NMA’s Weekly ATE Racket Report for April 10

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

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.

Here is the list of devices that we will cover in this blog:

  • ATE=Automated Traffic Enforcement
  • ALPRs= Automated License Plate Readers
  • Face Recognition Cameras
  • RLCs=Red-Light Cameras
  • Speed Cameras (and all their forms)
  • Surveillance devices such as Stingrays and Sureshots

This past week…

An excellent Florida editorial against Red-light Cameras called The bane of our motoring existence lives on!

Here is another editorial from the American Spectator called Crossing the Red-Light Camera.

Fascinating article on all the cities sued over automated traffic cameras. 

Wait and See

The Charlotte, NC City Council is considering bringing RLCs to the city.

Rhode Island lawmakers heard testimony on 4 different bills that would either ban speed cameras or limit fines and hours of operation. Bills were spurred by a backlash against the City of Providence that saw five cameras trigger 17,116 speeding tickets in the first two months.

Denton, Texas is conducting a one-month experiment on extending yellow lights at only red-light camera intersection. This might be a precursor for getting rid of them. 

Bad News

The automated license plate reader company Vigilant Solutions is attacking two watchdog nonprofits for asking all the cities that Vigilant does business with for information through Freedom of Information Act Requests.

Baltimore, Maryland aims to triple RLCs and speed cameras for revenue reasons (even though officials say it’s for safety) and here is even worse news for taxpayers: Baltimore bought speed cameras for $2.2 Million and sold them for $32,000.

Pawtuckett, Rhode Island plans to install speed cameras (Officials see cash in their eyes from the Providence Program).

Speaking of Providence, traffic court administrators have had to suspend automated ticket trials due to a 12K ticket lawsuit filed against the city.

TheNewspaper.com reported last week that a Texas lobbyist was able to torpedo a proposed ban on photo ticketing due to her insider connection to a top lawmaker. The Texas Campaign for Liberty filed an ethics complaint against Mia McCord who was an agent for American Traffic Solutions. McCord is married to the chief of staff of state Representative Cindy Burkett who was instrumental in killing the bill in 2017.

Amarillo, Texas City council okays additional red-light cameras.

The continuing saga of the Dallas, Texas School Bus Camera Bribery Scandal continues. The former head of the Dallas County School plead guilty last week for accepting $3 million in bribes. This scandal brought down the entire school district last year when 58 percent of the voters decided by referendum to dissolve the school district.

NMA’s City and 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 nma@motorists.org for updating the list.

Jim Walker’s ATE Advocacy Tip of the Week

Recognize that ATE programs are virtually always for-profit rackets. The cameras are expensive and require deliberately improper and often less-safe mis-engineering of the traffic safety parameters like speed limits and traffic light timing in order for the cameras to issue enough tickets to safe drivers to turn profits.  If ATE cameras ticketed only dangerous drivers, no one would object. But then the cameras would lose so much money that no government would use them, and the for-profit camera companies would go bankrupt.

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One Response to “NMA’s Weekly ATE Racket Report for April 10”

  1. Diane says:

    I am 100% opposed to ticket cameras and it is great NMA is doing it’s part to make them go away. This should be 80% of your focus. Even a judge in Ohio called them 3-card monte a few years ago.