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Illinois: Chicago Red Light Camera Spotlight Expands - Protests and investigations continue over irregularities in the Chicago, Illinois red light camera program.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light CamerasThe world's largest municipal red light camera, beset by a $2 million bribery scandal, is facing renewed scrutiny from the public and
investigators. On Friday, the inspector general for the city of Chicago, Illinois announced a formal inquiry into the photo ticketing program in the wake of blockbuster reporting
from the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
Another California Jury Indicts Red Light Cameras - Grand Jury finds accidents increased in Marysville, California where red light cameras were used. The Yuba County,
California grand jury on Tuesday issued a report blasting the red light camera program in Marysville. The citizens chosen to investigate the program analyzed every claim made by
city officials, taking nothing for granted. The report documents a number of ways in which the city and its vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, have been stretching the truth.
Ousted Red-Light Camera Vendor Rakes In Windfall In Chicago, Illinois - Redflex leaves Chicago, Illinois under a cloud of scandal and with pockets full of
cash. Even as Redflex Traffic Systems' scandal-plagued eleven-year tenure operating the nation's largest red-light camera system was ending, it was a particularly lucrative year
for the company. The last Redflex cameras (at the intersection of Grand, Kostner and North) were turned off in February, but in the year before that, the company raked in $24
million, city records show, making this the second most profitable year in the company's Chicago history. The money did not stop flowing after the February 2013 date on which the
company was banned from bidding on new work with the city. Xerox State and Local Solutions now runs the city's red-light camera system.
Slow down! A ticket hikes up your insurance - If you get a ticket for even the most minor driving violation, you'll not only have to pay a fine but are also
likely to see a significantly higher insurance rate. Driving without buckling up results in a 5% increase, but that's the smallest hike according to a report from
insuranceQuotes.com, a website that allows consumers to compare quotes. Those caught not signaling a turn or failing to yield for a pedestrian pay 19% more on average for
insurance as a result. Speeding, up to 15 miles per hour over the limit, can result in a 21% hike, according to the study.
AAA calls on counties to audit speed camera programs - Baltimore councilman calls for hearing on secret audit that detailed high error rates. Driver advocacy
group AAA Mid-Atlantic and some lawmakers urged local governments to conduct audits of their speed camera programs Thursday after learning that a secret audit last year of
Baltimore's program documented far higher error rates than previously disclosed.
Texas man fights citation after warning drivers of nearby speed trap - A North Texas man is trying to clear his name after he was arrested and cited for
allegedly violating a city ordinance for holding a homemade sign warning drivers about speed traps. Ron Martin, 33, was arrested last October after an officer saw him standing in
the median on the Eldorado Parkway in Frisco holding a sign that read "Police ahead," letting drivers know an officer was waiting at the opposite side of a nearby
Texas: Red Light Camera Company Fights Photo Ticket Referendum - American Traffic Solutions sues Cleveland, Texas to block vote on red light cameras. A red
light camera firm is once again suing to block residents from having a say in the use of automated ticketing machines in their community. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) filed
suit last month asking a Liberty County, Texas district court judge to issue a restraining order that would keep residents from voting May 10 on red light camera use.
Confessions of a traffic cop - We hear from a retired traffic cop who shares some of his tales from the road, as well as offers tips for avoid speeding
Ohio Supreme Court Takes Up Photo Enforcement Again - Ohio's Supreme Court may once again take up the legality of red light camera and speed camera programs.
The cities of Toledo, Columbus and Dayton have joined Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia in petitioning the justices to overturn a Court of Appeals decision from June that found
Toledo's administrative review process unconstitutional.
Virginia: City Hides Data Showing Increased Red Light Camera Injuries - More people ended up in the hospital after Virginia Beach, Virginia installed red light
cameras. After holding out for more than three years, officials in Virginia Beach, Virginia finally released accident data that raise serious questions about whether the use of
red light cameras has improved traffic safety in the city. Comparing three years before and three years after camera installation, the number of injury accidents went down 12
percent throughout the city. At the twelve intersections where red light camera tickets are issued, however, injury accidents went up 5 percent over the same period.
The Most Egregious States for Speeding Tickets in the US - I've lived in Massachusetts for most of my life. I racked up a handful of minor traffic violations
here over the last 25 years, but when I moved to Vermont, I seemed to be getting popped for violations once every couple of months. It was a combination of driving more during odd
hours, and a lot of cops with nothing better to do. Those factors influence what state you're likely to get a ticket in, too, and how expensive it's likely to be.
Louisiana: Cops Used Red Light Cameras For Personal Profit - Cops in New Orleans, Louisiana set up a company to earn extra personal cash from red light camera
tickets. Police officers in New Orleans, Louisiana filled their own pockets with red light camera cash by setting up a private company to "review" photo citations off
the official clock. The city's inspector general, E. R. Quatrevaux, on Friday released a report documenting how Edwin Hosli, the New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) 8th
District commander, formed his own limited liability company called Anytime Solutions to take advantage of the lucrative business opportunity.
Speed Cameras Tear Apart Ohio Town - Elmwood Place, Ohio council resigns in advance of a court contempt hearing over the use of speed cameras. The village of
Elmwood Place, Ohio can no longer perform all the functions of local government, thanks to speed cameras. Four of the village's six councilmen have resigned over the way automated
ticketing machines are used, and without a quorum village can no longer take any actions it faces a court contempt hearing on Tuesday. The controversy began in September 2012 when
the village allowed Optotraffic to begin issuing $105 tickets using a portable speed camera with a 40 percent cut of the revenue going to the private company. Tickets were being
issued at a rate that would have generated $2 million per year, or over $1000 per resident.
California: City Obsessed With Red Light Camera Ticket Numbers - Emails reveal Menlo Park, California remains obsessed with red light camera ticket numbers.
California is the largest market for red light cameras in the country thanks to the fines set by the state running nearly $500 each. Municipalities that adopt the technology are
quick to deny any possibility that financial considerations have anything to do with their decisions to monitor local intersections. Internal discussions between the city of Menlo
Park and camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems suggest otherwise.
Florida Quietly Shortened Yellow Light Standards & Lengths, Resulting in More Red Light Camera Tickets for You - A subtle, but significant tweak to
Florida's rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera
"The Man" vs. Machine - Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket thanks to a pesky radar? Some one million people receive speeding tickets every day;
the cost of the average speeding ticket comes out to $150. A full 16 percent of drivers will get a speeding ticket this year and 95 percent of these drivers won't contest their
tickets. So, how exactly does a radar work? It uses waves to detect distance and speed of objects based on the doppler effect. A transmitter oscillates an electrical current
through an antenna to an amplifier by using a radio wave.
Louisiana: Red Light Camera Tickets Can Increase Insurance Rates - Louisiana Department of Insurance confirms red light cameras can increase premiums for
drivers in the state. Louisiana Insurance CommissionerIn states like Arizona and California where photo enforcement tickets carry license points, insurance rates rise when a red
light camera or speed camera ticket is sent to a vehicle owner. It is less well known that the same can be true in states where points are not assessed on photo tickets. On
Monday, the office of the Louisiana Department of Insurance clarified that nothing prevents insurers from raising rates on vehicle owners who receive a photo ticket in the
Red light cameras: Bill would require car owners to 'snitch' - Getting a red light camera ticket can cost you dearly -- up to $500. That's if Bakersfield
police can pinpoint you as the driver in the picture. If they can't, they send you a notice asking you to snitch on the person behind the wheel.
California: Audit Finds Split-Second Yellow At Red Light Camera Intersection - Audit finds a malfunctioning Sacramento, California red light camera
intersection had a 0.05 second yellow time. Red light camera opponents often charge municipalities exploit intersections that have dangerously short yellow times for the purpose
of issuing tickets. An outside audit of the Sacramento, California red light camera program confirmed that tickets were issued at an intersection where the yellow warning period
on occasion flashed by faster than the eye could see.
Speeding Tickets: 65 issued per minute and other fun facts - It's every driver's nightmare: flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror. Speeding
tickets can strike a blow to anyone's day. While you pull away from the officer with your ticket in hand, you wonder, "Is going 10 or 15 miles per hour over the speed limit
that big a deal?" or "How is much is my insurance going to go up now?"
Maryland Gives Up On Traffic Camera Reform - Nearly $100,000 in direct contributions to Maryland lawmakers from speed camera companies pays off with state
dropping reform bill. Maryland's General Assembly adjourned for the year on Monday with balloons and confetti showering delegates. Governor Martin O'Malley (D) made the rounds,
congratulating lawmakers on for a job he considered well done. Photo enforcement firms also ended the day with a celebration after their investment paid off with the defeat of all
legislation that might have imposed limits or quality checks on their ticketing operations.
Rhode Island: Accidents Increase With Red Light Cameras - City data show accidents continue to rise at red light camera intersections in Providence, Rhode
Island. After a decade of toying with the use of red light cameras, Providence, Rhode Island has seen a continued spike in the number of accidents at photo enforced intersections.
Between 2006 and 2012, the program generated $6,160,975 in revenue, but accidents have skyrocketed over the last three years.
Judge: Village's traffic cameras 'high-tech game of 3-card Monte' - ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio - A judge ruled in favor of drivers ticketed after Elmwood Place
installed traffic cameras to target speeders. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled Thursday that the ordinance failed to provide due process guarantees to
anyone receiving a notice of liability from the village.
Florida City Caught Issuing 1645 Camera Tickets On Shortened Yellow - St. Petersburg, Florida issues $259,910 worth of red light camera tickets at
intersections where yellow was up to 1 second too short. A tenth of a second can make a big difference. In St. Petersburg, Florida, the yellow time at intersections was shortened
by fractions of a second for thousands of drivers, enabling the red light camera program to generate an extra $259,910 in revenue in 13 months. To the unaided eye, the difference
between a 4.3 second yellow and a 4.2 second yellow is too brief to be perceived, but it was enough to boost the number of citations issued by five percent.
Speed-camera take: $1.5 million - Elmwood Place, Ohio - Alleged speeders have paid more than $1.5 million in fees for tickets that the village's unmanned
speed-camera system issued, and the village has reaped about $700,000 of that, says Mike Allen, a lawyer who is asking a Hamilton County judge to shut down the system. Allen
argues the speed-camera operation is unconstitutional and "nothing more than a money grab."
Confessions of a Traffic Cop - hirty-five years ago, middle school-age Mike Brucks realized he wanted to be a police officer. After graduating from high school
he joined the army and became a military traffic cop on the million-acre Fort Bliss in western Texas and New Mexico. "It was a small-scale community, with slow speeds, and we
would investigate accidents on- and off-post, in Colorado, New Mexico, and as far as Corpus Christi, anywhere a serviceman was injured or killed," Brucks says. After six
years in the Army he joined the El Paso Police Department as a traffic cop. He retired last May after 22 years and almost 40,000 tickets, by his estimation, most of which he
issued while riding Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson big-motor touring bikes. Here are some of his stories from the road and tips for motorists looking to avoid a ticket.
Maryland: Speed Camera Company Admits 5.2 Percent Error Rates - Xerox admits several of its cameras in Baltimore, Maryland issued tickets to innocent motorists
5.2 percent of the time. Over the past two decades, advocates have argued the main advantage of a speed camera is that the machines never lies. Most states codify this belief with
a legal presumption that the automated citation is accurate and it is up to the defendant to prove otherwise. In Baltimore, Maryland last week a leading speed camera vendor made
the unprecedented admission that the technology frequently lies, but obvious examples of false readings slipped through the process due to "human error."
Drivers irate over Elmwood Place speed cameras - Speeding tickets generated by unmanned cameras in this small village just north of Cincinnati resulted in an
angry crowd at the Village Council meeting Tuesday, where elected officials tried to calm concerns about the new practice. I's caused quite a stir, as 6,600 notices costing $105
each were issued through the mail beginning Sept. 15, according to numbers provided by Elmwood Police Chief William Peskin.
Maryland Governor Pushes Photo Ticketing Agenda - Maryland governor pushes agenda of speed camera and toll road enforcement firms. While New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie (R) dropped his endorsement of photo enforcement last week, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) took to the airwaves Tuesday to defend it. In an interview on WTOP
Radio's "Ask the Governor" show, O'Malley sung the praises of a program run by a corporations that provided thousands in donations to his campaign.
Florida: Review Shows Increased Red Light Cameras Accidents - Analysis suggests Hallandale Beach, Florida red light cameras have failed to reduce accidents. A
review of the accident history at red light camera intersections in Hallandale Beach, Florida suggests automated ticketing machines have failed to yield an overall safety benefit
since Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions (ATS) began paying for the right to issue tickets and collect fines at a pair of intersections more than two years ago.
California: Marysville Police Chief Says Red Light Fines Too Expensive - If you get caught going through a red light in the city of Marysville, you'll face a
$478 fine. But, the police chief says that fine is not only unfair to drivers, but to the city as well. "I've gotten one, yeah, and my final fine was almost $600. It's
nuts," said one resident.
Florida Appeals Court Sides with Red Light Cameras - Second highest court in Florida splits again on the question of red light camera legality. The Florida
Court of Appeals has split on the photo enforcement question. Earlier this month, the Fifth District ruled implementation of red light cameras prior to the 2010 legislative
approval was illegal (view opinion). In late November, the Third District upheld the use of automated ticketing machines (view ruling). The Fourth District weighed in on
Wednesday, siding with the private, for-profit firms that issue tickets on behalf of municipalities.
New Jersey Rubber Stamps Red Light Camera Timing - Governor of New Jersey offers strong endorsement for red light cameras as he restarts photo ticketing
program. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) yesterday gave the go-ahead to cities and private vendors to reactivate their red light camera programs. The devices
were shut down a month ago after twenty-one cities caught ignoring a provision of state law requiring the yellow signal timing at camera intersections to be certified based on a
statutory formula. Governor Chris Christie (R) announced the ticketing program's restart on New Jersey 101.5 radio's "Ask the Governor" show on Tuesday after receiving a
text message on air from NJDOT Commissioner James S. Simpson.
Florida: Early Red Light Camera Program Failed to Reduce Accidents - Analysis of one of the first Florida red light camera programs shows it failed to reduce
accidents. One of the first Florida towns to rush into the use of red light cameras has seen an increase, not a decrease, in the number of accidents since the devices were
installed. According to an analysis released Monday by a retired Florida Highway Patrol lieutenant, Gulf Breeze had no particular problem with collisions at its intersections when
it decided to ignore a ruling by the attorney general and install automated ticketing machines in March 2006.
Poll: Catching Criminals is Fine, But Don't Use Drones for Speeding Tickets, Americans Say - Go ahead and use drones to track down criminals, to combat
illegal immigration or for search-and-rescue missions. But to issue traffic citations? No way, say Americans.
Americans Oppose Using Drones to Catch Speeders, Poll Finds - Americans support using unmanned aircraft for patrolling borders and tracking down criminals,
but not handing out speeding tickets, a poll out Tuesday finds.
Chicago, Illinois the 6th Most Ticketed US City - Addition of speed cameras to the streets of Chicago, Illinois likely to increase its speed trap rating.
The Second City is actually the sixth city -- at least when it comes to speeding and traffic tickets, according to the National Motorists Association (NMA), a motorists rights
What That Speeding Ticket May Really Cost You - How will that speeding ticket you just received affect your insurance premium? Insurance.com has calculated
average increases for 14 different driving violations, and devised a new "Uh-Oh!" calculator to give you a more customized estimate. Not surprisingly, reckless
driving is the costliest violation, with an average rate increase of 22 percent. By comparison, a seat-belt infraction results in a 3 percent increase.
State Reports Show Speeding Not a Significant Cause of Accidents - Analysis of data from twenty-five states confirms exceeding the speed limit is not a
significant cause of accidents. Out of 2.7 million traffic accidents recorded in twenty-five states over the course of a year, only 1.6 percent were caused by drivers who
exceeded the posted speed limit. The figures come from an analysis by TheNewspaper of annual reports typically compiled by each state for use in applying for grant money from
the National Highway Transportation Agency (NHTSA).
Texas Judge Strikes Down Red Light Camera Referendum - Judge prohibits public vote on Port Lavaca, Texas red light cameras because the program raises money.
A Calhoun County, Texas judge on Monday ruled that voters were prohibited from having a say in whether a foreign company can issue red light camera tickets in the city of Port
Lavaca because the photo enforcement program's primary purpose is revenue generation.
Red Light Cameras Ticketing Drivers Who Stop at Lights - Cities increasingly using red light cameras to ticket drivers who come to a full stop. Cities around
the country have begun dropping the use of red light cameras,which were once touted as the best way to stop drivers from "blowing through" red lights. Disappointed
municipal officials invariably point to the systems' failure to generate the promised amount of revenue as the reason for the change. To keep from losing more clients, the red
light camera industry's latest move has been to ticket drivers who stop at red lights to boost the number of potential violations.
Florida Appeals Court Sides with Red Light Cameras - Divided three-judge appellate panel in Florida upholds the unauthorized use of red light cameras. The
Florida legislature's authorization of red light cameras last year was superfluous, a divided state Court of Appeals panel ruled yesterday. The majority sided with the city of
Aventura in overturning a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court decision from last year that found Aventura had jumped the gun by giving American Traffic Solutions (ATS) a green light
to mail out automated tickets without waiting for the state's permission.
BREAKING: State House Passes Speed Camera Law - Look out Chicago! Springfield is sending speed cameras your way. Late Wednesday afternoon, after some heated
debate and some minor tweaking to SB965, the bill passed out of the Illinois House by a vote of 64-50. The state Senate burned rubber passing the bill earlier in the fall veto
session, so the bill heads back to the Senate for most likely quick passage to the House amendments, and then to Gov. Quinn's desk for his signature.
Is Your Community Profiting by Installing Traffic Cams to Monitor You? - You see a flash behind you as you coast through a red - sometimes you get the flash
even if you run through oddly enough - and you hang your head. You're not alone, one out of every five Americans lives in a community that pays a for-profit company to install and
operate cameras that record traffic violations. And while most of us have at one time speculated police departments have ticket quotas to meet, did you know that some of these
contracts require cities to share revenue of tickets with the camera vendor?
Speed Cameras Could Blanket Nearly Half of Chicago - Nearly half the city would fall into so-called safety zones where speed cameras sought by Mayor Rahm
Emanuel could flag fast drivers for $100 tickets, according to a Tribune analysis of camera legislation in Springfield.
Prince George's County Expands Controversial Speed Camera Program - The grace period for Prince George's County's new speed camera program has ended, as county
police prepare to add more than a dozen of the controversial devices by week's end. More than 2,000 motorists were caught speeding on Allentown Road by cameras positioned near
Isaac Gourdine Middle School and Tayac Elementary School over the last 30 days, according to Maj. Robert Liberati, head of the county police department's forensic services
Baltimore Countty Shifts Speed Cameras, Adds Another - Three cameras to move to new school zones. Motorists who speed through Baltimore County will soon find
different school zones monitored by speed cameras. This fall, Police Chief Jim Johnson will shift the locations of three of the county's 15 speed cameras, spokeswoman Elise
Armacost said Wednesday. And early next year, the county will add a new camera at Perry Hall High School.
Washington: Appeals Court Blocks Binding Vote on Photo Ticketing - The Washington Court of Appeals sided with a traffic camera vendor in blocking a binding
vote on red light and speed cameras. The Washington Court of Appeals yesterday delivered a big win to American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the photo enforcement firm that has fought
hard to prevent the public from voting on red light cameras and speed cameras. A three-judge panel overturned last month's decision by Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Ira
Uhrig that had found the ATS suit was specifically crafted to block public access to the ballot.
Dayton, OH - New Speed Cameras Nabbing Thousands - Four cameras catching more than 200 speeders per day. More than 3,500 speeding citations were issued in the
first 17 days that Dayton's expanded traffic camera system was activated - more than 200 per day - and that was with only four of the 10 cameras in place. Dayton police call it
evidence of a rampant speeding problem, but if citations continue on this pace, it could also create millions of dollars in revenue for a city facing a $15-million-per-year budget
hole by 2013.
Houston, Texas Mayor Defies Voters, Restarts Red Light Cameras - Red light cameras to return to Houston, Texas over the objection of voters who rejected
cameras in November. The mayor of Houston, Texas announced yesterday that red light cameras would be reactivated even though a majority of voters in November approved a ballot
measure in November forbidding their use. The vote was overturned after a largely off-the-record between a federal judge, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and city
attorneys on the day after Thanksgiving. Mayor Anise Parker wanted the cameras back on for revenue reasons and US District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes granted her wish last month
by citing a technicality to cancel the election result.
Federal Judge Overturns Public Vote in Houston, Texas - Traffic camera company finds friendly federal judge to overturn results of anti-camera referendum in
Houston, Texas. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) on Friday advanced toward its goal of reactivating the red light cameras to Houston, Texas. A majority of voters demanded in a
November ballot vote that the cameras be taken down, but US District Court for the Southern District of Texas Judge Lynn N. Hughes believes the people had no right to vote.
Speeding Tickets Can Raise Insurance Costs 53% - Consumers may know that their bad driving record will raise their car insurance, but just how much will a
single moving violation cost them? Plenty, according to a new analysis from Insurance.com. The website looked at 32,000 of its auto insurance policies sold in 2010 and found that
those with zero moving violations on their driving record can expect to pay, on average, $1,119 a year in premiums. However, as soon as a consumer had a moving violation on
record, the quotes skyrocketed. Their analysis found that: One violation led to an average annual premium cost of $1,318, an 18% increase; Two violations lead to average annual
premium cost of $1,497, a 34% increase; Three violations lead to an average annual premium cost of $1,713, a 53% increase.
Balancing Budgets on Drivers' Backs - Cities and states across the country are broke. But instead of raising taxes, lawmakers are raising traffic fines.
"This business of using fines and traffic fees as revenue sources is just flat wrong," said Lew Uhler with the National Tax Limitation Committee. "This is simply a
tax by another name."
Kansas Legislature Approves 75 MPH Speed Limit - Kansas to raise rural interstate speed limits to 75 MPH. The top legal speed in the state of Kansas is one
signature away from becoming 75 MPH. State legislators on Friday gave final approval to a bill raising the limit from 70 to 75 MPH. If approved by Governor Sam Brownback (R),
Kansas would join a dozen other states that have already made the move. Only Texas and Utah have a higher, 80 MPH limit.
I-95 Cameras Snap Speeders, Spark Controversy - As Interstate 95 sweeps past this small town along South Carolina's coastal plain, motorists encounter cameras
that catch speeding cars, the only such devices on the open interstate for almost 2,000 miles from Canada to Miami. The cameras have nabbed thousands of motorists, won accolades
from highway safety advocates, attracted heated opposition from state lawmakers and sparked a federal court challenge.
Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Use of Laser Jammers - Court of Appeals in Massachusetts rejects ability of police to stop drivers with license plate
frames, laser jammers. Police in Massachusetts may no longer stop a car merely because a laser jammer or aftermarket backup camera partially obscures the motto on a license plate.
A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals decided on March 2 that the state police had no business pulling over Patrick H. Miller simply because the phrase "Spirit of
America" at the bottom of his plate was partially covered as he drove on Route 93 South in Stoneham on April 30, 2009.
South Carolina Considers Alternate Penalties for Drivers Caught Going Slightly Above Speed Limit - South Carolina is considering a bill that would allow police
to slap $150 tickets on motorists caught driving less than 10 mph over the limit -- 10 times the current minimum -- but let them skip reporting the tickets to shield low-speed
offenders from higher insurance premiums.
America's Worst Speed Traps - If you've ever been pulled over for speeding, you know it feels like you're a gazelle that just got taken down by a lion. And,
while this recession, and the gaping budget holes that resulted, have turned most cities into a jungle for motorists, there are some cities that have far more speed traps than others.
And automated traffic cams have only egged them on. Now, they can snag just as many motorists for speeding, if not more, with less manpower.
Ohio: City Plans to Install Speed Cameras at 10 Locales by Spring - Dayton City officials are forging ahead with plans to add photo speed enforcement cameras
near 10 of the city's most dangerous accident areas for automobile travelers. The automated cameras likely will be installed by late April or early May, and drivers will be given
a 30-day grace period before $85 fines will be levied.
Study Puts Spotlight On Red-Light Cameras - The national debate over red-light cameras is heating up again as a new analysis from a traffic safety group argues
that the controversial devices saved 159 lives in 14 cities during a five-year period. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says red-light cameras reduced the rate of
fatal red-light running by 24% from 2004 to 2008. Had the cameras been installed in all U.S. cities with populations above 200,000, 815 deaths would have been prevented, says the
Insurance Institute, a group funded by auto insurers that aims to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage caused by crashes on the nation's roads.
New Jersey: Camera Town Caught with Short Yellow Times - Glassboro, New Jersey admits red light camera generated $1 million worth of tickets at intersection
with short yellow. The first southern New Jersey municipality to issue a red light camera ticket admitted last week that it issued 12,000 tickets worth $1 million at an
intersection where the yellow light time was illegally short. At the intersection of William Dalton Drive and Delsea Drive, motorists were given just 3 seconds of yellow warning
before the camera began snapping -- as opposed to the 4 seconds mandated by state regulations. Mike Koestler, the former mayor of Harrison Township, caught the error after
receiving a ticket.
New Mexico: Study Shows Photo Enforcement Increased Accidents - Study shows total accidents increased slightly where combination red light speed cameras
were used in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo enforcement cameras are temporarily disabled in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a study by the University of New Mexico failed to offer a
complete justification for the program. Mayor Richard J. Berry announced that he would eliminate six of the twenty red light camera intersections where accidents increased the
most. He also will stop issuing speed camera citations at intersections -- although he plans to keep three vans to set up mobile photo radar traps. While the contract with Redflex
Traffic Systems is expired, Berry is seeking a better deal from other photo ticketing vendors.
Texas City Caught Again With Illegally Short Yellow Time - Newest red light camera intersection in Baytown, Texas has a yellow light .3 seconds below the legal
minimum. Baytown, Texas has been caught using an illegally short yellow time at the latest city intersection to be monitored by a red light camera. Tickets have been issued since
January 30 at the intersection of Cedar Bayou Lynchburg Road at Garth Road where the yellow time is set to 4.0 seconds, the bare minimum acceptable amount for an intersection
posted at 40 MPH according to Texas Department of Transportation guidelines. The Baytown Red Light Camera Coalition (BRLCC) uncovered the fact that the intersection approach is in
fact posted with a 45 MPH sign, meaning the bare minimum legal yellow for the location is 4.3 seconds, not 4.0 seconds.
Missouri State Auditor Defunds Speed Trap City - A notorious Missouri speed trap town was busted Wednesday by the state auditor for violating the law.
Randolph, Missouri has a population of just 47 people, but the police department last year dished out 3132 fines -- nearly all speeding tickets issued to motorists passing through
on Highway 210. A formal examination of the city's book uncovered the fact that Randolph made more than thirty-five percent of its revenue from freeway traffic ticket, in
violation of the Macks Creek law, an anti-speed trap statute named for a town that went bankrupt after its ability to issue speeding tickets was revoked.
South Carolina: Renegade Mayor Issues Illegal Photo Tickets - The mayor of Ridgeland, South Carolina is taking a stand in defiance of a state law that bans
the use of speed cameras anywhere in the state. Mayor Gary W. Hodges earlier this month began issuing speeding tickets based on evidence provided by an automated traffic
system set up in a recreational vehicle parked on Interstate 95 despite warnings from lawmakers.
Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents in Baytown, Texas - Accidents increased 40 percent one year after red light cameras went live in Baytown, Texas. After
a year of use, red light cameras have failed to deliver the promised safety benefits in Baytown, Texas. The Houston suburb activated the majority of its cameras on July 13,
2008. Since then, the number of accidents at eight camera locations has increased 40 percent, contrary to predictions from city officials. The increase in accidents has not
been in minor "fender benders," as is frequently claimed by photo ticketing advocates. Rather, the number of collisions resulting in an injury jumped 75 percent.
Rear end collisions increased 39 percent. Results from comprehensive, independent studies elsewhere in the country have yielded similar results.
Speed Cameras Cause Erratic Driver Behaviour - New research from car insurer LV= reveals that many motorists admit to behaving erratically in front of
speed cameras with thousands confessing to slamming on the brakes or looking at their speedometer as soon as a camera comes into view. This erratic behaviour could be
leading to the number of accidents which occur around speed cameras with the research showing that at least 28,000 road accidents have been triggered by speed cameras since
2001, as motorists slow down ahead of them and then speed up once they are clear.
Maryland, Tennessee, Australia, Germany: Bogus Speed Camera Tickets Issued - Speed cameras in Brentwood, Maryland; Bluff City, Tennessee; New South
Wales, Australia; and Salzburg, Germany falsely accuse the innocent. A speed camera in Bluff City, Tennessee claimed that an octogenarian woman from Virginia blasted
through the town on a motorcycle at midnight. Jean Robinson from Lexington, Virginia neither rides a motorcycle nor ever visits Bluff City, WSLS-TV reported. Nonetheless,
despite claiming that "three people" review every citation, nobody at the police department or photo ticket company noticed that the ticket shows Robinson's
vehicle ownership details -- she owns an automobile. The vehicle committing the alleged offense on the ticket is a motorcycle with a similar license plate number.
Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Tolling, Taxing and Ticketing to Balance Budget - Pennsylvania governor sees new taxes, tolls, fees and cameras as the
key to shoring up the state budget. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is struggling in his latest budget with the desire to spend more money while lacking tax revenue due to
the economic recession. Nonetheless, the $28 billion budget for 2011 expends $200 million more than the previous year. Rendell yesterday testified before the state Senate
Transportation Committee about how he intended to hit up motorists to make up much of that amount.
Rental Car Companies Turn In Own Customers To Photo Ticket Firm - Avis, Budget, Hertz, Advantage inform on their customers to American Traffic Solutions
to boost photo ticket profit. 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.
Ohio Legislature Considers Overturning Visual Speed Decision - Bipartisan group of Ohio state senators hope to fire a legislative message of disapproval
at the supreme court over speed ruling. A bipartisan effort to overturn a controversial Ohio Supreme Court ruling garnered the support of twelve of the state Senate's
thirty-three members in just four days. Senators Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) and Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) jointly introduced legislation on Thursday that would forbid
police from issuing speeding tickets based solely on the officer's best speed guess.
Oklahoma To Deploy Photo Ticketing Cameras Statewide - Private company to set up network of cameras to track Oklahoma drivers and issue insurance
tickets to generate $95 million a year. Oklahoma is preparing an unprecedented statewide deployment of automated ticketing machines designed to generate $95 million in
revenue. Instead of using red light cameras and speed cameras, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) is preparing to sign a contract with a for-profit company
that will track all passing motorists with a network of at least twenty automated license plate recognition (ALPR, also known as ANPR) cameras. The devices would also
"generate significant additional revenues" by issuing $250 citations for expired insurance using the Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification System (OCIVS)
database that went live in July 2009.
Michigan: Lawmakers Propose Crack Down On Speed Traps - Proposed Michigan law would require speed limits be set according to engineering, not budgetary
principles. Between 2004 and 2009, Michigan's tax on license points -- primarily from speeding tickets, generated $400 million in revenue. The National Motorists
Association has documented speed traps throughout Michigan responsible for generating a large portion of these fines. The group named the Detroit suburbs as among the worst
in the country for targeting drivers. The traps are located in areas where the speed limits do not match the flow of traffic, despite a 2006 state law that set the proper
method for setting limits.
Virginia Governor Kicks Off Massive Photo Enforcement Expansion - Virginia governor creates new type of ticket camera,
expands red light cameras and approves shortening of yellow lights for profit. 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.
Technology Wars: Cops vs. Speeders - People speed for plenty of reasons. Some claim they're in a hurry. Some aren't
paying attention. Some do it for sport. Likewise, police have multiple motivations for ticketing speeders. Some officers claim driving
anything over the speed limit is "unsafe." Some departments do it to fill municipal coffers hit hard by falling tax revenues.
And yes, some do it for sport. Regardless of why drivers speed and cops ticket, each side is using technology to increase their chances
The Truth About Speed Traps - For the half-century since radar guns first started picking off lead-footed drivers on
America's highways, the speed trap has been an unseemly topic. To the busted, it's what it sounds like - a dirty kind of ambush, often
employing a sudden drop in the legal speed limit to set the trap, and a traffic officer's sniperlike trigger pull to seal the deal. To
municipalities and law enforcement agencies, it's not a trap but a necessary evil, and a crucial deterrent to keep rampant, potentially
dangerous speeders in constant fear for their licenses. The fact that it rakes in cash for the city, county or state just makes it a
win-win for the good guys. Today, the ongoing duel between radar-and-laser-detecting drivers and cash-strapped municipalities is about to
become even more one-sided, as states are approving the use of automated, unattended speed cameras. But what most drivers don't realize
is that they never really stood a chance to begin with.
Speeding 'cushion' may dwindle due to recession - The recession may be claiming a new victim: the 5-10-mph
"cushion" police and state troopers across the USA have routinely given motorists exceeding the speed limit. As cities and
states scramble to fill budget gaps with revenue from traffic citations, "not only are the (speeding) tolerances much lower, but
the frequency of a warning instead of a ticket is way down," says James Baxter, president of the National Motorists Association, a
Wisconsin-based drivers' rights group that helps its members fight speeding tickets.
Federal Appeals Court Embraces Speed Cameras - A divided three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit yesterday upheld the imposition of automated tickets on individuals who may or may not have committed any crime. The judges
ruled on a case that began when Kelly Mendenhall received a ticket in the mail for allegedly speeding in Akron, Ohio in December 2005.
Although the ticket against her was dismissed, her husband, Warner, fought the legitimacy of the Akron ordinance all the way to the
state supreme court which, unlike the high courts in Minnesota and Missouri, approved of speed camera use.
Shorter Yellow Lights: Are They Your Town's Latest Cash Cow? - The yellow traffic light is taking on a new meaning
for motorists during these tough economic times: one expensive trap. According to the National Motorists Association (NMA), some
municipalities have been caught shortening the time in which yellow lights are on in order to generate additional revenue from tickets
issued to motorists caught on traffic cameras running red lights. At least six cities including Dallas and Chattanooga, Tenn. have
engaged in the practice in recent years, the organization's Web site says.
Arizona: The Surveillance State - In 2007, Arizona became the first state in the country to install ticket cameras
state-wide, meaning there are cameras on most state highways; there are cameras at many intersections; and there are camera-vans
videotaping on side streets. The owner of any car caught going over the speed limit or running a red light receives a ticket by
Arizona Senate Panel Approves Photo Ticketing Expansion - Arizona Senate committee approves vendor-sponsored
legislation to expand photo radar in the guise of reform. The Arizona Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee approved
legislation last Wednesday that would substantially expand the size and scope of the photo enforcement program in the state. Lawmakers
voted 6-1 to approve legislation allowing the use of automated ticketing machines for a number of new types of violations. Committee
Chairman Linda Gray (R-Phoenix) sponsored the legislation after becoming an enthusiastic supporter of cameras.
Traffic Camera Company Seeks to Rewrite Arizona Law - Faced with heavy financial loses, Redflex petitions Arizona
Supreme Court to eliminate personal service requirement for photo tickets. An automated enforcement company is turning to an unelected
branch of government to re-write Arizona law regarding proper service for traffic tickets. Redflex Traffic Systems of Melbourne,
Australia convinced John D. Wintersteen to file a petition earlier this month that asked the Arizona Supreme Court to modify the state's
rules of civil procedure to better accommodate red light cameras and speed cameras.
Tennessee City Defies State Legislature, Renews Traffic Cameras - Tennessee City Defies State Legislature, Renews
Traffic Cameras Red Bank, Tennessee renews photo ticket contract for 12 years in defiance of legislative attempt at camera regulation.
The city of Red Bank, Tennessee voted Tuesday to extend its automated ticketing contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) for
twelve years, in open defiance of the state legislature. Earlier this month, the House Transportation Committee gave its approval to
proposed legislation that would place a temporary moratorium on red light camera and speed camera program renewals while a set of
engineering and operational standards are developed to ensure statewide uniformity. The committee took great pains to ensure that no
city would be deprived of any existing red light camera or photo radar revenue by refusing to ban any existing practices.
New York Governor David Patterson Pushes Speed Cameras - New York State budget includes proposal to generate $96
million in profit by 2012 through freeway photo radar. New York Governor David A. Patterson (D) is joining a number of other states in
promoting the use of freeway speed cameras as a way to address his state's massive $7.4 billion budget shortfall. Patterson's budget
proposal, released yesterday, includes a plan to deploy fifty photo radar vans to generate $96 million in net profit for the general
fund by 2012.
Indiana Lawmakers Push Freeway Speed Cameras - Indiana state representatives propose freeway speed camera program
after taking thousands in contributions from potential camera vendor. Lawmakers in Indiana, swayed by the potential budget enhancement
that recently convinced California's governor, have introduced legislation that would authorize photo ticketing in the state. House
Minority Floor Leader Bill Friend (R-Macy) and state Representative Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point) last week filed House Bill 1289
to create a so-called work zone freeway speed camera program.
Georgia Balances Budget With Speeding Ticket Tax - Georgia implements speeding ticket tax to shore up the state
budget. Drivers in Georgia were hit for the first time last Friday with a new tax on speeding tickets designed to raise between $25 and
$30 million in annual revenue for the general fund. The plan was modeled on the driver responsibility taxes in states like Michigan, New
Jersey, New York and Texas. A similar plan in Virginia was so unpopular that legislators repealed the tax within six months and refunded
all of the money that had been collected under the program.
Analysis: Short Yellows Boost Revenue for Texas Cities - Nine intersections with the shortest yellows in Texas saw a
four-fold increase in their red light camera ticketing rate. A number of Texas cities are exploiting short yellow timing at
intersections, generating significant additional revenue, according to a review of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) data by
TheNewspaper. The citation issuance rate at the nine intersections with the shortest yellow timing in the state was four times greater
than the ticket issuance rate at locations that offered yellow times exceeding statewide averages.
Texas Red Light Cameras Generate $100 Million in Tickets - Privately operated Texas red light cameras issued $100
million worth of citations over a twelve-month period. Red light cameras in the Lone Star State generated $95,799,675 worth of tickets
in a twelve month period according to reports filed with the Texas Department of Transportation. Private vendors based in Australia,
Arizona, Dallas and England used a total of 333 cameras installed across 36 Texas cities to mail 1,277,329 tickets between July 1, 2008
and June 30, 2009.
Indiana: City Threatens $2500 Fines for Challenging Traffic Tickets - Lawyer sues traffic and parking courts in
Indianapolis, Indiana over threatened $2500 penalty for contesting a ticket in court. Motorists who receive minor parking or traffic
tickets in Indianapolis, Indiana are being threatened with fines of up to $2500 if they attempt to take the ticket to court. A local
attorney with the firm Roberts and Bishop was so outraged by what he saw in Marion County traffic court that he filed a class action
suit yesterday seeking to have the practice banned as unconstitutional.
Tennessee: Early Results Poor For Clarksville Traffic Cameras - After their first six months of use, the red light
cameras in Clarksville, Tennessee have failed to produce any reduction in the number of accidents. The city's first three cameras were
installed May 1, and a comparison of accidents at these locations from May to the end of October compared to the same period in 2007 and
2008 shows that the total number of collisions jumped 22 percent following the installation of cameras.
Texas: Accidents Increase at Controversial Red Light Camera Intersection - Overall accidents rise at Baytown, Texas
intersection a 18 months after installation of red light cameras. Accidents rose after the installation of a red light camera at one
major intersection in Baytown, Texas. The private company American Traffic Solutions began issuing automated tickets at the intersection
of Garth and Baker Roads on March 21, 2008. Since then, safety has not improved at the controversial camera location.
German Court Questions Laser Speed Camera Accuracy - German court overturns speed camera ticket because laser speed
camera could not be proved accurate. A German court last month overturned a traffic citation after prosecutors failed to prove the
accuracy of a new laser-based speed camera technology. The district court of Dillenburg heard testimony from four experts, each of whom
cast doubt on the system. The Judge Matthias Gampe concluded that the motorist accused by a Poliscan automated ticketing machine of
driving 96km/h (60 MPH) in a 40 (25 MPH) zone was not guilty.
Shudder Speed: Rise of the Stealthy Traffic Camera Fuels drivers' Disgust - You rip open the envelope and there it
is: Another darned photo-enforcement traffic ticket. The photograph, the zoom-in on the tag, it's you, baby. Your car. Two weeks ago.
Forty-one in a 30-mph zone. It's from your favorite municipality. You can pay $40 now or $80 later. You can also contest it, the
infraction letter says, and that's a laugh. You remember seeing that the folks who went down to fight their automated tickets in
Montgomery County got convicted 99.7 percent of the time. Like a Soviet election, you think, a sham, a joke, and you, the chump in the
Maryland Cities Create School Zones for Speed Camera Use - Baltimore and New Carrollton, Maryland create new school
zones in areas that have no children for the purpose of installing speed cameras. Maryland cities will create brand new "school
zones" in an attempt to issue speed camera tickets on roads that previously had no need of the designation. When the state
legislature authorized speed cameras six months ago in response to a $690,506 lobbying campaign from photo ticketing and insurance
companies, lawmakers mandated that the cameras could only be used within a half mile of a school zone. Baltimore is among the first to
admit that it will bypass that restriction.
Massachusetts: Red Light Cameras Proposed to Fight Deficit - Governor of Massachusetts slips red light cameras into
state budget after camera firms donate $10,245 to lawmakers. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) on Thursday outlined his plan to
reduce the state's $600 million deficit and help struggling municipalities by, among several other revenue raising measures, installing
red light cameras. The governor's proposed fiscal year 2010 budget amendments would eliminate an existing state law forcing police
officers to issue traffic citations personally. Under the new legislation, any jurisdiction in the commonwealth could give private, for
profit companies the right to issue $100 traffic tickets.
Texas Red Light Camera Program Offers No Appeal to Citations - Texas cities allow no meaningful appeal of red light
camera tickets. College Station fudges accident data in voter brochure. The right to a meaningful appeal in a red light camera case does
not exist in the state of Texas. While several states have allowed photo enforcement tickets to be appealed to the highest level --
Minnesota's highest court ruled on a photo ticket in 2007 and a red light camera case is currently pending before the California Supreme
Court -- several Texas municipalities are using an ambiguity in state law to deny challenges beyond the lowest level of the court
California: Right Turn Camera Makes $1 Million a Month - Right turn on red camera issues half of the tickets in
Riverside, California at a rate of nearly $11 million a year. Red light cameraA single red light camera in Riverside, California issued
$1 million worth of right-hand turn on red tickets in just one month. The automated ticketing machine installed in March at Tyler Street
at the entrance to the 91 Freeway has become the most productive of the city's cameras and now accounts for half of the citations issued
by Riverside's vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia. The camera helped boost the grand total of citations mailed since January
2007 to 82,448 tickets worth $32,532,203.
Memphis Red Light Cameras Go Live - With news cameras rolling, and curious onlookers all around, city officials
activated Memphis' first set of red light cameras Wednesday at Winchester and Riverdale. A total of 13 intersections will eventually
have red light cameras will be activated through the program, which Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery said is not about punishing drivers.
Maryland Deploys Speed Cameras on Interstate Highways - Speed cameras in Maryland to issue tickets on high-volume
portions of Interstate 95. Maryland officials wasted no time in kicking off the required warning period for the statewide interstate
highway speed camera program authorized by a law that took effect yesterday. Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley announced
that the first three locations for the cameras would target motorists in so-called work zones on some of the most heavily traveled
interstates in the country.
Xerox Becomes a Red Light Camera Company - Photocopying giant Xerox buys outsourcing giant ACS, becoming a $22
billion company with traffic camera and tolling operations around the world. Xerox Corporation announced yesterday that it would acquire
Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) for $6.4 billion. ACS is a major, long-time player in the speed camera, red light camera, tolling and
parking ticket business. Xerox, famous for its domination of the photocopying market from the 1960s to the 1980s, sees the purchase as a
way to reinvent itself and dominate the business outsourcing market.
UK Billboards Equipped with License Plate Spy Cameras - Billboard campaign in the UK uses Minority Report style
license plate recognition cameras to target advertising. An advertising campaign in the UK began using automated number plate
recognition (ANPR) cameras to identify passing vehicles and create personalized advertisements. The motor oil giant Castrol UK Limited
yesterday activated a set of five electronic billboards in London that flash an image of the exact type of Castrol-brand motor oil
appropriate for the nearest vehicle.
Illinois City Forgets Lesson of 1992 Photo Enforcement Referendum - Photo enforcement caused a voter revolt in
Batavia, Illinois in 1992. City leaders want to try it again anyway. Despite the clear message sent by voters in 1992, the city of
Batavia, Illinois is busy pursuing a return to the use of photo enforcement. Police Chief Gary J. Schira made a sales pitch to the city
council last month on behalf of the private companies that operate red light camera systems, hoping to add the lucrative program to his
budget. Minutes from a Government Services Committee meeting on November 19, 2008 described the intention of city leaders:
County approves red light cameras - Albemarle County supervisors have given the green light to install cameras at
major intersections to spot drivers running red lights. Violators would be mailed a $50 fine as well as photo evidence of the
New red light cameras in Knoxville are high-tech - Knoxville's red light camera program is expanding and getting a
high-tech makeover, thanks to a new company called Laser Craft. Two new cameras have already been added, but don't expect to see a flash
if you're caught running a red light. "Now I won't see the flash, I guess it will just be a surprise in the mail," said Greg
Scealf. The new cameras by Laser Craft don't need a flash to do their job, thanks to still ultra low light-sensitive cameras.
Ohio City Jumps the Gun with Speed Camera Tickets - Heath, Ohio forced to refund $26,500 in speed camera tickets
because Redflex mailed tickets before the program start date. Heath, Ohio was so anxious to start collecting on its new speed camera
program that it issued $26,500 worth of tickets before the program was officially supposed to begin. The city's mayor, Richard J.
Waugh, issued a statement Monday confirming that refunds would be automatic for each of the 265 vehicle owners mailed a ticket for
alleged violations that took place on June 30. Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that actually runs the program, was not
supposed to have begun issuing tickets until July 1.
New Red Light Cameras Snapping Errant Motorists - Sacramento has new red light camera systems in three busy
intersections with many more to come. The new digital red light cameras are now watching for errant drivers at 47th Avenue and Martin
Luther King Jr. Boulevard; Howe Avenue and Hurley Way; and Fair Oaks Boulevard and Watt Avenue.
California Legislators Prepare to Unleash Speed Traps in Pasadena - Proposed law would allow Pasadena, California to
lower speed limits to generate more traffic tickets. A state Senate committee will vote today on whether to gut an anti-speed trap law
that has protected California drivers for the past seventy-six years. Assembly Bill 564, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino
(D-Pasadena), exempts his home city from the statute that now requires any jurisdiction using radar on a road receiving federal aid to
use engineering safety studies to establish speed limits. The exemption for Pasadena passed the state Assembly by a 51-17 vote last
Red Light Camera Program Returns to Virginia - Alexandria, Virginia restarts a red light camera program that created
a 42 percent increase in accidents. Red light cameras have returned to Northern Virginia. The city of Alexandria announced for the first
time yesterday that a private company has re-installed cameras at three intersections with citations going out on July 15. Until now,
the city has been quiet about the revived program, hoping to avoid a public discussion of the controversy over accidents that persuaded
the legislature to shut down the program in 2005.
Tennessee Authorizes Statewide Freeway Speed Camera Program - Members of the Tennessee General Assembly misled into
voting to authorize state-run freeway work zone speed camera program. The Tennessee General Assembly on Tuesday gave final approval to
legislation authorizing the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Tennessee Highway Patrol to ticket motorists on interstate
freeway work zones using automated cameras. Although many members in the House and Senate expressed strong opposition to the concept of
photo enforcement, the authorization measure passed by an overwhelmingly 80 to 10 margin in the House and 28 to 0 in the Senate. The
support was due in no small part to the bill's wording, which granted authority to deploy cameras in the guise of restricting them.
Which are the worst states for tickets? - As the traditional summer driving season gets under way this weekend, a
drivers'-rights group ranks the states on driver friendliness. New Jersey? Fuhgeddaboudit.
Group Identifies States Least and Most Friendly to Motorists - Association lists states most likely and least likely
to use motorists as a source of revenue. The National Motorists Association (NMA) yesterday rated all fifty states based on their
friendliness toward the motoring public. By analyzing laws and speed trap patterns, the group measured each state's dependence on the
motoring public as a source of state and local revenue.
Revenue Low, Yonkers Dreams of Green From Red Light Cameras - AFTER years of waiting for state legislative approval,
officials in Yonkers and on Long Island are installing cameras to take pictures of the license plates of cars that run a red light. Now
their jurisdictions are preparing to take full advantage of the money they expect to be generated from the $50 fines.
Alabama Legislature Approves Red Light Cameras - Alabama governor to decide whether to retroactively declare
illegally issued red light camera tickets legal. The Alabama state legislature this week sent a bill authorizing Montgomery's use of red
light cameras to Governor Bob Riley (R) for his signature. The city has been using automated ticketing machines since May 2008, but the
local measure authored by state Senator Larry Dixon (R-Montgomery) and state Representative David Grimes (R-Montgomery) is designed to
retroactively protect the city from any lawsuit challenging the legality of the first $1 million worth of tickets already issued without
Red Light Camera Companies Exploit Victims to Push Florida Law - Insurance companies stand to benefit directly from
expanding the scope of automated enforcement because photo tickets carry points in several states, including California. Take Elk Grove
as an example. Last year, a pair of red light cameras in the city dished out 9,364 tickets worth $426 split between the city, state and
Redflex. Ninety-six percent of the violations, according to the Sacramento Bee, did not actually involve red light running, but rather
turning right on red. Nonetheless, each ticket recipient received a point on his license and three years of higher insurance
More Tickets in Hard Times - Cities searching for revenue look to their police departments as a way to cash in.
Motorists beware: In some communities, police are issuing tickets during these hard times at a rate higher than ever in what critics say
is an attempt to raise revenue in order to offset budget shortfalls.
Fact 1: Speed is the primary factor in only a small number of accidents.
Montana City Rushes Camera Ordinance, Plans to Shorten Yellows - Billings, Montana plans to shorten yellow times to
cash in before the state legislature bans red light cameras. Yellow times may shorten as the city of Billings, Montana rushes to install
red light cameras before the state legislature has a chance to ban them. The Billings City Council voted 8-3 Monday to empower Redflex
Traffic Systems, a private company based in Melbourne, Australia, to issue automated traffic citations in return for a cut of the
revenue collected. Billings needs to act quickly because the state legislature last Thursday entered into final negotiations on
legislation that would ban red light cameras.
Montana Legislature Votes to Ban Red Light Cameras - The Montana state House and Senate each approved legislation
that would ban red light cameras. The Montana state Senate yesterday gave preliminary approval to legislation that would ban the
installation of red light cameras. The Senate voted 37-13 in support of the bill which must face one more vote before the modified
legislation heads back to the state House for its consent.
Study: Longer Yellows Reduce Crashes (Texas Transportation Institute) - The Texas Transportation Institute shows
that engineering improvements are an effective alternative to cameras. The Texas Transportation Institute examined concerns that red
light cameras were being used by cities that had not first exhausted available engineering alternatives such as improving signal timing
and visibility. They studied individual police accident reports from 181 intersection approaches across three Texas cities over three
years to determine the most effective solutions for problem intersections.
Georgia: Some Cities Ignore Extended Yellow Law - Atlanta ignores new Georgia law mandating longer intersection
yellows. Violations increase at half of the city intersections with cameras. Some cities are refusing to comply with a new Georgia law
mandating a one-second increase in the duration of the yellow warning period at intersections equipped with red light cameras. At least
seven cities that made the required timing increase in January experienced an immediate 80 percent decrease in the number of violations.
Of these, Duluth, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee put the brakes on their red light camera programs after the data made it
clear that the programs would no longer make money. Rome is now leaning toward dropping its program as well.
Red Light Camera Studies Roundup - A collection of red light camera studies over the last decade shows red light
cameras have serious side-effects. Over the past decade, a number of studies have examined the use of red light cameras. The most
relevant studies examined the devices in light of changes in traffic and engineering conditions made at intersections during the study
period and pulled actual police reports to examine the particular causes of each collision.
New York Legislature Approves Massive Traffic Camera Expansion - New York state legislature approves massive
expansion in red light cameras. As budget deficits continue to soar at all levels of New York government, the state legislature on
Tuesday approved a package of bills to provide relief through the use of red light cameras. The package of six bills extends new
authority to use red light cameras to Buffalo, Nassau County, Rochester, Suffolk County and Yonkers. The legislature also gave the nod
to New York City's long-held desire to increase by half the number of automated ticketing machines already installed.
Get the Feeling You're Being Watched? If You're Driving, You Just Might Be - Cameras to catch speeders and scofflaws
are spreading - and sparking road rage. The village of Schaumburg, Ill., installed a camera at Woodfield Mall last November to film cars
that were running red lights, then used the footage to issue citations. Results were astonishing. The town issued $1 million in fines in
just three months. But drivers caught by the unforgiving enforcement - which mainly snared those who didn't come to a full stop before
turning right on red - exploded in anger. Many vowed to stop shopping at the mall unless the camera was turned off. The village stopped
monitoring right turns at the intersection in January.
Proposal to Track Uninsured With Red-Light Cameras Has Cities Seeing Big Money - Running a red light may get more
complicated - and more expensive - for some of the country's uninsured drivers. Under a proposal by Chicago Alderman Edward Burke,
cameras at 132 city intersections that currently enforce $100 red light violations would also be used to nab motorists whose cars are
uninsured. Washington, DC officials told FOXNews.com it is willing to consider a similiar program.
New Mexico Increases Cost of Red Light Camera Tickets - New Mexico lawmakers increase cost of red light camera
tickets with profit sharing legislation. Facing increased budgetary pressure, the New Mexico state Legislature this week adopted
legislation that will increase the cost of red light camera fines by a third, adding millions in extra revenue to state coffers. State
Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-Belen) introduced Senate Bill 519 to extend revenue sharing provisions that previously only applied to the
city of Albuquerque to other New Mexico cities. The measure passed unanimously in the state Senate and by a vote of 64-1 in the House.
Photo Tickets Pad Campaign Coffers of Arizona Politicians - Arizona politicians have collected $36,265,795 in
campaign cash from a tax on speeding tickets since 1999. A tax levied on speeding tickets funds the re-election efforts of two-thirds of
Arizona's politicians and provides lawmakers with a personal financial incentive to protect controversial photo enforcement programs. In
1999, a ten percent surcharge was imposed on all traffic tickets to create the "Citizens Clean Election Fund." The fund allows
politicians to avoid tedious fundraising efforts.
Ohio House Votes to Implement Freeway Photo Radar - Ohio state House votes to use speed cameras to mail near $300
tickets to freeway drivers. A deeply divided Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday passed sweeping legislation that would impose new
penalties on motorists, including a statewide speed camera program. State Representative Peter S. Ujvagi (D-Toledo) inserted the
controversial proposals into a "must pass" $7.6 billion transportation funding measure to avoid individual discussion of the merits of
the many programs rolled into the 361-page bill. Only one Republican voted in favor of Ujvagi's plan, which passed by a margin of
Speeding, Parking Tickets on Rise as Government Revenue Source - Drivers across the country, beware - a heftier fine
could be coming to a dashboard near you. Faced with rising deficits and dwindling revenues, many states and local municipalities are
turning to increased traffic and parking fines to fill their coffers.
Speed enforcement cameras targets of Arizona rebellion - Road-side cameras meant to enforce speed limits are a big
deal in Arizona. The state government is expected to rake in $90 million this year from the freeway spy-eyes. The take is projected to
climb to $120 million in 2010 -- with $45 million more going to private contractors. Even in a state awash in $2 billion worth of red
ink, that's real money.
Tested: BEL Pro GX65 - Beltronics' new GPS-enabled radar detector. Is GPS in a radar detector really a big deal? We
use four vehicles, take two months and burn $780 worth of gas to find out. If you've been waiting for a GPS-enabled radar detector
wearing the Beltronics (BEL) brand, it's here. The BEL Pro GX65 ($469.95) occupies the Beltronics lineup roughly opposite the equivalent
Escort dash-mount GPS radar detector, the Passport 9500i. With its genome shared with this Escort, and close in price, it would be
natural to expect few differences between the two. But like a lot of assumptions, that one's a bit off the mark. There's a range of
subtle differences in appearance, operation and features that gives each detector a unique personality.
7 Tips to Avoid a Speeding Ticket in Your Porsche - Over the years, I've read a lot of different tips on how to
avoid a speeding ticket. Most of the items mentioned are common sense. However, like anything, even the most simple things can be
forgotten or overlooked if we're not reminded of them. While there is no sure fire way to avoid a ticket if you're breaking your local
speed limit, you can greatly reduce your exposure by employing some or all of the following pointers.
Expect More Speeding Tickets in Weak Economy - Got a lead foot? Hold on to your wallet. When local revenue falls,
traffic citations go up. A new study to be published in next month's Journal of Law and Economics finds statistical evidence that local
governments use traffic citations to make up for revenue shortfalls. So as the economy tanks, motorists may be more likely to see red
and blue in the rearview.
Do Denver red-light cameras deter violations? - Denver has failed to enforce its red-light camera contract,
collecting the $75 fines but not collecting the data necessary to determine whether the program actually is reducing red-light
Houston Red Light Camera Report Undermines TxDOT Camera Study - Study finds accidents doubled at Houston, Texas red
light camera intersections undermining the conclusions of a statewide report. Accidents more than doubled at the Houston, Texas
intersections where red light cameras are installed, according to a study released Monday by Rice University and the Texas
Transportation Institute (TTI). This result posed a dilemma for TTI and the city of Houston which had requested the study.
Speeding? You'll pay higher 'taxes' - Watch out, leadfoots: Many strapped cities and towns are trying to fix their
budgets by stepping up traffic enforcement. Here's a tip for the next time you're barreling down U.S. 425 through northeastern
Louisiana: If you see a sign that reads "Baskin Town Limits," slow down. Way down. Baskin has been expecting you. Between 2004
and 2006, little Baskin (population about 200) got 87% of its town budget from speeding tickets, the highest percentage of 304 Louisiana
New York: County Admits Cameras Are For Revenue - Suffolk County, New York report only mentions revenue as the
reason to install red light cameras. Strapped for cash, Suffolk County, New York admits it wants to install red light cameras to
generate revenue. In a four-hundred-page review of the county's financial situation released earlier this month, officials mentioned
only one purpose for the automated traffic enforcement devices.
Michigan: Police Chiefs Admit Traffic Enforcement is for Revenue - Municipalities near Detroit, Michigan boost
ticketing efforts to cover dwindling tax revenue. Dwindling property tax revenue has forced local governments in Michigan to
look to motorists to refill their municipal budgets, according to a Detroit News analysis. In 2002, the city of Detroit issued
a total of 126,007 traffic tickets. Last year, that figure grew to 245,249 -- a 94 percent jump. The percentage increase was
even greater in small towns like Plymouth which saw the number of tickets skyrocket from 440 to 2,584 -- up 487 percent -- over
the same period.
Traffic Cameras Coming to a Road Near You? - Hoping for smoother traffic on the area's busiest thoroughfares, the
Virginia Department of Transportation is proposing to install more traffic-monitoring cameras in the Charlottesville region.
If installed, the cameras would be the first of their type on the U.S. 29 corridor. Mounted on tall poles at traffic signals,
they would be able to monitor real-time traffic flow, congestion and response to crashes.
Innocent Florida, Louisiana Motorists Receive Bogus Photo Tickets - White man sent photo ticket for offense committed
by a black man in Louisiana while great grandmother in Florida receives bogus ticket from Georgia. Recent incidents in Georgia
and Louisiana call into question the common assertion of photo enforcement advocates that the camera never lies. Officials in
charge of red light camera and speed camera programs claim it is "rare" for erroneous tickets to be issued because a
human police officer diligently verifies each and every citation for accuracy before it is issued.
Connecticut: New Laser Guns Aim to Slow Fast Drivers - Connecticut State Police aim to catch speeding drivers more
efficiently this summer with 89 new laser guns. State police doled out 37,615 speeding citations in the first half of 2008, a 16
percent increase over the same period in 2007, according to a state police news release.
Tennessee Appeals Court Embraces Red Light Cameras - Tennessee Court of Appeals issues ruling designed to encourage
the use of red light cameras. The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued a ruling yesterday promoting the use of red light cameras
throughout the state. A three-judge panel rejected a constitutional challenge to city of Knoxville's automated ticketing program
filed by photo ticket recipient Ronald G. Brown. Brown argued the case on his own behalf after his Chevy had been photographed
on September 18, 2006 at the intersection of Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway. The city alleged the vehicle entered the
intersection a split-second after the light turned red, and so it mailed a bill for $50. Brown told the court that because he
had no choice but to pay the ticket and thereby admit guilt, or, if he was not driving, to inform on someone else who was, the
system itself violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.
10 Ways to Avoid a Speeding Ticket - If it's OK legally, get a radar detector. Yes, they're expensive (good ones,
anyhow). But a one-time hit of, say, $300 for a decent radar detector is cheaper than even a single big speeding ticket and the
higher insurance costs that will come with it. Radar detectors are legal in most states and well worth the investment to avoid a
Australian Company to Issue Arizona Speeding Tickets - Arizona to use 200 fixed and mobile speed camera units to raise
$165 million in revenue. The Arizona Department of Public Safety announced yesterday that it would pay an Australian company
$28.75 for every ticket it is able to issue on state highways. By September 26, Melbourne-based ticket vendor Redflex will
activate what will soon become the largest speed camera operation in the United States. Governor Janet Napolitano (D)
commissioned the program to generate $165 million in revenue from the $165 citations. Redflex hopes this bottom line inspires
other states to follow.
Scottsdale Traffic Cams to Start Citing for Left Turns - Scottsdale will begin using its red light cameras to ticket
drivers who turn left against a red arrow next month. The tickets will start on Aug. 1 for drivers who ignore the signals. It will
be the first time the city issued tickets for left-turn violations in the 11 years Scottsdale has had the cameras.
UK: Speed Camera Operator Rigged the System - Speed camera operator tagged innocent motorists so that he would be the top
ticket issuer in Lancashire, England. A UK speed camera operator, desperate to keep his position as the top ticket issuer,
manipulated evidence to obtain more convictions, according to a report by a government watchdog agency. The UK Independent Police
Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced yesterday that the civilian employee of the Lancashire Constabulary was fired at
the conclusion of an inquiry that opened in October 2007.
Louisiana Legislature Passes Red Light Camera Bill - Louisiana State Legislature adopts a bill expanding speed cameras
in the guise of a bill that limits them. The Louisiana House of Representatives yesterday gave final approval to a bill that
would dramatically expand the use of red light cameras and speed cameras, but that appeared to be a limitation on their use.
Senator Derrick Shepherd (D-Marrero) introduced the measure which simply forbids the application of drivers' license points to
red light camera and speed camera tickets. It passed by a vote of 92-5 in the state House and 26-10 in the state Senate.
Shepherd explained in a Senate hearing on his measure that his bill was no limitation on any city, because none impose license
California Appeals Court Defends Red Light Cameras - California Court of Appeals ruling defended red light camera programs
against a number of legal challenges. The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal on Friday issued a ruling
designed to save the state's red light camera programs from a series of legal challenges. Five separate cases filed between 2001 and
2005 in San Diego, San Francisco and West Hollywood were combined in the decision. Each case offered a number of legal arguments
centered on contractual arrangements and were designed to undermine those cities' lucrative red light camera programs. The appellate
court refused to overturn lower court cases that had upheld the photo tickets.
Recent Radar Detector, Speed Trap, Speeding Ticket and Traffic Enforcement News
Rhode Island: ACLU Report Shows Red Light Camera Flaws - ACLU of Rhode Island report shows the city of Providence failed
to demonstrate any benefit from its red light camera program. A report released yesterday by the Rhode Island chapter of the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the state's only red light camera operation has been a complete failure. In 2005,
supportive lawmakers narrowly passed a law authorizing photo ticketing after agreeing to include a sunset provision that would
invalidate the law in July 2008. With the deadline looming, supporters are scrambling to save the program. On Tuesday, the state
Senate Judiciary Committee voted to make the photo ticketing authorization permanent. The full state House voted 35 to 23 to approve
a similar measure on May 8. The ACLU's report is designed to give lawmakers a reason to re-think this course of action.
New York: Lobbyist Sparks U-Turns on Cameras - Lobbyist convinces assembly red light camera foe to embrace red light
cameras. Negative publicity then forces that lawmaker to drop his embrace. One of the most powerful New York state lawmakers has
reversed himself twice on the question of red light cameras. State Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman David Gantt
(D-Rochester), a long-time foe of red light cameras, last month changed his tune and introduced AB10948, legislation that would
allow any county in the state to operate red light cameras. Currently, their use is only permitted in New York City.
6 Cities That Were Caught Shortening Yellow Light Times For Profit - Some local governments have ignored the safety
benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect
the profits instead. Chattanooga, TN, Dallas, TX, Springfield, MO, Lubbock, TX, Nashville, TN and Union City, CA, all have been
caught with short yellow light times over the past few years.
Missouri: House Committee Votes to Expand Traffic Cameras - Missouri House Transportation Committee adopts legislation
encouraging cities to install red light cameras. The Missouri House Transportation Committee voted last week to encourage
municipalities to install red light cameras. Existing state laws do not authorize the use of automated ticketing machines, but,
beginning with Arnold in 2005, several cities have gambled that such a bill would be forthcoming. State Representative Kenny Jones
(R-California) obliged by introducing a bill on behalf of the photo ticketing industry that granting that authority. According to
state Attorney General Jay Nixon, without authorization these tickets would not hold up in court.
Louisiana Lawmakers Vote to Expand Traffic Camera Use - Louisiana Senate committee adopts legislation giving
municipalities the green light to use speed cameras and red light cameras. A Louisiana state Senate committee voted last Thursday to
give the green light to municipalities eager to expand the use of red light cameras and speed cameras throughout the state. The
Senate Local and Municipal Affairs panel approved a measure introduced by state Senator Troy Hebert (D-Jeanerette) that would grant
specific, state-level authorization for the use of cameras to ticket motorists.
Colorado: Freeway Photo Radar Approved - Colorado approves freeway speed cameras. Creates possibity of ticket for failing
to move over for photo radar van. The Colorado state legislature gave its final approval last week to legislation allowing the use
of speed cameras in highway work zones. The move was part of a series of bills designed to raise $18.1 million annually for the
state budget through increased traffic fine amounts and expanded ticketing operations. The latest measure was approved by a 61-2
margin in the state House and 22-12 in the state Senate. Governor Bill Ritter (D) has indicated his intention to sign the bill into
law next week.
Stock Pressure Drives Red Light Camera Placement - Nestor Inc places red light cameras in locations designed to shore up
falling stock price. Pressure from Wall Street is driving a vendor to position red light cameras at intersections that will help
drive up its stock price. Nestor Inc. faces Nasdaq stock exchange delisting, a humiliating process that began nearly
one year ago when the Rhode Island based company's stock fell under the minimum level of $1 per share. In San Bernardino, California
City Attorney James F. Penman was led last week to issue a memo to the city manager warning that red light cameras were not being
installed at intersections based on their accident rate.
Texas: 260 Bogus Red Light Camera Tickets Tossed - Corpus Christi, Texas forced to cancel 260 red light camera tickets
issued to motorists making a safe and legal right hand turn. About 260 motorists wrongly accused of "red light running" in
Corpus Christi, Texas will have their citations canceled. After receiving numerous complaints from innocent drivers, the Gulf Coast
city was forced to admit that drivers who had safely stopped should not have been ticketed by the machine located at the
intersection of Cimarron and Yorktown.
Revenue Concerns Derail Maryland, Washington Photo Ticketing Expansion - Concerns over the disposition of profits have
thwarted efforts to expand photo ticketing in Washington state and Maryland. In Maryland, lawmakers deadlocked over whether
localities or the state should pocket the millions in revenue generated by tickets that some wanted boosted from $40 to $75. In
Washington state, the fear of a voter initiative has frozen the interest of many cities in installing new red light camera
UK: Top Speed Camera Trap Caught Tricking Motorists at Night - The most profitable UK speed camera issued $26 million in
tickets at night when a speed limit change warning sign was completely unlit. The UK's most profitable speed camera that has been
sending £60 (US $120) tickets to vehicle owners at the rate of 2000 per day may now be forced to issue refunds. The device,
located on the southbound M11 at Woodford, Essex is situated at the point where the speed limit suddenly drops from 70 MPH to 50
MPH. Last month motorist Simon Grills forced the Crown Prosecution Service to drop his speed camera ticket after he proved the
signs warning of the speed change were effectively invisible at night. Grills produced evidence showing the lights meant to
illuminate the signs had been burned out since November 18, 2005.
Missouri: Jail Time Possible for Red Light Ticket Recipients - Proposed ordinance would jail motorists in Saint Louis,
Missouri for failure to pay red light camera tickets. This means motorists who go on vacation or have a ticket that is lost in the
mail could find themselves subject to serious consequences. The penalty imposed by the proposed ordinance brings the potential fine
for non-payment up to $500 and imprisonment for up to ninety days.
It Pays to Avoid a Speeding Ticket - Or Fight One - The best advice: don't speed. But if you get nailed, fight it -
because a $50 speeding ticket can cost you thousands once your insurer gets wind of it. True, a few more bucks won't change your
life, but the fine is usually the least of your worries. Even one speeding ticket can begin to turn your name to mud in your insurer
s eyes. More than one can cost you thousands of dollars in higher premiums.
Maryland General Assembly Adopts Statewide Speed Cameras - Maryland looks to reap millions by approving speed cameras on
freeways and side streets. The Maryland state House on Thursday voted 90-45 to approve a measure authorizing speed cameras on
freeways and secondary roads throughout the state. The vote followed the state Senate adoption of a similar measure by a 26-21
margin earlier in the week. The measures were sponsored by Governor Martin O'Malley (D) who sees photo enforcement as a key to
boosting budget revenue.
Connecticut: Thousands Face Bogus Speeding Tickets - More than 83,000 motorists could face bogus speeding convictions if
Connecticut approves photo enforcement program. Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) announced as part of her
state budget submission that she intended to generate millions in new revenue with a freeway speed camera program. As the Hartford
Courant pointed out, this puts more than 83,000 motorists in the state at risk because their license plate numbers are shared by
drivers with a different type of license plate.
Camera Maker Admits Ticketing is Addictive - Cities get addicted to red light camera and speed camera revenue according
to the CEO of Affiliated Computer Services. A top vendor of speed camera and red light camera services told investors that his
company represents a great investment opportunity because the cities who use his product cannot resist the steady revenue stream it
Connecticut: Rell Wants Cameras to Focus on Speeders - Traffic cameras along Interstate 95 are nothing new, but if Gov.
M. Jodi Rell has her way, a different set of cameras will be installed along highways to photograph and ticket anyone who is
breaking the speed limit.
Houston, Texas Banks on Short Yellows - Red light cameras in the Houston, Texas area are earning millions of dollars in
extra revenue by trapping motorists with short yellow signals. KPRC-TV timed the yellow duration at a number of high-speed
intersections and found them to be far below the level recommended in Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) guidelines. At the
intersection of FM 1960 and West Townsend in Humble, for example, the posted speed is 50 MPH which suggests that the yellow should
last five seconds. Motorists, however, only get 3.6 seconds of warning before the red light camera begins issuing tickets.
Rome, Georgia Red Light Cameras Increase Wrecks, Profit - The number of accidents increased at the Rome, Georgia
intersection where a red light camera was installed, but profits have continued to increase. The total number of collisions at
Hicks Drive and Turner McCall Boulevard jumped 24 percent between 2005 and 2007 while total profit increased 19 percent.
New Mexico Senate Strikes Speed Camera Profit - The New Mexico Senate launched a direct attack on Albuquerque's speed
camera and red light camera program this week. The chamber voted 35-1 to approve a measure that cuts all automated ticket fines in
the city to $75 and mandates that the profit be distributed to the state courts. Until recently, Albuquerque's automated ticket
fines reached as high as $400 each which helped generate more than $11.7 million in revenue.
Connecticut: Governor Pushing for Freeway Speed Cameras - Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) will push for the
installation of freeway speed cameras as part of her budget submission to the legislature Wednesday. The move, combined with a
request for one hundred additional state troopers over the next five years, is designed to bolster the number of traffic citations
and generate millions in new revenue. Rell previewed her plan to the Hartford Courant newspaper yesterday. Rell follows the lead of
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (D) who announced in her January budget submission that a new statewide freeway speed camera
program would generate $165 million in revenue.
Radar Detectors Give Speed Freaks a Rush - Radar detectors, once thought of as relics, are back on the radar. As people
endure longer commutes and growing traffic jams, they are increasingly tempted to hit the gas pedal harder. Police are fighting back
with a web of electronic surveillance, from laser and radar speed traps to automated cameras that spot speeders and issue tickets by
mail. To improve their odds, committed speed demons (and scofflaws) are resorting to a new generation of high-end radar-detection
devices. The new models, which detect a wide range of radar bands and lasers, are touted as having better range and more sensitivity
than their predecessors while generating fewer false alarms.
Georgia: Speed Trap Caught Using Ticket Quotas - A local television station has uncovered evidence that a notorious
Georgia speed trap has been using traffic ticket quotas. WGCL-TV reports that DeKalb County Police officers are told during roll
call that they must issue 65 citations a month and make 25 arrests. Those on traffic duty must issue a minimum of 150 citations a
month and make 11 arrests.
Volunteer Radar Gunslingers Nail Speeders - Speeders beware. Your neighbors might have you on their radar. That's the
message police departments across the country are trying to send by loaning residents radar guns and turning them into neighborhood
speed watchers. Volunteers can't ticket the drivers they catch breaking the speed limit, but their reports can result in warning
letters being sent by police, depending on how fast the drivers were going.
Banned by the Police, Laser Gun that led to Unfair Speeding Fines - Laser guns that may have helped to wrongly convict
thousands of motorists have been shelved by a police force. The move could call into question their use to trap speeding drivers
right across the country amid fears that they give false readings.
Georgia Speed Trap Brings Huge Profit - Pendergrass, Georgia collects $1136 in ticket revenue for every resident.
Northeast Georgia's number one speed trap for the past three years in a row is continuing to generate record profits from traffic
fines. Last year, the Pendergrass Police Department collected $558,020 in fines with $312,636 in expenses leaving the department
with a $245,384 net profit for the year.
Expand protest of suburban speed traps - Motorists should thank a group of community activists and ministers for killing
at least one speed trap in Metro Detroit. Redford Township in western Wayne County had come up with a scheme to bolster the
community's treasury by paying police officers bonuses for writing extra traffic tickets.
8 top traffic-ticket myths - Much of what you've heard isn't true. But this is: If an officer asks if you know why you
were pulled over, the answer is a very polite 'no.'
Virginia County Judge Declares New Driver Penalties Unconstitutional - A Henrico County judge declared the state's new
abusive driver fees unconstitutional Thursday. With his order, Yeatts instructed Henrico General District Court clerks not to
collect civil remedial fees that can reach $1,000 or more for certain driving offenses. The ruling is binding only in Henrico County
but is being immediately appealed to Circuit Court and could eventually reach the Virginia Supreme Court.
The Taxman Hits, in the Guise of a Traffic Cop - SHORT of cash and long of arm, the State of Virginia recently unveiled the nation's first $1,050 speeding ticket. You have to go 20 miles an hour over the speed limit to get that one; but under a new set of rules there are now a whole host of violations considered "reckless driving" that subject errant Virginia drivers to fines of $1,050 to $3,000 - plus court costs, if you fight and lose. The money will be spent on maintaining roads and bridges, safety improvements and closing a $500 million gap that emerged in last year's transportation budget.
All over the country, supporting safety improvements on the wages of reckless driving has become a tradition. But in the
relations between government and its citizens, the four-digit traffic ticket also seems to signal a leap in the use of fines and
fees - and just about any other form of enhanced governmental income production - to avoid the dreaded thing itself, a tax
Virginia to issue traffic fines as high as $3,000 - Virginia is for lovers, or so the state slogan has declared since
1969. Starting Sunday [July 1, 2007], Virginia also will be the home of the $3,000 traffic ticket. The new civil charges will range
from $750 to $3,000 and be added to existing fines and court costs. The civil penalty for going 20 mph over the speed limit will be
$1,050, plus $61 in court costs and a fine that is typically about $200.
Ohio: Highway Robbery - The booming business behind tristate speed traps - and which roads bank among the worst
offenders... Speeding tickets. They're inevitable - if you spend just part of your workday on the road - and sometimes undeserved.
While there are absolutely no legitimate excuses for truly speeding, there's often no legitimate excuse for speed traps. On the Ohio
side, especially, tiny municipalities can be found bolstering revenue by setting ticket quotas and prowling the pieces of interstate
and other roadways that thread through their borders. Ohio, in fact, ranks No. 1 in the nation for issuing speeding tickets.
Georgia: Speeding May Break You - On the lookout for Georgia's worst speed traps? Here's something a radar detector won't
tell you - the price of a speeding ticket in South Georgia can vary by as much as $850, depending on where you happen to get caught.
Georgia's motorists also pay some of the highest speeding tickets in the country. Georgia is one of only five states allowing fines
up to $1,000. By contrast, 33 states charge motorists $250 or less.
Oklahoma: New Law Eliminates Speed Trap Restrictions - Several speed traps are back. State lawmakers have repealed
legislation that designated five Oklahoma communities as speed traps. Police in these areas are once again allowed to issue tickets
on highways that run through their city limits.
Texas DOT Shuts Down Photo Radar Operations - The Texas Department of Transportation has orderedcities using
unauthorized speed cameras to cease ticketing operations. Rhome Mayor Mark Lorance confirmed to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
newspaper that the city had received the department's order. Earlier this month, the state House of Representatives unanimously
voted to ban speed cameras in the state.
Ohio: Petition to Stop Speed Trap - Middlefield, Ohio residents will vote on whether to overturn an ordinance establishing
the village as a speed trap. Ohio law allows small towns to establish mayor's courts instead of using county courthouses. The
practice is meant to allow the towns to keep the significant revenue generated from motorists. The practice, however, has come under
fire because it encourages speed traps. One of the most vocal critics is the Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice.
Ohio: Petition to Stop Speed Trap - Middlefield, Ohio residents will vote on whether to overturn an ordinance establishing
the village as a speed trap. Ohio law allows small towns to establish mayor's courts instead of using county courthouses. The
practice is meant to allow the towns to keep the significant revenue generated from motorists. The practice, however, has come under
fire because it encourages speed traps. One of the most vocal critics is the Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice.
Florida: Cops Set Up Christmas Speed Trap - An Orange, County Florida cop disguised himself as an elf to issue between
$10,000 and $50,000 in speeding tickets in less than three hours.
New Device To Target Chicago Speeders - The new tool in the department for traffic enforcement is a speed gun that uses
laser technology instead of radar to catch people speeding. After using the gun three days in one district, traffic officers gave
469 tickets to speeders.
Minnesota: Police Chief Wants Speed Traps to Fund Overtime - The police chief of Goodview, Minnesota suggests speed traps
are the best way to fund overtime for his officers.
New Tool to Ticket People Who Are Not Speeding - The most popular, and controversial, laser speeding ticket gun has added
a tailgating ticket feature.
Florida: Homeless Speed Trap Is Back - Police in Ocala, Florida have brought back the practice of dressing up like the
homeless in order to generate significant traffic ticket revenue.
Top Georgia Speed Trap Collects $1000 per Resident - Police departments in small northeast Georgia cities are using
speeding tickets to generate up to $1000 per resident in annual revenue.
New Photo Radar in Scottsdale - If you drive on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard near 77th Street, you'd better watch your
CHP officers armed with lidar devices - Drivers who like to get on the gas pedal should beware. Officers of the California
Highway Patrol in Santa Cruz County have a new tool to help them more accurately catch speeding motorists than radar. The hand-held
device known as lidar, short for Light Detection and Ranging uses a light beam and creates a smaller range of field for officers to
zoom in on cars than radar systems that emit radio waves.
Oklahoma Fights Speed Trap Towns - The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety takes action to shut down small towns that
issue speeding tickets to shore up municipal budgets.
Oklahoma: Speed Trap Police Department Shut Down - The speed trap town of Shamrock, Oklahoma will lose its police
department because its officers are not properly certified.
Tennessee: Speed Trap Mayor Suspended - The speed trap mayor of Coopertown, Tennessee has been suspended after more than
a dozen witnesses documented his misconduct in court hearings.
Tennessee: Speed Trap Fine Refunds Possible - Coopertown, Tennessee may be forced to refund illegally issued speed trap
Arizona: Freeway Radar Set to Expand - Prescott Valley, Arizona moves to adopt freeway speed camera ordinance to share in
the $19 million generated in Scottsdale.
South Carolina Grand Jury Indicts Speed Trap Town - The municipal judge and police chief in McBee, South Carolina indicted
on charges of using speed traps and car seizures to raise money for the city.
Speeders Armed With High-Tech Gear Joust With Cops - The public obviously is well served when police suppress reckless
and dangerous drivers. Still, many of the nation's speed limits can be raised safely, in light of advancements in cars and
improvements in road construction. And let's face it: Speed limits have been set low in many locales for no reason other than
nabbing lots of drivers who pay fines and provide local government with extra revenue.
Man to take photo radar fight to Supreme Court - A Scottsdale [Arizona] man is taking his fight against a photo radar
ticket to the United States Supreme Court.
Top Ten US Speed Trap Cities - The National Motorists Association issued a warning to holiday weekend travelers urging them to avoid or use caution when driving through the ten cities most notorious for speed traps. "Nothing can ruin a vacation more quickly than an undeserved speeding ticket," explained Eric Skrum, the group's communications director.
The top-ten list of speed trap cities was created with data from the SpeedTrap Exchange, a site that identifies locations that combine arbitrarily low speed limits with heavy traffic enforcement designed to raise revenue. The top-ten cities are as follows:1. Detroit, Michigan suburbs
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Colorado Springs, Colorado
5. Houston, Texas
6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
7. Austin, Texas
8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
9. Nashville, Tennessee
10.Fresno, CaliforniaIllinois: Freeway Speeding Cameras Activated - Marked white photo radar vans are ticketing motorists on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Illinois. Illinois State Police officers will sit inside the vans belonging to Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) while the machine generates tickets. Illinois will pay the company $2950 per month per van as well as a $15 bonus for every ticket the company is able to generate. The program represents the only statewide use of freeway speed cameras in the United States. Currently, only two cities -- Scottsdale, Arizona and Washington, DC -- operate photo radar on freeways. Illinois stands to make far more as the state's maximum fine is five times greater than Scottsdale's.
Scottsdale, Arizona Making Millions with Photo Radar - Freeway speed camera revenue in Scottsdale, Arizona grows to nearly
$3 million with no signs of slowing. Photo radar units on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale, Arizona have generated more than
$2,894,766 in revenue since the set of six speed cameras were activated on February 22.
Ohio: Speed Trap Village Runs Illegal Court - The mayor of Brice, Ohio has canceled mayor's court hearings until further
notice after lawmakers insisted that the village was in violation of a 2003 statute designed to prevent speed traps. In Ohio, 333
towns use mayor's courts to process traffic tickets and minor infractions with the mayor able both to decide guilt or innocence in
individual cases and to decide how to spend the fine money that is collected. Ohio's top ten most successful mayors together brought
in $2.3 million for their budget in 2004 with this system. Louisiana is the only other state to use mayor's courts.
Lawrenceville, Georgia Taxes with Tickets - Traffic tickets account for more of Lawrenceville, Georgia's annual revenue
than property taxes. The Gwinnett County city of more than 26,000 residents has used police power to enrich city coffers in this way
since at least 2000.
South Carolina: Unmarked, Junk Pickup Used in Speed Trap - Charleston County, South Carolina sheriffs are using a beat up
pickup truck to sneak up on surprised motorists and issue speeding tickets. Police seized the V-6 powered domestic long-bed truck in
a drug raid. They then equipped it with blue police lights and tinted windows, making it very hard to identify as a legitimate
Panel rejects allowing radar detectors in Virginia - A legislative committee today [1/26/2006] rejected a bill that would
have ended Virginia's distinction as the only state that bans radar detectors.
Virginia Mulls Repeal of Radar Detector Ban - Virginia Delegate Joe T. May, (R-Leesburg) is working to repeal the state's
law making it a crime to possess a radar detector in an automobile. Earlier this month [1/2006] May introduced HB 1120 which would
eliminate the $96 ticket police currently issue to those caught with the device - whether it was in use or not. "Is your
objective to keep people in the speed limit, or is your objective to issue citations?" May asked in the Winchester Star
newspaper. He explained the ban provides a "rude welcome" to visitors from the forty-nine states that have no such law and
are among its most frequent recipients.
Arizona Gives Final Approval to Freeway Photo Radar - Scottsdale, Arizona begins installation of its lucrative new freeway
speed camera system. Early estimates suggested the city could issue between 1500 and 2500 tickets every day, generating $235,000 in
Coburg, Oregon Speed Trap Returns - The city of Coburg, Oregon, population 969, will take in $630,000 in speeding ticket
revenue. Despite efforts by the Oregon legislature to shut down speed trap operations, the city of Coburg is on track to collect 37
percent of its annual revenue from speeding tickets.
Florida: Inaccurate Lidar Tickets Discovered - Florida Highway Patrol officers have been issuing inaccurate laser speed
gun tickets on the Midpoint Memorial Bridge toll plaza between Coral Ridge and Fort Meyers. After hearing a complaint, WBBH-TV
double-checked a day's worth of tickets issued at the same location and discovered a number of tickets were based upon the wrong
Speed trap or safety measure? Summersville, W. Va., police wrote 10,000 tickets in 2004 - It's the kind of sign that
invites a double take. Or leads drivers to point with one hand and poke their passengers with the other one. It's the kind of sign
that makes you want to slam on the brakes. "Summersville, The World's Largest SPEED TRAP 4 MILES AHEAD."
Wisconsin: Police Hassle Speed Trap Samaritan - Police in Madison, Wisconsin threatened jail time to a good samaritan who
warned fellow motorists of an upcoming speed trap.
Petition May Stop Scottsdale Photo Radar - Scottsdale, Arizona's plan to raise $22 million in revenue through the use of
speed cameras on the Loop 101 freeway could be stopped by a vote of the public. Local activist Michael Merrill is attempting to
gather 3,384 signatures in the city of 200,000 within the next two weeks to qualify for a referendum on the March 14 election
ballot. More than 500 signatures have been collected so far.
CHP Expands Use Of Radar To Catch Speeders - California Highway Patrol officers have been using radar guns to clock
vehicle speeds on stretches of Interstates 5 and 15 for years, but now they will start using them on all other local freeways.
The Number One Speed Trap in Georgia - The town of Pendergrass takes in more cash from speeding tickets than any other
city in Georgia. Last year, the town of 480 residents generated $490,574 in traffic citation revenue, with the net profit amounting
to one-half of the town's entire budget and seven times the revenue generated from property tax receipts.
Expert spills some secrets on beating a ticket - Beating a traffic ticket in California's Superior Courts means preparing
a case, knowing the law and asking the right questions, according to an attorney who's written two books on the subject.
Appeals Court Overturns Pennsylvania Radar Gag Order - Philadelphia papers can once again report on the Pennsylvania
State Police radar cover-up. The 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed an order that was designed to prevent public disclosure
of damaging information regarding the faulty Genesis brand radar speed detecting unit used by the Pennsylvania State Police as well
as many other forces around the country.
Don't jettison photo radar just because it's not a cash cow - The Arizona Legislature has attached some stringent
requirements to photo radar, including the need to photograph not only the vehicle license plate, but also the driver's face and the
actual violation. Some states have less stringent requirements, which means more citations and fines, but Arizona's requirements are
appropriate in terms of proving a violation actually occurred and that the driver - rather than the vehicle's registered owner - is
held responsible. The fact that photo safety programs aren't at least breaking even for the East Valley cities that have them is
probably disappointing to both foes who'd assumed it was a cash cow and to taxpayers who don't mind seeing speeders and red-light
runners smacked in the pocketbook.
Photo radar, red-light camera cash eludes East Valley cities - The concept seems like a gold mine for police departments:
Cameras catching speeders and red-light runners, so officers don't have to. But in reality, photo safety programs lose money. At
least for Arizona cities. Everybody else involved does just fine. The state cashes in. Private vendors and process servers cash in.
And insurance companies and defensive driving schools cash in. But the six photo safety programs in the East Valley and Phoenix
drained city coffers of nearly $1 million combined in fiscal 2004-05.
Harrington police: Speeders beware; State Farm grant buys laser - The business of speed enforcement just got a whole lot
better in Harrington, Delaware. Thanks to a $4,000 grant from State Farm Insurance, the Harrington Police Department has purchased
the latest in what civilians call radar guns and police know as Lidar - an infrared laser device.
Massachusetts: Town Cops Warn Motorists of State Speed Trap - Motorists in Nahant, Massachusetts are the beneficiaries of
a territorial dispute between the town's police force and state troopers. The town police are flashing lights on their cruisers to
warn of a radar speed trap operated by the state police on the Nahant Causeway.
Utah Cops Set Up Radar Speed Trap at Church - Provo, Utah Mayor Lewis Billings has instructed city police not to set up
speed traps on private property without the consent of the owner. His directive came after complaints about a police sting operation
being run out of a church.
Encinitas eyes photo radar to nab speeders - The city of Encinitas, California which uses cameras to catch red-light
runners, is considering similar technology to nab speeders. "Photo radar enforcement," as the technology is called, weds
speed-sensing radar to cameras. Only one California city, San Jose, is known to use the system. Like red-light cameras, which the
city uses at its busiest intersection on El Camino Real at Encinitas Boulevard, an automated, anti-speeding system would be cheaper
to employ than a sheriff's deputy.
Freeway photo radar ban squeaks through House - The Arizona state House of Representatives barely approved a bill Monday
that would limit any possible use of photo radar on freeways to a one year pilot program on Loop 101 through Scottsdale.
CHP Turning To Lasers Not Radar To Snare Speeders - The Solano area California Highway Patrol announced Thursday that
effective April 8 LIDAR will be used for speed enforcement on all freeways, highways, and county roads that are currently surveyed
for the use of traffic radar.
Illinois Speed Cameras to Take License on 2nd Offense - Beginning in July the State of Illinois will use speed cameras in
areas designated as "work zones" on major freeways. Anyone caught by the devices will be mailed a $375 ticket for the
first offense, but a second ticket will cost $1000 and comes with a 90-day license suspension. Drivers will also face higher
insurance premiums as the first offense remains on the record for 4-5 years, but a second offense remains for a minimum of 7 years.
This represents the harshest penalty structure yet for a city using photo enforcement.
Oklahoma Cities May Get Caught in Their Own Speed Traps - New legislation approved by the legislature last year allows the
department to investigate communities that gain 50 percent or more of their operating revenue from writing tickets on state highways
or interstates. Towns also are looked at if a disproportionate number of tickets come from the highways. The state can legally
prevent towns from enforcing traffic laws on the highways if they are seen as abusing the right.
Laser-Equipped Detectors Zero In On Speeders - New Detectors Work Better Than Radar - State police in Massachusetts and
New Hampshire are using laser-equipped detectors to zero in on speeders.
AAA Questions D.C.'s Photo Radar - AAA Mid-Atlantic became concerned about the cameras after it learned about a letter
that Washington, D.C. Mayor Tony Williams sent to Council Chair Linda Cropp in December asking the council to continue the city's
automated traffic enforcement program. The letter reportedly never mentioned safety but did say there was an "urgent need"
to continue the program to collect revenue for the District.
Drivers push for hearings on cameras - The region's largest advocacy group for motorists is urging the Washington D.C.
Council to hold oversight hearings on the city's use of red-light and speed camera technology, citing a recent plea by Mayor Anthony
A. Williams to keep the program so the city can continue to collect revenue.
Rocky hoping photo radar gets green light - Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson's push to regain the ability for cities to
install PhotoCop-like traffic enforcement will hit the City Council tonight. Soon the push will reach the Utah Legislature.
Radar flap hurts police reputation - The effectiveness of our justice system relies on a presumption of fairness, whether
the infraction being prosecuted is a felony, a misdemeanor or a summary offense. So when a common law-enforcement tool is suspected
of returning unreliable results, a quick remedy to the situation should be called for. The Pennsylvania State Police, however,
didn't see it that way when it turned out that a particular brand of radar speed-measuring device was known to malfunction
frequently. The Associated Press reports that state police rejected a free fix offered by the radar gun's manufacturer because they
were afraid that motorists would challenge their tickets if word of the recall got out.
Photo radar on Frank Lloyd Wright leads tickets - A relatively new photo radar installation in north Scottsdale, AZ, has
become the top source of speeding tickets - surpassing even a fleet of four vans that operates 20 hours a day, six days a week.
New photo radar begins - Another new photo radar device will start clicking shots of scofflaws Monday morning when
Scottsdale, Arizona turns on the latest red-light and speed camera at Shea Boulevard and Scottsdale Road.
Judge voids speed trap's traffic tickets - Columbus, Ohio, judge has dismissed pending traffic tickets issued by a defunct
village known for being a speed trap. The decision affects about 2,000 motorists.