Red Light Cameras
The vote on Canton’s proposed civil code language has been delayed until March 23rd, as I’m sure you know from reading the Repository, or checking up on the issue on The Canton Red Light Cameras Blog.
This is so that the Mayor, William J. Healy II, can try to somehow muddle the issues and come up with some sort of compromise. I’m sorry, but there is no compromise to be had. Red light cameras are a true “black and white issue,” there are no shades of grey. You are either for freedom from surveillance and “gotcha” enforcement of traffic laws, or you are for abusing and terrorizing the citizenry and motoring visitors that drive in your “fair” City.
Finally, I have some words about The Repository’s current coverage of the red light camera issue. Initially, Bob Russ and Charita Goshay came out with opinion pieces that rightly called the city out on its greed. But after they covered the informational meetings and got some good information out there (as well as some quotes from yours truly), their direction on the camera issues changed quite inexplicably.
I can’t say why they reversed their opposition of these systems, but maybe it was a simple case of “management” overriding the employees. I don’t have any sort of inside line to The Repository, or their reporters, and I have considered calling them to ask, but don’t know that I would get a 100% open and honest answer on what would be perceived as “belligerent questioning.”
I am not accusing The Repository of any impropriety, but would like to engage in some wild speculation as to what may have gone on behind the scenes.
1. Redflex sees the veritable poo-storm unleashed by residents’ vehement opposition to red light cameras, and decides ‘we have to do something or we’ll lose this contract.’
2. So they contact The Repository, whose main editorial backed off the hard-line anti-camera sentiments of its opinion writers, and floated the idea “Let’s try these cameras for a year.”
3. Then they receive a prepackaged article full of graphics and explainations of “how the system works” to run on the front page in Sunday, March 8th’s edition. Much like how many news channels will receive pre-packaged news stories from marketers and even the government.
The article “Red or Green” was not posted on the website until Monday though, maybe an “honest oversight” or maybe deliberately held back so that many, many negative comments could not be added before the supposed Council vote on the issue that was to take place Monday night.
In the editorial on TTAC (the truth about cars.com), it was pointed out how Redflex and ACS executives have never received (or never paid) violations from their own sysem, but have violations from each other, and they detailed the story of one Michael Ferraresi, who:
has been through a revolving door with the Australian camera vendor and the Arizona Republic newspaper. After writing stories about the company for the Republic, Redflex hired Ferraresi to be spokesman– often speaking to his former colleagues at the paper about the company. Ferraresi is once again reporting for the Republic, a paper that offers enthusiastic editorial support for the use of speed cameras and red light cameras.
So one of my questions would have been, “Were there any offers from Redflex to a certain reporter who seems to be supporting these fraudulent ticketing systems for such an ‘ambassadorship’ job? Or was The Repository paid or otherwise influence to come out in favor of the cameras?”
I’m not making these accusations seriously, I’m just playing “what if,” but this exercise does raise some very valid points. I don’t know why all three bodies, The Mayor, The City Council, and The Repository might betray the public’s trust by reccommending flawed, dangerous, and illegal systems such as these (uh yeah, finding people guilty without due process and ‘prosecuting’ people with a system of ‘guilt until proven innocent’ directly contravenes the U.S. Constitution, therefor, illegal, no matter what the apologists say). Oh, I’m sorry, yes I can think of one reason for all these people who should be living up to their responsibility of respecting and defending the rights of the citizenry would commit to such a repugnant policy; Money.
Time and time again, these cameras and their support systems have been found to violate the due process rights of the motorists caught by them, have been set with too short of an amber signal, have been caught not having any review by police officers, and increased accidents, etc. The problems seem to be endless. If the Canton City Council won’t send these frauds packing, then the people will stop the cameras through a petition or whatever other means necessary, and they will send those members of City Council that were blind and deaf to the wishes of their constituents, even if it means recalling them (which would be easy to do folowing the passage of any contract with Redflex, even if after re-election).
That’s all for now. More, as it develops, my three loyal readers.
1. 125 McDoublesTM
2. 25 $5 Footlong Subs from SubwayTM
3. One month of FAMILY HEALTHCARE PREMIUMS
5. School supplies for your children
6. School clothes for your children
7. 62.5 gallons of Gasoline (@$2/gal.)
8. One month car insurance
9. 5+ Cases of Beer
10. Life insurance premiums
11. Almost three full months of SARTA tickets
12. Car Maintenance or Repair
13. New Door or Window for your home
14. Donation to your favorite charity
15. Donation to your favored political party or candidate
16. One or two fancy dinners with your wife or girlfriend
17. Replace all the light bulbs in your home with CFL energy saving bulbs
18. New pillows and sheet and comforter set.
19. 288 rolls of toilet paper, over five years’ worth (24 rolls @ $10, 1 roll per week consumption 52 week year)
20. 138 Loaves of bread ($.90 ea. @ the Nickles’ Bakery Thrift Store)
21. 125 dozen eggs (on sale @ $.99/dozen)
22. 41 Gallons of milk (sale $2.99/gal.)
23. 17 months of a generic prescription ($7 various pharmacies or insurance co-pay)
24. 5 months sewer bill @ $25 per month
25. School books for your child
26. Used computer from Craigslist
27. Bicycle for your child
28. 12 movies
29. 2 new video games
30. 30 comic books
31. 80 movie tickets at Movies 10 (the dollar theatre, actually, $1.50 now)
32. 15 first run movie tickets from Tinseltown ($8.25 ea.)
33. 10 custom made T-shirts with your very own original design from BlueCotton.com
34. Large libary fines from forgetful children
37. CDs or MP3s
39. Concert Tickets
40. Sports Event Tickets
41. Hats (everyone loves pretty hats)
42. Car Stereo Head Unit
43. Digital Music and Movie Player (not iPod)
45. Cable TV service and Internet + Premium services for a month
46. Digital Camera
47. Super Fancy Programmable Thermostat
48. 12,500 pennies to throw in wish fountains
49. 5 months membership to the YMCA
50. 50 games of bowling (2.50 per game, excluding shoe rental)
51. A blender, a toaster, and a coffee machine.
52. A new Microwave
53. Lots of socks
54. Lots of underwear
55. A one way plane ticket out of the Canton area (from the Canton-Akron Airport)
56. Round trip Greyhound ticket from Canton to Atlanta, GA (14 day advance purchase)
57. Your electric bill
58. Your natural gas bill
59. 41 euchre tournament entry fees (@ $3 ea.)
60. A fancy watch
61. A new cellphone
62. 4 months cell phone bill
63. Pet Food
64. Veterinarian appointment
65. 125 bags of marshmallows
66. 6 rounds of miniature golf for a family of four (@ $5 each)
67. VOIP telephone service for a year (not unlimited)
68. Windows XP operating system disc
69. Newspaper subscription
71. Gloves hats and scarves for winter
73. Belts or suspenders (whichever way you roll)
74. Batteries for your remote control(s), for life
75. 297 Forever Stamps (at $.42 ea. that’s almost two and a half years if you mail out 10 letters/bills per month!)
76. A Nintendo DS
77. A used PSP
79. New Toilet
80. New faucet for kitchen or bath
81. Massaging shower head
82. A framed print of art for your wall
83. A printer
87. 5,250 business cards (vistaprint 250 free business cards with $5.95 shipping x 21 orders)
89. 6 pet bunnies
90. A TV capture card for turning your home computer into a DVR
91. A whole classroom of students their own individual calculators
92. 125 shares of CItiBank stock
93. An hour long massage
94. 1,250 copies
95. 10 flashlights
96. 5 smoke alarms
97. 5 Dairy Queen Ice cream cakes….mmmmmmmmm
98. A paintball gun
99. An airsoft pistol
100. A bunch of Lego
102. A set of used tires.
103. Numerous stopwatches
104. A small claims court lawsuit
105. 250 DVD+/-Rs (1,175 GB of storage!)
106. A 1TB internal or external Hard Drive
107. 25 2 GB SD cards
108. A ceiling fan
109. Space heater for the garage
110. Vacuum cleaner or Shop Vac
111. Alarm Clock
112. Folding Table and Chairs
114. Board Games
115. Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and Sympathy Cards for the year
116. 3000 Cheques
117. 9 Doctor Visit Co-pay
118. Wireless Keyboard and Mouse
119. New curtains for your home
120. Rat poison
121. A lawn mower
124. 12 haircuts
125. Lottery tickets
126. Anything else YOU want! Instead of being forced to pay a fine that is illegally generated, and if you want to contest it you must go to court and in that court you are guilty until proven innocent. Hell, even with proof you ARE innocent you are still found guilty in Chillicothe, Ohio!
(Special thanks to Steve McKinney, he’s the one who found that link to the Chillicothe tragic miscarriage of justice, and thanks to Mom for helping me finish out the list when I got stuck and ran out of ideas)
Redflex Red Light and Speed Enforcement Cameras have supposedly NEVER caught their own executives speeding or running red lights.
Yet ACS equipment has fined Redflex Executives, and Redflex Equipment has fined ACS Executives.
I find it very curious that this is the case. Both companies are in the Red Light and Speed Enforcement Camera business, and business is BOOMING.
The executives cited in the above editorial avoided paying their tickets by ignoring legal summonses and refusing to pay them. Granted, in the one case, the violation occurred BEFORE the executive in question was employed by Redflex.
But on the Media side of things, I have to call foul. When you hire someone to preach to his buddies at a newspaper about the virtues of red light cameras, and that publication comes out in support of red light cameras, I find it difficult to believe that they should be allowed to run any story in their “newspaper” without a huge disclaimer detailing their exact relationships with the issues and stories in question.
This is a gigantic miscarriage of the public trust. It smacks of bribery and back-door collusion. No one, with ANY brain, approves of Red Light Camera and Speed Camera Enforcement; not when educated on the FACTS about the issues at hand. Personal privacy issues, illegal surveillance, bribery, perjury, falsification of documents, quotas, criminal FCC code violations, and lies, lies, and more lies.
Tainted study results, invalidated studies and conclusions, these are not charges to be bandied about lightly, and they are ALL TRUE! As Spider Jerusalem said: “Lies are news, and The Truth is obsolete!”
Next we have Redflex conveniently “forgetting” to file their contractually mandated equipment maintenance and calibration reports:
The City didn’t care, until they got embarrassed when The Rocky Mountain News requested those reports.
Redflex also falsifies certification documents for equipment located in Louisiana. Small problem, the notary was making up certification documents in Arizona at the time. Never touched or even viewed the equipment, let alone properly tested it:
I’m sorry, I should really just leave them alone. Redflex continuously and callously violates the law, creates hazardous situations, contributes to increased accident rates, falsifies documents and data, and manipulates studies so badly that they’re declared invalid in their entirety. I’d say this company is doing fine destroying itself without my help. But it’s taking hundreds of millions of dollars from innocent people each year, and that is despicable beyond words. They need to refund every ticket ever issued and fold the company, and work in public servitude for the rest of their unnatural lives for atonement of their sins.
Redflex Red Light and Speed Cameras Strobe Lights are blinding drivers (temporarily, especially at night) and even potentially causing Veterans to have flashbacks (pardon the pun):
Drivers coming the opposite direction as the “violators” have been blinded by the super-bright flash, and apparently the flashes can go off in quick succession, mimicking the muzzle-flash of weapons.
There are also a lot of problems with the positioning of these systems, as Redflex has been caught placing speed camera vans in dark areas such as underpasses, and many other horribly unsafe locations where they are very surprising and extremely dangerous to motorists.
They also tried to park and issue tickets on top of a concrete wall, just above the freeway! See:
Redflex is constantly endangering the safety of motorists in our intersections, on our nation’s highways and byways, everywhere they are allowed to operate their poisonous to freedom and privacy, accident increasing systems. This must end before it begins in Canton, Ohio!
Anyway, I’m trying to push out as many of these blogs as possible before the March 9th vote on approving the civil violation code for the City of Canton.
That cover to the left is how this pamphlet of lies begins, and we’ll be dissecting it.
Now for the benefit of all drivers, Canton natives, taxpayers, and visitors, I will shed some light on the problems with these systems, point by point, as outlined in this pamphlet. With plenty of references to links of actual occurrences of these problems, lest you think I’m making it all up.
I had to rush to get these posts up, and some links and proof will have to be added at a later date, because I wanted to get this out there before the vote and before the hubbub died down, especially if the Red Light and Speeding Camera issue is reversed and defeated in the City of Canton, Ohio.
I was really spoiling for a fight. I stole the ballot initiative language from The Cincinnati Campaign (relax, I was gonna ask permission). I had already talked to the Stark County Board of Elections about petition signatures and how many would be needed (10% of voters that voted in the last gubernatorial election, which was 2006). I was almost set to ruin a vile and despicable company’s day by outlawing traffic enforcement in Canton, Ohio, then City Council had to go and research the issue (instead of blindly chugging the Redflex Kool-Aid), and found out what we’ve known all along.
Safety is the first casualty in the crosshairs of these camera systems. Next is your civil liberty, and finally, your hard earned money. But without further ado, let’s get THE TRUTH started…
Section 1: Who
I don’t believe these statistics. You have 16,000 accidents each year, working out to more than 40 accidents a day in the City of Canton. Pad those figures much? You know, all those accidents that are just fender benders, or are on private property and not public roads, are those numbers being involved?
Then out of that 16,000 you have less than 10% injury rate, and with ONLY 7 fatalities, a 0.0004375% fatality rate. That should make Canton one of the safest cities in the nation!
Plus, the way the figures are stated, apparently every single accident is attributed to running red lights and speeding in school zones.
I’d say that installing camera systems that cause increases in the number of accidents would divert police forces to deal with traffic accidents from other, more important duties such as arresting drug dealers and patrolling high crime areas, but that’s just me, I must be stupid to think that way.
Wow, so y’know, they cost a lot. But that’s okay, because we’ll make all the drivers we catch or wrongfully accuse pay big fines so that we can send half of your taxpayer money (since you got caught) that isn’t spent on taxes, that money now has to be spent on the violation you were issued. Yeah, it’s going out of state, and out of country, to Redflex. Did you know that many of the contracts have TICKET QUOTAS!!! The City pays a penalty for every month they don’t exceed “X” number of violations.
Sure, they will game the light timings and shorten them so that they catch as many “violations” as they can trick people into committing, and while plenty of “out-of-towners” will be getting tickets, so will MANY city residents.
And there you have it, the last sentence is the most telling. The money will be used to prop up city operations, will not be earmarked for ANY safety programs, or be funneled ENTIRELY to the police department (which could be arguably be justified for “safety”), but will shore up an increasingly shaky city budget. That is, until revenues decrease, then we’ll add more cameras! Or reduce yellow light timing even further to create more violations! This is the most damning evidence so far. These systems are completely about the money, nothing else.
(Oh, and I hope they won’t pull an “Ohio Lottery” and promise to give the city police all the funds from the red light cameras, but yank an equal amount of dollars away from them out of the police budget from the general fund)
We must keep on.
Y’know, the camera company doesn’t issue violations, except when they do. They have been caught a bunch of times Proof here.
Sometimes no one. Sure, we’ll claim that “police officers” will be reviewing the violations, and approving each ticket we (Redflex) sends out, but we’ve been caught issuing tickets with no review before (proven by court testimony and other evidence in Arizona, California, Ohio, and Canada), what makes you think we won’t get away with doing so here in Canton as well?
Well, at times it won’t be the vehicle owner. It will be a completely different make, model, and year vehicle from the one you own. The license plates won’t even be a match yours, though they may be similar. There is next to no due diligence done on photos to make certain they have the proper license plate number and model of vehicle before the violations are sent out.
Also you should check out The Official Canton Red Light Camera and Speed Camera Blog
The writing is probably better, and he attacks the issue much more thoroughly and scientifically than I do.
on to part two
Sooo, no matter how many red lights I run, and no matter how fast I go in a school zone, as long as I pay the fine, there are no other penalties?
Awesome! I think the unrestricted speed in my ’94 Taurus Wagon is 134mph. Let’s see if I can hit that in a school zone in Canton and get a Redflex ticket for it.
Hey, as long as nobody creams a school-kid, there’s no problem with any speed they’re doing, as long as they can pay. Now that’s safety!
Next, we have this:
So, you have to “rat” on whomever was driving your car, signing a sworn statement pointing the finger at some other party.
Or you are automatically guilty of the violation. Wow, guilty until proven innocent, a prosecutor’s wet dream.
Never mind the fact that you can blame your violations on your minor child or relative and tell them to refuse to pay. As far as I know, they can’t collect any such civil judgments against a minor, so go nuts, people
Precautions are for sissies. Precautions don’t feel good, they might get in the way of our pleasure of collecting on our fabricated tickets. Especially the ones like the guy that got a ticket for over 130mph in a truck that had a top speed of 99mph NEW!
Yes they claim they will have Canton Police Department officers reviewing the tickets, but they’ve been caught NUMEROUS times violating this promise in various states and even Canada. Issuing all sorts of tickets with no review what-so-ever. Chillicothe was one of the locations ( according to quarterwave).
This first point is one I can’t really take an issue with. According to their claims (uh, how far can they be trusted anyway) the system doesn’t trigger unless you cross the line after the light turns red.
But I will take huge issue with their assertion that “we don’t ticket on legal right on red turns.” There are a huge number of cases where this was found to be false.
The short answer is: “Yes, you will always receive a ticket, no matter how legal your actions were. Enjoy forking your money over and don’t even try to think about fighting it.”
Let’s continue, shall we?
Yes!!! Because it should always be up to me to prove my innocence. Guilty until proven innocent, has a nice authoritative ring to to, doesn’t it? Silly WedFwex, the Constitution is fowr viowating!
Anywhere we want! Fixed or mobile! Busy intersections, CHA-CHING!
I think state guidelines specify that yellow light timings are required to be 1 full second above the normal “recommended minimum” timing on all lights with traffic enforcement cameras. Good luck enforcing that regulation against these lying thieves.
Well, at least they’re letting everyone know where to target protests! Picket signs block cameras really well don’t they? One would think.
Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, MONEY! That’s why!
The research you “conducted” wasn’t very thorough. I’d say it went so far as listening to the sales pitch of Mr. Rosenberg from Redflex, and completely ignored all the real safety concerns with these systems. Then you got hundreds of calls from angry constituents in your Wards, and did some actual research and reading on the subject and found out, hey, these things are bad, and the company that sells them is full of really bad people!
Every day, those hundreds of motorists run those red lights and speed, and for the most part, no one gets hurt! Shock! Horror! Nooooooooo…
If everybody else had a lobotomy, would you get one too? The only thing these traffic cameras “work” at is stealing money from motorist and putting them in increased danger of getting rear-ended.
We don’t have $1.6 million to purchase 20 cameras (they cost $80,000 each, or up to $120,000 per camera for the advanced ones), nor do we have the funds to operate the system. Plus they are of dubious legality, and we can’t afford the lawsuits. So we’ve hired these thugs to do it for us! See, everyone benefits, except those pesky motorists.
Small portion? Up to half of a $125-150 fine is not a small portion of anything, it’s unmitigated GREED.
Expensive system, more fines, bigger system or adjusted light times to cause more violations if revenues decrease. $20 million projected earnings depending on the city in the first year, yeah, it’s about safety and just recouping costs of operating and maintaining these cameras.
Onward we go, keep up, we’re almost there!
Sure, they claim the signs will be posted, but according to our friend Quarterwave in Chillicothe, “They also have refused to erect the proper signage.” Yeah, I think there should be a little bit of skepticism by now.
Here is a Haiku:
No signage present.
Redflex makes many more crash
People sad and hurt.
Anyone who wants to get out of a fine, legitimate violation or no, has two options.
Reassigning Violations to minor children with driver’s licenses, and telling them not to pay it, or just not paying anything to the company and City of Canton. They can’t DO anything to you except make one black mark on your credit report, or eventually try to come after you to garnish your wages.
Administrative Hearing in our Kangaroo Court. You can protest all you want, but you are guilty until proven innocent with these photos being supposed proof that you definitely were behind the wheel of your car. I’ve read (I’ll track down a link eventually) that a certain jurisdiction was allowed to tack on an extra $65-75 on top of the fine just for the hassle of actually having to try you in court! I think I read somewhere else (I’ll track it down if I’m able) that in one court, you had to PAY the violation BEFORE you were allowed to fight/contest it! Talk about a racket!!!
Anyway, when a petition is successful to get the issue on the ballot to kick the photo enforcement villains out of town, the people who refused to pay the civil fines generally are not responsible for them anymore, but the people who knuckled under to these thugs don’t get their moneys back. How fair is that?
Actually, all they have on their website is the same information in this pamphlet and the same questions. The most telling part of this is the legalese at the bottom. But if it were honest it should read “This brochure was created FOR the City of Canton with lies and manipulated statistics from Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.
And I think that a public brochure can be reproduced for informative purposes. They were handing these out free at the meetings, so hopefully there should be no issue with my reposting the content here. Proper attribution was given, and really, I could claim that I’ve used the content for parody purposes, so the copyright can’t really be enforced against me.
Now don’t you feel safer already?