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.
Headlines are from May 25-31, 2019
SUCCESS! Many local groups in Texas along with many NMA members kept up the campaign to ban red-light cameras in Texas for several years. WE WON! A few cities without clauses to break their contracts if such legislation passed will get to run out their contracts, but most cities using cameras will have to take them down. And no new ones will be allowed. When enough people and groups like the NMA campaign long enough and loud enough to end abusive for-profit enforcement, we can prevail.
- IBM to test using lidar to monitor elderly people in their homes—Say What?
- Maker of US border’s license-plate scanning tech ransacked by hacker, blueprints and files dumped online
- These laws make police get public buy-in on surveillance tools
- Opinion: Red-Light Cameras Headed to the Graveyard of Bad Ideas
- Google Maps speed camera alerts and speed limit indication expand to more countries
- China: ‘Smart’ Traffic Cam Issues Driver Ticket for Scratching His Face, Not Talking on the Phone
- California: Right-on-red bans rise, even as red-light cameras are yanked (NMA mention)
- California bill SB893 to restrict vehicle-tracking technology fails
- California Assembly Passes Bill AB1782 to Limit Storage of ALPR Data, Help Block National License Plate Tracking Program
- Biometrics industry groups blast San Francisco decision and process in facial recognition ban
- San Jose Councilman Proposes Installing Plate Readers on City Vehicles to Reduce Car Theft
- License plate readers credited for bringing crime rate down in Flagler County, Florida
- Kissimmee invests $2 million of red-light camera revenue into roads
- Miami Beach, Florida’s License-Plate Readers Caused Traffic but Caught Few Criminals
- Volusia sheriff’s newest tech center puts doorbell, license-plate-reading cams in focus
TheNewspaper.com wrote two posts this week on the RLC Scandal in Philadelphia:
- Whistleblower Exposes Fraud Red-Light Camera Program Fraud
- Complaint Documents Red-Light Camera Mismanagement
Here is another PA article:
- Texas Cities Rush to Extend Camera Contracts Ahead of the State’s Red-Light Camera Bans – But of course!
- Denton readies for end of red-light cameras
- Denton Lawyer Who Sued Over Red-Light Cameras Reacts to Pending Ban in Texas (video interview)
- When will Fort Worth’s red-light cameras be turned off? Depends on Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker
I added this comment to the piece on surveillance tools.
Finally, people are waking up to object to excessive police and other surveillance systems. If permitted at all, there must be no database kept for more than a few days. If the surveillance does not “get a hit”, the license plate or other item noted must be promptly deleted from the system. And facial recognition software should not be allowed at all.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association
The expanded “school zone” speed camera program in New York City is a naked money grab racket. The cameras will operate during hours kids will not be on the streets and even on days with no school. No one should tolerate this cash grab.
When Kissimmee, Florida, the state of Pennsylvania, or any other venues spend the loot from their red-light camera rackets on good programs, that does NOT excuse the fact that most of the revenue was literally stolen from safe drivers with deliberately mis-engineered lights and draconian enforcement rules.
The added news of fraud in the Philadelphia red-light camera racket helps people understand why the cameras should be banned. They are a dirty for-profit industry.
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.