like a sore thumb, if you are paying attention. I’m totally against speed radar vans and red light cameras, however, catching inattentive drivers is another story. It’s all about the money and nothing to do with safety. I’ve yet to see an accident on the short stretch of road mentioned above — 30 MPH speed limit, three lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a boulevard style median. A bit like shooting fish in a barrel.


  • avatar

    Speed cameras are such a scam.

    Like their RLC scameras, the Vendors NEED VIOLATIONS. That is why yoiu find them “misplacing” the signs.

    And for those of you who have this dulsion that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothting to fear” think again.

    when the scamera people don’t get enough violations they resort to:

    1. Lowering the speed limit to create more speeding.
    2. using varible speed limits that can change quickly.
    3. lowering trigger speeds from 12 mph, to 5 mph and now 1 mph proposals ini AZ in some places.
    4. Lying on certification of the devices at a lab THAT DIDNT EXIST as happend with REDFLEX in AU.–-Claims-to-Use-Test-Lab-That-Doesn’t-Exist.html

    5. Intentionally miscalbrating to read higher than real. “Prosecutors also believe that some of these cameras were calibrated in such a way that motorists adhering to the speed limit would receive citations.”

    Never mind the fact that most “speeding” is the direct result of speed limits being set too low!

    P.S. here is another one of a corrupt speed camera operator rigging the system:

  • avatar

    Well that wasn’t the first time Bill O’Neil had spotted Denver photo vans not posting their signs; it was more 6 or 7. I should know since I am Bill O’Neil :-)

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