Oppose Red Light Cameras in your city! This site was originally started as my opposition to cameras in Upland, CA but it will serve as a general anti-cam informational site. Upland has removed their red light cameras.
If you are visiting this page, you most likely got a red light camera ticket. I believe people should fight every ticket- every time. Tickets are mostly for revenue and we need to invoke our due-process rights. Why should you hand over $500 or more of your hard earned money? That is insanity. Make them work for it. I've beaten over ten tickets in court. It is very easy. You can even plead not guilty and have a trial through the mail! (called a TRIAL BY DECLARATION.) I learned how to do all this by using the excellent free website helpigotaticket.com Here is their page on red light camera tickets, along with a list of questions to ask the prosecution witness (the cop) when you appear in court: http://helpigotaticket.com/stra/redlight.html. You can also do a number of other things which make it hard on the prosecution to convict you. After all, they "love the law", RIGHT? At least that's what they tell us, anyway. Well then they better learn how to adhere to all their "laws" just like they demand we do.
You may contact me here. If you are opposing red-light cameras in your city and would like to be included on this page, send me an e-mail. Below you will find some extremely revealing admissions from traffic engineers, legislators, judges, law enforcement and even the U.S. Congress admitting the folly of these fraudulent traffic cameras.
Surprising L.A. Times article from July 2011:
Got A Red Light Camera Ticket In California? I Highly Suggest HelpIGotATicket.com. I am particularly greatful for this website, as it has helped me beat over ten tickets in court. It is a free informational site. Many of my friends also beat their tickets after using the info at the site. A little knowledge of the law and your rights goes a long way. I had one particularly gratifying victory in San Bernardino County Superior Court of Appeals, where a panel of 3 Superior Court judges ruled for me and threw out the phony conviction that the first Superior Court hack judge in Rancho Cucamonga had handed down. I did not use a lawyer, I wrote my own legal brief after studying the info that applied to my case. I also recommend the fantastic website HighwayRobbery.Net
Surprising L.A. Times article from July 2011:
Got A Red Light Camera Ticket In California? I Highly Suggest HelpIGotATicket.com. I am particularly greatful for this website, as it has helped me beat over ten tickets in court. It is a free informational site. Many of my friends also beat their tickets after using the info at the site. A little knowledge of the law and your rights goes a long way. I had one particularly gratifying victory in San Bernardino County Superior Court of Appeals, where a panel of 3 Superior Court judges ruled for me and threw out the phony conviction that the first Superior Court hack judge in Rancho Cucamonga had handed down. I did not use a lawyer, I wrote my own legal brief after studying the info that applied to my case.
I also recommend the fantastic website HighwayRobbery.Net. This site has everything you need to know about fighting Red light cameras along with all the latest news, court rulings, etc.
Below is an important excerpt from the article Pasadena scraps revenue cameras, but leaves dangerous mess in their wake (8/14/12):
HighwayRobbery.net reminds us that "tickets from cities in LA County can be ignored because the LA County court does not report ignored tickets to the DMV. (That does not apply to other counties.)" The info about LA County tickets is here. Also, be aware of "snitch tickets", fake tickets not issued by a court. The snitch ticket info is here. The great news is that people are fighting back, suing cities and red light camera companies and beating these fraudulent tickets in court. As always, I highly recommend two great websites, HighwayRobbery.net and HelpIgotAticket.com for those ticketed in California.
A Memorandum from the Pasadena Department of Transportation and Police Department to the City's Public Safety Committee dated December 5, 2011 outlined the reasons for ending the program along with some revealing info (Courtsey of the excellent website HighwayRobbery.net:)
The document also noted that as more people opted to fight their tickets, the city began to lose revenue:
Here is the letter I wrote to the Upland Mayor and City Council in 2008. Thanks to the folks at HighwayRobbery.net for their help in this matter. They are a wealth of information and a pioneer in educating the public about these cameras. You may use this letter as a template if you want to send a similar letter to your city regarding the cameras. After I sent the city this letter, I received a response back from the police department offering to meet with me and address my "concerns". I found it interesting that none of the city politicians bothered to reply, but rather referred the matter to the cops (who had no say in whether the cameras stay or go). I did not meet with the police, because I didn't have "concerns'. I wasn't 'concerned' about the cameras, I was opposed to the cameras. There is a distinct difference. As you read above, the city eventually ditched the cameras:
To Mayor and City Council, City of Upland CA
Mayor and Councilmembers:
I read in the minutes of your last meeting that you are considering the installation of more red light cameras. Please consider alternatives to them. The following is a discussion of a couple of those alternatives. Also, at the end of this letter is information about two more important issues: A legal 'pitfall' you will want to avoid, and an abuse of the public trust that we hope you will avoid, should you decide to go ahead with an installation of more cameras.
Alternatives to Cameras
A discussion of alternatives to cameras assumes that your interest in cameras is not at all for the potential net revenue, but comes out of a sincere desire to improve public safety. Also assumed is that you have read, or heard about, the numerous studies (fn. 1) showing that rear-enders increase at intersections with red light cameras.
One alternative to cameras is to lengthen the yellow light. I have attached a page from a 2004 paper (fn. 2) that showed a 69% decrease in violations when a yellow was increased from 4.0 seconds, to 4.5 seconds. There are many other studies (fn. 1) with similar results.
Lengthening the yellow also reduces severe accidents. I have attached a page from a 2004 study (fn. 3) by the Texas Transportation Institute which found, "an increase in the yellow duration of 1.0 second is associated with an MF [crash frequency] of about 0.6, which corresponds to a 40 percent reduction in crashes."
A second alternative to cameras is to improve street markings. 2005 research (fn. 4) sponsored by Florida's Department of Transportation concluded that improving street markings near intersections reduced red light running by up to 74 percent without increasing the likelihood of rear end collisions.
Legal Pitfall - Illegal Contracts
I hope you will investigate alternatives before you install more cameras. But if you decide to install cameras, please be careful about the compensation agreement between yourselves and the camera vendor. In many other cities, the camera vendors have offered "cost neutral" contracts; you may have received a similar offer.
A typical "cost neutral" contract offers to protect the city by limiting the monthly amount owed to the camera company to the amount of money collected in fines, up to a monthly cap of roughly $6000 per camera. Unfortunately, such an arrangement gives the camera vendor an incentive for more tickets to be issued, and is illegal per CVC 21455.5(g) which says, "(1) A contract between a governmental agency and a manufacturer or supplier of automated enforcement equipment may not include provision for the payment or compensation to the manufacturer or supplier based on the number of citations generated, or as a percentage of the revenue generated [in this example, 100% of the revenue, up to the cap], as a result of the use of the equipment authorized under this section."
Fake Tickets and the Public Trust
Please also consider a ban on the practice, seen in Upland and a number of other cities, of issuing fake tickets. I call the fakes "Snitch Tickets" and the Industry calls them "nominations." (fn. 5) A Snitch Ticket looks just like a real red light camera ticket, but has not been filed with the court. As such, it is entirely optional for the recipient to reply. Police departments send them out when the photo of the driver is either very blurry, or obviously is not the registered owner (gender or age mismatch). Most members of the public do not realize that their Snitch Ticket is not a real ticket, and so they reply to it by turning someone in, often a member of their family. Later, when they realize that they have been deceived, they are angry about it. I think that a city considering whether they will engage in this practice needs to decide whether they are willing, in exchange for a short term financial gain, to sacrifice the public's trust in the police.
1. http://thenewspaper.com/news/04/430.asp (Red Light Camera Studies Roundup)
ADDITIONAL ITEMS OF INTEREST:
NOTE: Visit our new website DontWakeMeUp.Org - Trucker's Civil Rights for more information on the Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit filed against the Texas Troopers for illegally demanding ID. You can also join the mailing list for updates.
Lunatic CHP cops go berzerk as female motorist successfully demands her rights under CA Vehicle code 3/22/13 [Featured on WhatReallyHappened.com , Economic Policy Journal, From the Trenches World Report , The Daily Paul (most popular of the day), Fourwinds10.net, and TheLibertyCaucus.com.]
"Dancing Israelis" Arrested On 9/11 Later Sued The Govt, But Lost Their Case [Featured on Infowars, Rense.com, and Veterans Today.] Note: I was a guest on Dr. Kevin Barrett's radio show Monday, November 12 to discuss this article and related issues. The show can be heard in MP3 archive here [2nd hour].
Motorist puts police in their place at suspicionless internal checkpoint December 2, 2012
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze, Whittier Daily News, LewRockwell.com, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Veterans Today, The Wayne Madsen Report, Devvy.com, Rense, Antiwar.com, IamtheWitness.com, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, Jonathan Turley blog, National Motorists Association, RomanCatholicReport.com, Republic Broadcasting Network, WorldNetDaily, Dr. Kevin Barret's Truth Jihad radio show, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI 640, The Press Enterprise, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, and many others. Archives can be found at LibertyFight.com.
|To Begin, What Was The Founders' View Of Government?|
"The course of history shows that as a government grows, Liberty decreases."- Thomas Jefferson
"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree."- James Madison
"The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it." -John Hay (1872)
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." - Tacitus (yeah, he wasn't one of our founding fathers but it's a great quote nevertheless ;-)
"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground"-Frederick Douglas (1857)
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it". -Daniel Webster
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."-George Washington
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a litle temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor security"
"I would have to say that the cameras themselves have not reduced the number of (injury) collisions that have happened at these intersections," said Elizabeth Yard, an analyst with the San Diego Police Department's traffic division. -- San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/2/01
"And it's true in a few intersections we found a few more accidents than prior to the red light photo enforcement. At some intersections we saw no change at all, and at several intersections we actually saw an increase in traffic accidents." [San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano, ABC News: Nightline (11:35 PM AM ET), 7/30/01, Ted Koppel (Host)]
| AB 801 which was signed into law in California and went into effect January 1, 2008 bans the use of sprays such as 'photoblocker' spray, which prevented red light cameras from reading the license plate. CA Assembly member WALTERS introduced the bill, and SOLORIO was the coauthor:
Senator Tom McClintock, to his credit, was the only person to vote against the bill. McClintock went on to become a U.S. Congressman.
Insurance companies admit to raising rates based on cameras tickets, even when no points are assessed: |
May 3, 2002
"Maria Jackson, a spokeswoman for the local corporate office for State Farm Insurance Co., said, "Any ticket received by automated traffic systems are treated the same as a traditional moving violation." But Dave Hurst, spokesman for State Farm's national corporate office, said the insurance company only looks at tickets when assessing new customers." ["Cameras Slow Down Motorists, Study Finds", Brian Debose, The Washington Times, 5/3/2002]
San Diego Study proves that red-light cameras actually increase accidents and endanger people: You can find this and a wealth of other information here: http://www.hwysafety.com/nma_rlc_timeline4.htm
January 14, 2002 - San Diego Red Light Camera Audit Report released. Excerpts:
"The most significant change in the number of violations occurred at the intersection of Mission Bay Drive and Grand (1541) where the yellow change interval was extended from 3.1 seconds to 4.7 seconds. This change resulted in an 88-percent decrease in the number of violations. At the five other intersections, the number of violations dropped significantly in response to longer yellow times." ["City of San Diego Enforcement System Review Final Report", PB Farradyne Inc., January 14, 2002, Chapter 6 (Traffic Engineering and Traffic Operations Improvements", page 78] (there was no public disclosure of the yellow increases when they happened or the results from making them)
"Figure 2-12 shows that, after photo enforcement, the average RE [rear end] accident rates increased by 62 percent for the enforced movement and by nearly 43 percent for the non-enforced movements, respectively. Photo enforcement resulted in significantly higher RE accident rates at photo-enforced intersections where a THM [through movement] was enforced, especially for the enforced THM movement." ["City of San Diego Enforcement System Review Final Report", PB Farradyne Inc., January 14, 2002, Chapter 2 "Red light Running and Accidents", page 17] (enforcement programs that increase accidents of any type and cause harm to the public in any way are not acceptable as public policy under any circumstance)
San Diego Photo Enforcement System Review
San Diego Judge tosses hundreds of fraudulent red-light cam tickets:
San Diego Union-Tribune
September 4, 2001
Judge dismisses 290 red-light camera tickets
By Len Novarro
SAN DIEGO - A San Diego judge Tuesday threw out 290 traffic tickets issued to motorists by the city's controversial red light camera system, placing the privately operated program in jeopardy along with its millions of dollars in revenue.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald Styn, ruling in a case that has been closely watched on both sides of a growing debate over the new technology, said that a contingency fee paid to the private operator of the city's system, Lockheed Martin IMS, made the evidence unreliable.
"The evidence from the red light cameras will not be admitted," Judge Ronald Styn said in reaffirming his Aug. 15 opinion in a class-action lawsuit against Lockheed Martin.
Here is a very damning Congressional Report on Red-Light Cameras:
July 24, 2002 - CA Camera Report: Privacy Problems, Short Yellow, Revenue Motive
By Richard Diamond,
A new report by the California State Auditor proves several important points:(1) Most red light camera violations happen within the first second of yellow; (2) Serious privacy problems exist; (3) Revenue is officially one of LA's camera motives. The report can be found here: http://www.bsa.ca.gov/bsa/pdfs/2001125.pdf [
1 ] Cities banking on inadequate yellow time
[ 2 ] Privacy Problem
[ 3 ] Los Angeles Admits Money is their Motive
Here are a few 'Frequently Asked Questions' from HighwayRobbery.net:
| Red Light Camera Salesman Convicted of Fraud|
Source: Sales exec is guilty in S.C. of forgery (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1/22/2007)
This is not the first time a photo enforcement company has been tainted with scandal. In October, the mayor of Saint Peters, Missouri pleaded guilty to soliciting a bribe from Redflex in return for approving a red light camera ordinance. In that case, the company cooperated with authorities to pay the bribe and catch the mayor. Redflex competitor ACS is on trial in Edmonton, Canada for bribing two police officers to secure approval of a $90 million no-bid photo ticketing contract. In November, the CEO and CFO of ACS stepped down after admitting to $51 million in stock options fraud.
Excerpt from an L.A. Times article regarding fraudulent Costa Mesa tickets in 2004:
Error Slams Traffic Tickets Into Reverse|
Costa Mesa has to void hundreds of citations issued to red-light runners caught on camera because the yellow signal didn't last the required 4.3 seconds.
Hundreds of drivers have a pleasant surprise coming in the mail from Costa Mesa: They can forget that old ticket they got for running a red light near Triangle Square. That's because the yellow light for traffic headed north on Newport Boulevard at 17th Street was set to last seven-tenths of a second too short.
As a result, cameras designed to capture red-light violators illegally slapped citations on 579 motorists over five months, Costa Mesa police said in a statement. For the 200 drivers who have already paid the fine, a refund will be issued, and their convictions will be overturned.
The remaining citations will be dismissed. Drivers had only 3.6 seconds of yellow - rather than 4.3 seconds as required by law - before having their cars photographed. The amount of time a light must remain yellow is determined by the speed limit, which at that location is 45 mph. Cameras were installed in October 2003, but the mistake was not discovered until February, police said.
American Automobile Association expresses preference for engineering solution to "red light running":|
MAY 1, 2002- "AAA recommended today that local jurisdictions considering red-light cameras should first apply all practical traffic engineering countermeasures." .... "While recognizing the dangers of the alarming increase of crashes due to red-light running, delegates to the AAA Annual Meeting, celebrating the association's centennial, gave strong support to specific engineering measures designed to reduce these crashes. These include engineering improvements such as adjusting signal timing, making lane improvements, evaluating sight-distances and improving signage. "Although some local jurisdictions are looking at red-light cameras as the quick fix, it is not always the most effective means of reducing crashes at intersections," said Susan G. Pikrallidas, vice president of AAA Public Affairs." ["Red-Light Cameras Should Not Replace Sound Traffic Engineering, AAA Says", Business Wire, Chicago, May 1, 2002]
|"The primary measure of effectiveness for the yellow interval is the percent of vehicles entering the intersection after the termination of the yellow indication; that is, during the red following the yellow." ...... "When the percent of vehicles that are last through the intersection which enter on red exceeds that which is locally acceptable (many agencies use a value of one to three percent), the yellow interval should be lengthened until the percentage conforms to local standards." ["Determining Vehicle Change Intervals - A Proposed Recommended Practice", Institute of Transportation Engineers, Washington, D.C., 1985, page 6]|
|January 25, 2002 - National Motorists Association http://motorists.org/ launches $10,000 ticket camera challenge: "In an open letter to regional governments, including the government of the District of Columbia, the NMA challenged area officials to adopt longer [yellow] intervals for a test period: If the incidence of red-light running did not decline by at least 50 percent, the NMA Foundation would donate $10,000 to any traffic-safety program the locality wishes to fund. But if red-light running decreases, as NMA argues it will, the other end of the deal is that the use of automated cameras be ditched." ["Traffic-Safety Challenge", Editorial, The Washington Times, 1/25/02]|
[The rest of this page includes red-light camera stories from various cities, as well as some videos.] Traffic tickets are, for the most part, merely for revenue. Government is corrupt and will rip off everyone in every way they possibly can. Exert your rights and demand your due process. Plead not guilty. The following articles outline how tickets are admittedly for revnue. There are scores of similar articles like these:
L.A. red light cameras clicking for safety or revenue?
The enforcement system promises fewer collisions caused by drivers running through intersections. But in L.A., 80% of photo tickets are for right-turn violations, considered a less pressing safety concern.
Cities, states turn to fees to fill budget gaps
'Streetlight user fees' among the new charges as governments get creative
Speeding? You'll pay higher 'taxes'
Tickets are often as much about revenue as safety. And now, as a soured economy or other factors further empty coffers, many are turning to law enforcement to serve as part-time tax collectors -- with guns and badges. Many states and cities no longer even try to hide that fact. Making up for lost money Cities, counties and other government agencies have found that there's lots of money to be made in stepped-up traffic enforcement: ----A Detroit News analysis last fall found that metro-area police departments had "drastically increased" the number of tickets issued for moving violations as revenue from the state -- in the throes of multiple economic crises -- had declined markedly.
Get the Feeling You're Being Watched? If You're Driving, You Just Might Be
The Press Enterprise interviewed me for the following article on red light cameras in 2008. Their article, however, included an innacurate headline: In Inland area, more accident-reducing red-light cameras on the way (August 3, 2008.)
Why everyone should fight their traffic tickets - every time. (This article explains the reason why I started fighting traffic tickets :-)
Defendant wins stop sign ticket through the mail using 'TRIAL BY DECLARATION'
I told my friend Christie of Truth Brigade Radio that she should interview the webmaster of HelpIgotaTicket.com. Here is that interview:
How to beat the traffic ticket scam: Geo McCalip on Truth Brigade Radio
Watch video of the arrest of city councilman:
Marion County (Indiana) Traffic Court Violates the Law?
Article outlines how defendants are threatened with unreasonable & excessive fines if they 'dare' to plead not guilty; judge says he will always side with cops. Minnesota Supreme Court Strikes Down Red Light Cameras
Upland May Dump Red Light Cameras [DAILY BULLETIN]
[Upland may dump red-light cameras because they're losing money on the Redflex camera deal, and to quote Police chief Steve Adams, "The primary issue here is public safety," he said, "and our records show no significant decrease in accidents in the five years we've had them."]
FAIR USE NOTICE: The above excerpts may be copyrighted material, and the use of it may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available on a non-profit basis for educational and discussion purposes only. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 USC � 107. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner
Huntington Beach To Vote On Red Light Cameras 2/3/09:
Martin Hill with former Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik on GCN Live. [Show Notes 1/28/09-] .
The Fraud of Seat Belt Laws: Traffic Deaths Decrease 10+ Percent For Those Not Wearing Seat Belts. (Govt Report) Study Reveals Shocking Seat Belt Death Stats .
THE BRETT DARROW CASE
The Upland City Council is planning to put 2 more red light cameras in the city, at the north and south-bound corners of Euclid and 11th streets. They already have red light cameras at the intersections of Mountain and 8th (which was the very first cam the city installed), Mountain and Foothill, and Euclid and Foothill. The latest proposed location at the corner of Euclid and 11th streets is less than one half mile from the numerous other cameras located at Euclid and Foothill. Although they are huge revenue generators, red light cameras have actually been proven to increase the number of accidents at the intersections where they're installed. [See also here]. In San Diego for example, the city's own audit determined that the number of rear-end accidents increased by 62% after installing these red light cameras. (See below). Aside from that, there have been numerous cases of fraud involved with these cameras as well as several class action lawsuits in California alone, which resulted in hundreds of these tickets being rightly thrown out. We neither want nor need any more of these invasive, expensive and dangerous devices in our city; not to mention the privacy aspect. Let us remember that government is the servant; their purpose is to serve the public, not to snoop on, record us and generate revenue. The next city council meeting is TUESDAY, MAY 27 2008 at 7PM. Please join us at the meeting and share your thoughts on this matter. Each person has 3 minutes to address the city council. Even if you can't attend, please sign the petition; you can do that by e-mailing me and I will add your name on the list and present it to the city council. Also, call Upland City Hall at (909) 931-4100. [see additional names and numbers below]. Inform our public servants that we do not accept a camera on every corner. This is not some Big-Brother Surveillance Society, despite what an increasing number of bureaucrats may think. We did not have surveillance cameras on every corner 30 years ago, and we don't need them now. We can hold our public servants accountable, and vote those out of office who neglect our interests and who violate the principles of individual liberty and properly limited government. Below are some videos and pertinent information on red light (s)cameras.
Chances are, you know someone who has been 'ticketed' by these ridiculous cameras. You know deep down that they have nothing to do with safety and are petty, punitive and tyrannical, not to mention the obscenely excessive fines that come with these tickets. Take a few minutes to read over the following data and respond by sending a message to the Upland City Council: NO MORE TRAFFIC CAMERAS IN OUR CITY.
Let us also remember that when a motorist gets a citation, it is merely an accusation and nothing more. This is America, and we have the presumption of innocence;
it's encumbent upon the state to prove our guilt, not vice versa. We are not 'guilty until proven innocent'; we are innocent until proven guilty, and we also have a right to question witnesses and examine all the evidence against us. Cameras run by some out of state corporation with a profit interest have no place in a free society. Pass this webpage on to your friends and watch our youtube videos, interviews with locals coming soon.
In summary, there are three websites where you can find a wealth of information verifying what I have just outlined. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these issues:
|NOTE: HighwayRobbery.net has an important alert about an upcoming vote in the CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE:
2008 (Current) HOT Legislation |
California Senate Bill 1325 - Photo Enforcement of Speed Limits
State Senator Sheila James Kuehl (D) - Santa Monica has introduced this bill. If it passes, SB 1325 (Kuehl, Santa Monica), will legalize automated speeding ticket cameras, also known as photo radar. It was introduced in Feb. 2008, and had its first committee hearing on Apr. 29. At that hearing it narrowly failed to get enough votes - it needed seven "ayes" and got five - but it may be allowed to come back to a later meeting (date presently unknown), for another vote. If we all phone our legislators and auto clubs, we may be able to stop it. SB 1325 is the successor to Kuehl's earlier unsuccessful speed camera bills, SB 1300 of 2006 and SB 466 of 2005 - which are discussed in their own sections, below.
Speed cameras are an idea that won't go away! According to the LA Times, the bill "is being closely watched in San Jose."
SB 1325 could also be amended to enforce higher speeds - there is no technical bar to the use of the cameras for enforcement on freeways. Nor is the use of speed cameras on freeways unprecedented. Scottsdale, Arizona is an example of the use of cameras on freeways, and it is also an example of a pilot program rapidly spreading statewide. In early 2006, the City of Scottsdale installed cameras on an 8-mile section of the 101 freeway loop, for a 9-month pilot program. At the end of the pilot program, the East Valley Tribune reported that there had been an astonishing 130,992 tickets issued. Now, in 2008, the Governor of Arizona has taken control of the camera programs (and their revenue), and is rapidly installing cameras statewide.
What to Do... Call your local State legislators and the members of both the Senate Transportation Committee and the Assembly Transportation Committee. Calling is much more effective than email.
Excerpt from the City of Upland website:
12. COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. POLICE AND FIRE COMMITTEE MEETING, APRIL 28, 2008
1. RED LIGHT CAMERA PROGRAM, the committee recommended that the City Council give direction to move forward with the Red Light Camera Expansion Program which would add two new red light cameras, north and south approaches, at the intersection of 11th Street and Euclid Avenue.
VIDEO: SCAM Uncovered: Red light and speed camera are for PROFIT
Lawmakers and others speak against red light camera schemes:
New Mexico: Red Light Camera not Infallible
Driver in San Bernardino CA wrongly ticketed
Judge asks Baltimore to rethink cameras
"Baltimore's top District Court judge says he is suspicious over whether the city is using red-light cameras merely to make the roads safer.
Baltimore Motorists Caught By Red Light Cameras
Baltimore City To Add 60 Additional Cameras
A May 2003 report by WBAL-TV11
Baltimore City has red light cameras at 47 intersections -- that's more than any other jurisdiction in Maryland. WBAL-TV 11 NEWS I-Team reporter Mindy Basara reported that some motorists are questioning whether the cameras are used to prevent accidents, or whether they're for profit. And red light cameras irritate Baltimore City traffic court Judge Keith Mathews, too. Mathews said he has a problem with what's called the grace period -- the time from which the light turns red to when the camera fires. The grace period in Baltimore City is one-tenth of a second. So quick, Matthews said, it's catching people who don't intentionally run the light, Basara reported. "Other jurisdictions -- New York City [and] San Francisco -- have grace periods on the average of three-tenths of a second," Mathews said.
The following is an excerpt from a letter to the Costa Mesa City Council written by the editor of HighwayRobbery.net. The letter addresses the issue of increased accidents after red light cameras are installed:
August 9, 2004
City Council and Mayor
City of Costa Mesa
77 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, California 92628
Subject: Request to discontinue camera enforcement at Newport (SR 55)/17th (left turn)
Honorable Councilmembers and Mayor:
Over the last nine months you have issued over 800 automated tickets for violation of the left-turn arrow on southbound Newport Boulevard (State Route 55) at 17th Street, at a cost to the motoring public of $272,000.00 or more.
I have just received, from the CHP, the official 10-year "SWITRS" accident report for that intersection (copy attached). The 27-page report shows a total of 150 accidents of all kinds (an average of 1.25 per month). Of those 150 accidents only one (on page 19) is indicated as being the fault of a driver running the southbound left-turn light (the driver was cited for VC 21453(c), running a left-turn arrow). ...
It is also interesting to note that the SWITRS report shows a significant rise - almost a doubling - in the rate of rear-end accidents, from 69 in the 111 months pre-camera, to 13 in the 10 or 11 months since Sept. 2003 (when the camera would first have become visible to motorists).
Every guideline for the use of automated enforcement says that it should be used only where there is a documented safety problem. Based upon the SWITRS report, it appears that there is not a significant safety problem associated with southbound left-turn running at Newport and 17th. Thus, in my capacity as a resident of California and a representative member of the motoring public, I now respectfully request you to discontinue the red light camera enforcement on those left turns.
Your professional staff may argue that the single at-fault accident noted above is sufficient indication of a safety problem. However, every guideline says that if a safety problem is identified, automated enforcement should be installed only after engineering measures have been tried as an alternative way to cure the problem. [Read the entire letter HERE].
|January 11, 2002 - City of Thousand Oaks, CA rejects red light cameras: "The city of Thousand Oaks won't rely on cameras to catch red-light runners. Instead, the city will use studies done at various intersections to increase police patrols during hours when motorists are more likely to speed through red lights. Based on recommendations from Thousand Oaks Police Chief Keith Parks, the Thousand Oaks City Council decided it would not pursue a red-light enforcement program that snaps photographs of violators." .... ""In a nutshell, basically, we don't have a large problem in Thousand Oaks," Parks said." ["T.O. City Council opts to use officers, not cameras, at red lights", Jessica Smith, Ventura County Star, 1/11/2002]|
|"Candid red-light camera facts" |
Washington Times Editorial -- July 10, 2002
The use of photo-radar and red-light cameras has been pushed on the public as a means of making the roads less dangerous. But what if we're still not any safer as a result of increasingly omnipresent police surveillance -just a lot less free? What little evidence there is to make a case for photo radar and the erection of all-seeing cameras all over the landscape comes largely from the two parties that stand to benefit most from these things: the government and the insurance industry. Their revenues go up while our freedoms go down, and we don't even get an improvement in road safety in the bargain. In countries where cameras and video surveillance of all kinds have been in use much longer than in the United States, there is abundant evidence to support this contention. For example: In Ireland, "Operation Lifesaver" - a program designed around camera enforcement and monitoring � had "no measurable effect on fatalities," according to the June 27 edition of The Irish Times. In Canada, the use of red-light cameras in several cities, including Toronto, Hamilton and Ottowa, resulted in "absolutely no improvement" in safety, according to Transportation Minister Norm Sterling. In England, which has one of the most extensive grids of camera surveillance in the Western world, "More children are dying on Lancashire roads despite claims that speed cameras are making them safer," said the Lancashire Evening Post on June 26. "The number of youngsters killed on the highways has risen by 60 percent in the last year . . . the overall number of accidents involving death or serious injury has also increased by 16 percent." In Washington and along the George Washington Parkway, photo-radar installations have not been up long enough to allow for adequate data collection. However, it is known that where red-light running is a problem, a small increase in the time a yellow light remains yellow before it turns red will markedly reduce dangerous road conditions and thereby obviate the need for cameras entirely. The bottom line, of course, is that police states and their watered-down surveillance society kin are much less safe for ordinary people than the worst intersection or highway in a free society.
Red Light Cameras on back burner in Temecula, CA: |
February 28, 2002- "A program to put cameras at the city's busiest intersections to catch red-light runners remains on the table nearly three years after it was initially proposed while city officials debate the costs and liabilities." .... "Moghadam said that even though installing the cameras will likely result in more citations being handed out to red-light violators, the cameras wouldn't be moneymakers for the city. The companies that install them typically want a substantial percentage of the ticket revenue the cameras generate. Lock heed Martin, for example, wanted 50 percent to 80 percent of the ticket revenue generated by their system. Moghadam also said the impact the red-light cameras have on the actual safety of intersections is still uncertain. "Right now with the information we have, there is no conclusive evidence that these cameras would make intersections safer," said Moghadam, noting that the causes of accidents at intersections are numerous. "As far as reducing the number of people running through red lights, they may." ["Traffic cameras still on back burner", MATHIEU BLACKSTON, North County Times, 2/28/2002]
|Ventura CA eye witness weighs in about accidents.|
March 31, 2002- Ventura CA engineer scoffs at engineering solutions: "Brian Lunetta works as a mechanic next to one of Ventura's busiest intersections. "I've noticed a lot more drivers slamming on their brakes and hitting other cars in front of them since the camera went in here," said Lunetta, a manager at Buena Auto Care at Telephone Road and Victoria Avenue. "If you ask me, I'd much rather see a cop out here doing their job than the cameras." .... "As to the challenge to lengthen yellow-light times, both Turner [Sgt. John Turner, Ventura Police Department] and Mericle [Tom Mericle, Ventura's traffic engineer] said studies show motorists will use the added time to drive through the intersection. "Given the chance, they'll use all the time they can get," Mericle said. ["Ventura will install more cameras", John Scheibe, Ventura County Star, 3/31/2002]
|Sacramento Red Light Camera program suspended pending issue resolution:|
May 2, 2002- "Local authorities said Wednesday they are convinced their red-light cameras are in working order, but it may be months before tickets are sent out again. Citations were halted April 19 when an officer preparing for a court case noticed a discrepancy between the cameras' operating manual and the laws on how violations are calculated. Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. James Lewis said Wednesday it would take about a week to test all 17 cameras in the Sacramento area and prove that it's merely the manual, and not the camera equipment, that's in error. But both the county and the city of Sacramento want to change the way they pay for their red-light camera programs, a process that Lewis said could drag on for up to three months. Tickets won't be issued until that process is complete, he said." .... "Both local authorities and ACS officials said they were frustrated that such a minor glitch could effectively shut down the region's red-light cameras and prompt the district attorney to stop prosecuting cases. "I wish we could have sat down and talked with Jan (Scully) about this before she made the decision," said Maury Hannigan, a former CHP commissioner who is now the head of the ACS public safety solutions division." ["County testing red-light cameras It could take months to resume giving tickets as payment is reviewed, too.", Matthew Barrows, Sacramento Bee, 5/2/2002]
L.A. Cops have a hard time identifying drivers from photos
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