Poway Red Light Cameras Still Up

As of Jan 10, 2014, Poway’s red light cameras are still up, despite a statement from Redflex representative saying they will be removed 30 days from the date of the council’s vote to remove the cameras, according to this article from Oct 15, 2013,

The Poway City Council Tuesday night unanimously voted to end its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems immediately. Its representative said the cameras will be removed within 30 days after the company is notified in writing of the decision.

The vote to remove the cameras came after a 6 month period where the cameras were shut off and crashes declined compared to the 6 months prior with the cameras turned on.

Is this more incompetence by Redflex, or some sneaky attempt to weasel back into a new contract?

Poway_Camera

RLC at Scripps Pkwy & Community, Jan 10, 2014.

 

Speed? Let the people decide

Fantastic article that explores the point we always make here: If safety is so important and speed is so dangerous, why not lower all limits to 20? Reprinted here without permission from OnlineOpinion.com.au:

Did you cop a speeding ticket these holidays? Many did. Speed limits have the status of holy writ, with everyone expected to obey them. Officially, fines are atonement for sinning.

We are repeatedly told how many people were killed in road accidents over the holiday season, invariably attributed to excess speed. There are gory advertisements warning of lifelong injuries, with big brother enforcement via fixed and hidden cameras, double demerits, average speed cameras, aerial monitoring and highway patrols.

The underlying message never varies – below the speed limit is safe, above the limit is not.

The public thinks otherwise. In the absence of visible enforcement or perceived hazards, voluntary compliance with speed limits is low. A 2009 survey found less than 20% of drivers admit to always driving at or under the speed limit. Another found only 41% thought speeding by up to 10 km/h in a 100 km/h zone was unacceptable, while 38% admitted to speeding by 10-19 km/h and 21% by 20 km/h or more.

Outside narrow suburban streets, exceeding the speed limit is not seen as a problem.

The National Road Safety Strategy seeks to change that. Its aim is to “reduce poor road user behaviour” through “behavioural change”, and has a vision that “no person should be killed or seriously injured on Australia’s roads.”

It asserts we need lower speed limits, additional enforcement including in-car speed monitoring, plus increased penalties.

There is a link between speed and the risk of accidents and injuries. The degree of correlation is disputed and there is some evidence that modestly higher speed limits would reduce the accident rate, but higher speeds certainly lead to more serious accidents and ultimately more of them.

The question is, why not drastically lower speed limits? Given the aim of zero deaths and injuries, why not reduce the speed limit to something like 20 km/h so that accidents are either eliminated or only have minor consequences?

The answer, fairly obviously, is that it would be unacceptable to the community. There is an implicit assumption in speed limits that there will be a certain level of deaths and serious injuries as the price paid for convenient travel. The vision of the National Road Safety Strategy is not only unobtainable, but irrational.

That raises an interesting question. When the law says one thing and most people have a different view, which should prevail? And perhaps more to the point, who should set the speed limits?

The people who currently set them are anonymous, unaccountable bureaucrats. Perhaps the most powerful people in Australia, they essentially decide how many people should die on our roads. Governments and ministers come and go, but they and their speed limits are always there.

Speed Limit Fixation

Governments and municipalities have fallen in love with the easy revenue that automated ticketing machines can provide. But as with anything, there is a trade off. Do we really want drivers fixated on their speedometers and focused on noticing every speed limit sign they pass? This article from TheNewspaper.com discusses this subject:

In jurisdictions with automated speed enforcement, cruise control can save drivers from receiving a nasty surprise in the mail. A study released July 30 from the Vinci Autoroutes Foundation concluded that this reliance on cruise control can actually make driving more dangerous.

Researchers at the University of Strasbourg’s Centre d’Investigations Neurocognitives et Neurophysiologiques placed a group of 90 test subjects in a driving simulator. The individuals were split into young, middle age, and elderly groups with an equal number of men and women. Each performed a series of tests along a 75 mile simulated highway drive. The tests were repeated in different sessions with no electronic aids, with cruise control and with a speed limiter.

Data from the experiment show that drivers using cruise control tended to stay in the fast line too long when overtaking slower cars. They would also ride between five and ten percent closer to the bumpers of vehicles before and after making a pass. When using a speed control devices, the driver moves the steering wheel less often, but the steering corrections tended to be about one-third sharper when using cruise control. Reaction times decreased by one second, adding 25 feet to the braking distance at 80 MPH.

The test used a subjective measure of drowsiness called the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale and an objective electroencephalogram to determine that younger drivers had significantly reduced attentiveness when using cruise control. After an hour of driving with cruise control, the onset of drowsiness was 25 percent more likely.

“More generally, this study shows the need for the driver to master the use of driving aids, which may, by automating control of the vehicle, deprive the driver of part of his or her attention and control capacity,” the study’s author, Professor Andre Dufour, said. “The driver must remain in control of the vehicle and responsible for his or her driving under all circumstances.”

These findings are consistent with those of the late Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign, who calculated that each time a driver looked down to check his speedometer in a 200 yard speed camera zone — each glance takes about 1.1 seconds — he loses 13 percent of the time available to observe the road for hazards. The UK Department for Transport lists driver inattention as the cause of 25 percent of accidents.

“We believe that speed limiters that ‘know’ the speed limit are probably the most dangerous idea around in modern road safety,” Smith had written. “Such limiters take no account of the mechanisms by which accidents are avoided, and the net effect of wide installation would be extremely dangerous. We’d have a nation of… zombie drivers.”

Red Light Cameras, Drones and Surveillance: Fleecing the Taxpayer in the Age of Petty Tyrannies

Another great editorial about cameras, re-posted here without permission from Canada Free Press:

We labor today under the weight of countless tyrannies, large and small, carried out in the name of the national good by an elite class of government officials who are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions. We, the middling classes, are not so fortunate. We find ourselves badgered, bullied and browbeaten into bearing the brunt of their arrogance, paying the price for their greed, suffering the backlash for their militarism, agonizing as a result of their inaction, feigning ignorance about their backroom dealings, overlooking their incompetence, turning a blind eye to their misdeeds, cowering from their heavy-handed tactics, and blindly hoping for change that never comes.

As I point out in my book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the overt signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government are all around us: warrant-less surveillance of Americans’ private phone and email conversations by the NSA; SWAT team raids of Americans’ homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; roving TSA sweeps; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that collect and disseminate data on Americans’ private transactions; and militarized agencies with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling.

Yet as egregious as these incursions on our rights may be, it’s the endless, petty tyrannies inflicted on an overtaxed, overregulated, and underrepresented populace that occasionally nudge a weary public out of their numb indifference and into a state of outrage. Consider, for example, that federal and state governments now require on penalty of a fine that individuals apply for permission before they can grow exotic orchids, host elaborate dinner parties, gather friends in one’s home for Bible studies, give coffee to the homeless, or keep chickens as pets.

Consider, too, the red light camera schemes that have been popping up all over the country. These traffic cameras, little more than intrusive, money-making scams for states, have been shown to do little to increase safety while actually contributing to more accidents. Nevertheless, they are being inflicted on unsuspecting drivers by revenue-hungry municipalities, despite revelations of corruption, collusion and fraud.

In most cases, state and local governments arrange to lease the cameras from a corporation such as Redflex, which takes its cut of ticket revenue first, with the excess going to the states and municipalities. The cameras, which are triggered by sensors buried in the road, work by taking photos of drivers who enter intersections after a traffic light turns red. What few realize, however, is that you don’t actually have to run a red light to get “caught.” Many drivers have triggered the cameras simply by making a right turn on red or crossing the sensor but not advancing into the intersection.

Indeed, these intricate red light camera systems—which also function as surveillance cameras—placed in cities and towns throughout America, ostensibly for our own good, are in reality simply another means for government and corporate officials to fleece the American people. Virginia is a perfect example of what happens when politicians sacrifice safety to generate revenue. In March 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell approved legislation that allows private corporations operating the red light camera systems, such as the Australian-based Redflex, to directly access motorists’ confidential information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. What this means is that not only will government agents have one more means of monitoring a person’s whereabouts, but a remote, privately-owned corporation will now have access to drivers’ confidential information.

Another provision signed into law by McDonnell also shortened the amount of time given to alleged traffic law violators to respond to citations resulting from red light camera violations. While prior law allotted 60 days for the response, the amendment cut that time in half to 30 days. This gives the driver scant time to receive and review the information, determine what action is required, inspect the evidence, consider appealing the citation and respond appropriately. In this way, by shortening the appeal time, more drivers are forced to pay the fine or face added penalties.

For red light camera manufacturers such as Redflex, there’s a lot of money to be made from these “traffic safety” fines. Redflex, which has installed and operates over 2,000 red light camera programs in 220 localities across the United States and Canada, made $25 million in 2008. In addition to revenue from fines, Redflex also gets paid for installing the red light cameras, which cost $25,000 a pop, plus $13,800 per year for maintenance.

Although these cameras are in use all across America, Chicago boasts the “largest enforcement program in the world.” Since installing Chicago’s 384 red light cameras in 2003, Redflex has made $97 million from residents of the Windy City, while the city has profited to the tune of over $300 million. Hoping to pull in an additional $30 million for the year 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel began negotiating a new contract last year with Redflex to install speed cameras. However, contract negotiations for the speed cameras were terminated shortly after it was revealed that Chicago city officials had been on the receiving end of millions of dollars in financial bribes from Redflex. Chicago is now in the process of terminating its contract with Redflex, despite seeming attempts by Mayor Emanuel’s office to delay the process.

Redflex’s use of graft and chicanery in Chicago in order to pull in greater profits seems to be the rule rather than the exception when it comes to the company’s overall business practices. For example, in Center Point, Alabama, a red light camera program (again operated by Redflex) saw motorists being issued fines under the pretext that their tickets could be appealed and their cases heard in court. Unfortunately, since no such court exists, those targeted with citations were compelled to pay the fine. They are now pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the city and Redflex.

One particularly corrupt practice aimed at increasing the incidence of red light violations (and fines) involves the shortening of yellow lights in intersections with red light cameras, despite the fact that reports show that lengthening the yellow lights serves to minimize accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, “a one second increase in yellow time results in 40 percent decrease in severe red light crashes.”

Indeed, those who claim to champion the use of red light cameras in the name of traffic safety are loath to consider reducing the length of yellow lights if it means losing significant citation revenue. An investigative report by a Tampa Bay news station revealed that in 2011, Florida officials conspired to reduce the length of yellow lights at key intersections below minimum federal recommendations in order to issue more citations and collect more fines via red light camera. By reducing the length of yellow lights by a mere half-second, Florida officials doubled the number of citations issued. Contrast that with what happened when the yellow light time was increased from 3 seconds to the minimum requirement of 4.3 seconds at one Florida intersection: traffic citations dropped by 90 percent.

If you want to know the real motives behind any government program, follow the money trail. Florida is a perfect example. In 2012 alone, Florida pulled in about $100 million from red light cameras operating in 70 communities. About half the profits went into state coffers, while the other half was split between counties, cities and the corporation which manufactures the cameras. Officials are anticipating increased profits of $120 million for 2013. Following the trail beyond the local governments working with Redflex to inflict these cameras on drivers, and you’ll find millions of dollars in campaign funds flowing to Florida politicians from lobbyists for the red light camera industry.

Fortunately, the resistance against these programs is gaining traction, with localities across the United States cancelling their red-light camera programs in droves. In early May 2013, officials in Phoenix, Arizona backpedaled on a one-year extension of their contract with Redflex, with the city’s chief financial officer, Jeff Dewitt saying, “We made a mistake.” Voters in League City, Texas became the fifth city in the state to vote to end red light camera enforcement, ending another of Redflex’s contracts in the United States. Cities in Florida, Arizona, and California have terminated contract negotiations with the company, and in March 2013, a parish in Louisiana voted to refund nearly $20 million in revenue from red-light cameras after yet another corruption scandal came to light. Florida state legislators are also considering banning all red light cameras in the state.

What’s the lesson here? Whether you’re talking about combating red light cameras, banning the use of weaponized surveillance drones domestically, putting an end to warrant-less spying, or reining in government overspending, if you really want to enact change, don’t waste your time working at the national level, where graft and corruption are entrenched. The place to foment change, institute true reforms, and resist government overreach is at the local level. That’s what federalism in early America was all about—government from the bottom up—a loose collective of local governments with power invested in the populace, reflecting their will to those operating at the national level. Remarking on the benefits of the American tradition of local self-government in the 1830s, the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed:

Local institutions are to liberty what primary schools are to science; they put it within the people’s reach; they teach people to appreciate its peaceful enjoyment and accustom them to make use of it. Without local institutions a nation may give itself a free government, but it has not got the spirit of liberty.

To put it another way, if we are to have any hope of reclaiming our run-away government and restoring our freedoms, change will have to start at the local level and trickle upwards. There is no other way.

Errors and suspicion cloud operation of speed cameras

Another great editorial, republished without permission from DelmarvaNow.com:

Speed cameras were controversial from the time they were first installed in school zones in the Salisbury area. Some people object to the devices on an ideological basis; others just resent being cited unjustly.

Some of the complaints and criticisms are well-deserved. The cameras are neither foolproof nor perfect. People sometimes get tickets when they weren’t speeding. Sometimes vehicle owners get citations in the mail when someone else was driving. Since there is no “accuser” to face in court, some say the cameras are unconstitutional.

The Maryland Drivers Alliance, which opposes speed cameras in the state, also claims state officials were unable to provide proof and documentation that the devices are kept in good working order at all times, calibrated for the appropriate speed and accurate. Louis Wilen, a spokesman, said a lot of tickets were issued that should not have been.

In Wicomico County, the cameras may only be used in “school zones” where students cross streets in heavy numbers at the beginning and end of each school day. Critics charge that the cameras should, therefore, be turned off when school is not in session. They say the cameras are not about safety at all, but rather serve as a revenue stream for local government.

Salisbury-area residents cite instances when they were issued a citation while their vehicle was parked or in traffic but not moving. And there are ways around getting photographed — reflective coatings on license plates, for example.

In an ideal world, we would have officers stationed at every school at the opening and closing of each school day.

We don’t live in an ideal world.

Law enforcement leaders say since the cameras were installed, average speeds have decreased significantly in those areas. In that sense, the cameras have accomplished one goal. And money obtained through violations in those camera zones has been used to purchase equipment used by accident reconstruction experts, which is an appropriate and productive use of the money.

Perhaps roving cameras could be used to increase the odds of of getting caught without constant monitoring.

However, it seems certain that maintenance and calibration are key. People might grumble if they are caught legitimately, but no one should have to pay a fine for something they did not do.

Speed cameras are not a perfect way to keep speeds down near busy schools. But scrupulous attention to calibration and maintenance would go a long way toward better public acceptance.

Take a hard look when considering red-light cameras

Fantastic article by Kenneth F. Warren in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Re-posted here without permission:

Take a hard look when considering red-light cameras

Make no mistake, red-light camera companies such as Redflex and American Traffic Solutions are private businesses out to maximize their profits, not necessarily to promote public safety. These companies spend millions of dollars paying PR firms, lawyers and lobbyists to promote the use of their cameras They are responsible for planting stories in the media, often using prominent public or former public officials to distort the truth about the effectiveness of red-light cameras.

The reality is that the red-light camera companies now face a very uncertain financial future, not only because red-light camera use is facing all sorts of legitimate legal challenges, but because an increasing number of rigorous, independent studies cast serious doubt on their effectiveness. For example, University of South Florida public health researchers, examining independent red-light camera studies, concluded: “Rather than improving motorist safety, red-light cameras significantly increase crashes.” Barbara Langland-Orban, the lead researcher, summarized her research, noting: “The rigorous studies clearly show red-light cameras don’t work.” I concur.

Large and small cities such as Houston, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and Fort Collins, Colo., among others, have stopped using red-light cameras because they have become disenchanted with their ineffectiveness. Fort Collins ditched its red-light camera program when intersection accidents increased by 83 percent after red-light cameras were installed. Addicted to the red-light camera “cash cow,” Los Angeles city officials initially claimed their red-light cameras reduced traffic accidents, but a study by KCAL-TV found that 20 of 32 LA intersections with red-light cameras experienced an increase in accidents with triple the accident rate at several intersections.

Exposed, the Los Angeles City Council in 2012 voted 13-0 to cancel its red-light camera program after their Police Commission acknowledged an audit that disclosed that the red-light cameras failed to enhance safety and that about two-thirds of the $480 citations plus fees were issued for simply rolling right turns. Reflecting upon LA’s red-light camera program, Councilman Dennis Cine confessed: “It was completely wrong. It was strictly designed to bring in revenue and didn’t do anything for public safety.”

In dumping their red-light cameras, Hayward, Calif., Police Chief Diane Urban said: “Rear-end accidents increase significantly because people come to a screeching halt. There’s no proven correlation between red-light camera systems and consistently decreasing crashes.”

Locally, communities have been canceling their red-light camera contracts, while other communities throughout the state have suspended their use in light of three recent court decisions questioning their legality. For example, in 2011 the Washington, Mo., City Council voted 6-2 to drop its red-light camera program because its three-year experience with ATS’s red-light cameras proved ineffective. In an interview with Washington Police Chief Ken Hahn, he told me that ATS’s people were great to work with, but their cameras simply did not work to reduce traffic accidents. In 2011, Jefferson County backed out of a pending contract with ATS, while Brentwood did not renew its contract with ATS last April because new council members were skeptical toward the red-light camera system.

Traffic engineers have found that one reason red-light cameras are not effective is because intersection accidents are mostly caused by unintentional red-light running, often occurring several seconds after the light turns red, not by intentional red-light running within a fraction of a second of the light turning red when normally cars with the green light have not yet entered the intersection. Red-light cameras are simply not very effective against these “distracted” drivers who unintentionally run red lights, causing very dangerous “T-bone” crashes. Traffic engineers claim that simply lengthening the yellow light time a little and keeping all lights red for a second or so, allowing the intersection to clear, work more effectively to reduce intersection accidents than red-light cameras.

Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he plans to balance his 2014 budget with $120 million in red-light camera/speed camera fines. But it seems immoral for public officials to support a red-light camera program just because these cameras have the potential to generate vast revenues for their cities. Public officials have a sworn obligation to protect the public by promoting public safety. As U.S. PIRG asserts, public officials, when considering red-light camera programs, should “put public safety first in decisions regarding enforcement of traffic laws and this includes evaluating privatized law enforcement camera systems against alternative safety options without regard to potential revenues.”

Despite Emanuel, many public officials have become aware of the cost-ineffectiveness of red-light cameras. In 2011 almost 700 communities nationwide used red-light cameras, but today only about 500 communities do.

Kenneth F. Warren is a professor of political science and public policy at St. Louis University. He received a Beaumont Award this year to study red-light cameras in the U.S., Britain and China

Why you should care about red-light cameras

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. The website if pretty much up to date with all recent stories.
I’ve decided to re-print this opinion piece as it is really well written by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon. The original post can be found here.

Why you should care about red-light cameras: Opinion

More people approach me regarding the red-light camera issue than any other. Despite that level of passion — virtually all of it appropriately against the devices — there are still folks who say, “This is a minor issue,” or “Just don’t run red lights and you have nothing to worry about.” Those people are wrong on both counts.

Let’s agree that it wouldn’t be fair, or safe, to do away with yellow lights altogether, with lights changing from green directly to red. By the same token, yellow lights that simply flashed for a split second wouldn’t be fair or serve their purpose, to permit people who are too close to the intersection to stop, to have enough time to travel through safely.

So we must conclude that yellow lights should be of an appropriate and fair duration. Problem is, they invariably aren’t appropriate or fair at intersections with red-light camera. The lights are designed to entrap and fine reasonably behaving, law-abiding motorists.

Red-light cameras don’t improve safety. We know this from decades of data collected throughout the United States and Europe. If you watch videos of people causing major accidents at intersections, almost none are caused by scofflaws who blindly run red lights — they are you or me on a bad day, after a fight with our spouse or a screaming kid in the back seat, or worried about our jobs. If the prospect of death isn’t enough to stop someone from absentmindedly driving through a red light, then an $85 or $140 — or $5,000 _ fine isn’t going to, either.

Additionally, if you increase yellow light times at these supposedly hazardous intersections — as has been done with uniformly successful results in other states and municipalities — you reduce red-light running more dramatically than cameras do.

Given those facts, it is unquestionable that the devices are all about raising money. And here is why everyone should care about this issue. If we let our government pick our pockets with irrational policies and laws that aren’t based on any sound engineering or facts, just think of the Pandora’s Box that opens. How about 15 mph speed limits on every stretch of every road? How about a blanket prohibition on left turns? How about traffic lights in the middle of every block — or heck, every 100 feet — with cameras, of course. Would that be ridiculously arbitrary and outrageous? You bet. But it is simply taking the red-light camera program to its logical (or illogical) extreme. If we don’t demand our government behave in a reasonable, rational way taking into account the laws we can’t change, like those of physics, then we open ourselves up to government-designed and -sanctioned anarchy and oppression.

Unless red-light camera intersections are set up to entrap motorists with short yellow lights, there aren’t enough red-light runners to pay for the devices. Short yellow lights make intersections more dangerous, too. So in the name of ill-gotten revenue, we are actually sacrificing safety. The companies that sell red-light cameras know this. The officials presiding over and advocating for these insidious devices should, too. The camera companies are more than happy to sacrifice the health, welfare and lives of motorists to keep the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing out of our pockets and into theirs. Some of that money is “invested” into the campaign coffers of passively corrupt elected officials — who then vote to keep the gravy train rolling, best interests of New Jersey residents be damned. It’s disgusting. And if we continue to permit them to so blatantly take advantage of us, we will only have ourselves to thank for their next attempts at picking our pockets — and endangering our families.

Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) of Little Silver represents the 13th Legislative District.

Speed Camera Van Fails To Prevent Another Crash in Tucson

ABC15 News is reporting yet another failure of photo enforcement to protect itself from being crashed into.

TUCSON, AZ – A man is in custody in Tucson after allegedly crashing his car into a parked photo radar van.

Tucson police say 25-year-old Matthew Jones is being held on suspicion of felony criminal damage and driving under the influence.

He was arrested after the New Year’s Day accident in the midtown area.

Police say Jones’ vehicle veered off the road and struck the radar van.

Just another example of the ineffectiveness of photo enforcement.

Emphasis on Speed Questioned, and Rightfully So

It’s worth pointing out a recent article at TheNewspaper.com about the former Australian road safety official who questioned the emphasis on speed for improving safety. We agree and have always been troubled with this obsession. Especially in light of the NHTSA report that says that “speed too fast” causes fewer than 2.9% of crashes.
The reality is that measuring speed is the easiest and most obvious violation to observe and prosecute, along with red light running which makes it an easy target for public perception and to fill government coffers. Lane violations, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are much harder to identify and have no automated ticketing solutions.
It’s important to remind everyone again that “speed-related” and “speeding” can often mean “too fast for conditions” and does not mean “above the posted limit” which is the only violation a camera can effectively detect. Meanwhile there are several engineering measures that can be employed to improve safety, such as rumble strips and ensuring that speed limits are appropriate to begin with, along with public education. How about switching some revenue from the seatbelt PSA’s to messages about distracted driving and driving in poor weather conditions, as well as messages to clear up misconceptions about driving laws?

Chicago Corruption Reveals New Evidence To Prove the Scam

Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported several ethics violations by Redflex consultant Marty O’Malley that resulted in the company’s bid for a huge new photo enforcement contract being deemed ineligible.

Now, the Chicago Tribune has revealed that Marty O’Malley introduced Redflex to a Bryan Wagner who later became the consultant hired in Jefferson Parish, Lousiana. And just like in Chicago, there have been allegations of corruption which has led to an FBI investigation which is still ongoing. But perhaps the most revealing is this comment by O’Malley:

Yes, that’s correct. I introduced them,” O’Malley told the Tribune. “Bryan Wagner and I worked together when I worked for an environmental abatement company in Louisiana in the 1990s. I knew Redflex was having trouble making any headway there, so I mentioned that I knew somebody down there that might help if they were interested.”

This comment says everything we need to know. If photo enforcement was as great as claimed, why would it be necessary to hire politically-connected consultants to land contracts? This means that city/parish officials were uninterested in photo enforcement for genuine reasons of improved safety. City officials weren’t interested until they were persuaded by a well-paid consultant to begin a lucrative photo enforcement program. Our best guess is that no other photo enforcement companies were ever seriously considered for the contract and the bidding process was fixed. What else would you expect from Redflex? This is standard operating procedure.

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