ATE Racket Report for January 28, 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 19-25, 2019…

Here’s a Forbes War on Cars Propaganda article: Speed Cameras Vulnerable to Vandalism Worldwide – But Studies Say They Save Lives

Here is an important article from Missouri: Surveillance and secrets: Are St. Louis police following their own rules to protect citizens’ privacy?

Techcrunch also posted this article: Police license plate readers are still exposed on the internet. And here’s an Opinion piece about ALPRs: Opinion: Ever Worry about Your License Plate?

The New York Times reported this week: Amazon Is Pushing Facial Technology That a Study Says Could Be Biased

International Motorists’ Protest Updates

There was also a small Yellow Vest Protest in Canada barely happened that has little to do with motorist issues:

Alabama: Opelika’s traffic-light cameras were ‘unpopular with citizens’ – No Duh!

Wait and See…

Bad News…

NMA’s City/State Lists of RLCs and Speed Cameras

The NMA has compiled a list of which states and cities are using red-light and speed cameras. This may not be a complete list and please send any additions or subtractions to the for updating the list.

Jim Walker’s ATE Commentary of the Week

Forbes used the IIHS “study” (sic) to defend for-profit red-light camera rackets, ignoring the many unbiased studies from groups that do not have financial conflicts. Most recently for at least the third time, the annual Florida RLC report showed increased crashes at camera intersections.

Wherever ALPRs are used, we need to push for time limits on the database for the plates that did not “get a hit”.

“Opelikans”, like almost all camera city residents, hated the for-profit camera racket. It is why ticket cameras have lost 37 of 41 public votes.

Red-light cameras stand a better chance to be banned in Colorado now that the former Governor Hickenlooper is out of office. He was “in the pockets” of the camera companies and vetoed several bills to ban or sharply restrict camera use.

The Florida legislature might pass a bill to ban red-light cameras this year. The House bill cleared its first committee test 12 to 1 – the best margin ever. Active Florida NMA members working on this think the new Governor DeSantis might sign the bill if it reaches his desk – something that would have been in more doubt with former Governor Scott.

The editorial in the New Orleans Advocate article is one of the strongest “Let’s make money with red-light cameras.” pieces I have ever seen. I will be sending the writer some facts about 1) red-light cameras causing more crashes, 2) the Jefferson Parish cameras being removed after officials learned Redflex bribed some local officials to sway the contract to Redflex, and 3) the data on longer yellow intervals.

Stop-Arm camera advocates never mention that 63+% of child pedestrian fatalities in School Transportation Related Crashes happen when the bus drivers run over kids.

And Vision Zero advocates never mention that the only way to actually achieve zero traffic fatalities is to completely separate pedestrians & cyclists from vehicle traffic AND find a way to restrict vehicles to about 10 or 15 mph on all roads. Even then there will be an occasional fatality when a driver goes off a cliff or into a river.

A plain language reading of the red-light camera law in North Carolina says 90% of the GROSS revenue has to go to schools, something that never happens. NC cameras are all illegal, but no group has successfully won their suit on this point.

Our family has cousins in Australia who all condemn the draconian ways ticket cameras are deployed as for-profit rackets.

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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