ATE Racket Report for February 4, 2019

The ATE Racket Report is a weekly feature of the NMA blog. We want to bring the issues of automated traffic enforcement to our supporters in a more coherent up-to-date fashion.  

Compiled by NMA Foundation Director James C. Walker and NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn.

The Week of January 26—February 1, 2019…

Our Friends at TheNewspaper.com posted this story last week: Florida Studies Find No Significant Reduction in Accidents from Red Light Cameras.  From all of our information, the NMA would concur!

Speaking of RLCs in Florida, the Orlando Sentinel posted this quite appropriate editorial: Red-light cameras: Let the people decide | Commentary

San Francisco Could Be First to Ban Facial Recognition Tech  — The city is working on their own community surveillance guidelines and might go beyond Santa Clara County’s which is considered one of the most far reaching set of guidelines in the country.

Google’s Sidewalk Labs plans to Package and Sell Location Data on Millions of Cellphones –This is not cool…nobody thought they were signing up to have a company make money off of you in this way. Also, no one ever wants an outside group to know where you go, when you go…shame on you Google!

60 Minutes: Private company launches “largest fleet of satellites in human history” to photograph Earth—Worth watching because this is important information to know!

Florida: Judge says Lakeland can move Confederate statue–funded by Red-Light Camera Tickets –Looks like the statue will be moving funded privately—through red-light camera ticket fines…c’mon folks! This is never a reason to use RLCs fine money.

The never ending story of speed cameras in Iowa had a new turn last week.

Yellow Vests Protest continue in France—please remember the NMA does not condone violence as a form of protest.

Wait and See…

Filed Florida bill to ban red-light cameras statewide could affect local area—you betcha!  Getting rid of RLCs will have a positive impact on all motorists driving through the RLC cities of Florida!

Illinois is the next state working on banning RLCs—can lawmakers get it together and get these policing for profit devices out? Illinois Drivers may see end of Automated Tickets from Red-Light Cameras (HB 322 and HB 323)

Some rather distressing news from Louisiana:

NY Governor Cuomo’s outrageous speed-camera cash grab for the NYC Subway  –if this is the Governor’s reason for supporting a speed trap in all of NYC, it is outrageous!

Curbing police data collection aim of proposed SC law: ‘Our rights are being eroded’ –Anytime our data is not regulated, our rights are eroded!

Texas bill (HB 901) would allow auto registration despite pending red-light camera violation—this would virtually make all RLC citations pointless…interesting way to defeat these policing for profit devices.

Mesquite, TX man questions city’s red-light camera program at city council meeting—Need more folks to stand up and question local officials—when more folks begin to question, the more folks will stand up and be counted to get rid of these things!

Bad News…

Organizations not thrilled with new Chicago PD license plate readers—rightly so…Chicago is so full of surveillance and now the police department is using ALPRs –What can go wrong?

More than 28,000 Hagerstown, MD speed camera tickets in school zones issued in FY18

Pennsylvania: New law putting cameras on school buses goes into effect—this state seems like it is sliding as quickly as possible into a surveillance state.

Chattanooga, Tennessee police excessive force case raises questions about body camera storage, sharing—surveillance needs to have community standards. Chattanooga needs to work through this too…it is the best way to make sure that the community becomes involved in standards so that the police and the community know what is expected and allowed.

Comments from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

The annual Florida report on RLCs was at least the third one showing increased crashes at camera intersections – making a mockery of any claims of safety benefits.

Orlando is one of the most predatory RLC cities, so the editorial saying people should vote is a BIG change. Orlando wouldn’t, of course, want a vote because ticket cameras have lost 37 of 41 public votes so far. The cameras would be gone after a vote.

If Florida finally bans RLCs, it will be a boon to their tourist trade – ending the “gotcha” effect for visitors who don’t understand the nature of the rackets.

It is pretty normal for local courts to vote with the for-profit camera cities to allow them to keep the loot from the rackets, regardless of how corrupt the system is. In Iowa, even their Supreme Court refuses to condemn the rackets.

It would be GREAT if Illinois banned red-light cameras. But look for Chicago and nearby cities to “pull out all the stops” to kill HB 322 & 323.  Hundreds of millions of dollars of loot are at stake in the next few years. Chicago has long been one of the most corrupt cities in America and Illinois has long been one of the most corrupt states.

Several counties in Texas refuse to block auto registrations for unpaid red-light camera tickets and HB 901 would make that statewide.

Members visiting Maryland should be aware that state is among the most predatory for speed and red-light camera programs. The rea$on$ are obvious$!

Stop arm cameras will now be found in many Pennsylvania school districts. The districts do not care that 63+% of the child fatalities in School Transportation Related Crashes are caused by the bus drivers running over the kids. Far more safety would be realized to stop those tragedies, but there wouldn’t be any profits in that program.

James C. Walker is a life member of the National Motorists Association. He is also a board member and executive director of the National Motorists Association Foundation.

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