Compiled by NMA Foundation 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.
After much feedback from the public, the Apopka, Florida City Council decided last week to terminate its Red-Light Camera Program. The cams will go off on January 1. Cheers!!!!
The Study from Case Western University about how fender benders increase at intersections with red-light cameras has some mighty long legs. Here is the latest from Florida.
Another most excellent story with legs: Sick of Red-light Cameras—So is Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Wait and See…
Once again, the Iowa Supreme Court will hear a case about speed cameras. This time, the question is whether or not speed cameras violate due process. We don’t need a state Supreme Court to tell you that any automated camera ticket indeed violate due process.
A Nevada agency is interested in implementing automated traffic enforcement in the state. They want to take a bill to the next legislative session. Nevada has one of the biggest traffic enforcement programs in the country—Nevada motorist voters need to stop this insanity in its tracks!
New York City Safety Advocates and the city’s transportation committee are trying to figure out how to make school zones safer without speed cameras that were allowed to be turned off by the state legislature. This is definitely a wait and see since the Safety Advocates will continue to push to have speed cameras on every street which makes the entire city one giant speed trap. Officials have discussed possibly not allowing cars in school zones at all during the school day.
Sacramento, California has been using Automated License Plate Readers or ALPRs to monitor welfare recipients.
Four Colorado Springs, Colorado intersections to get Red-Light Cameras. Boo!
The city of Baltimore, Maryland turned on 27 new automated traffic cameras. They included red-light cameras, speed cameras and large truck monitoring cameras.
The Dallas News ran a story this week on Which North Texas Cities have Red-Light Cameras. A story out of Austin ran that suggested city officials want to bring in more red-light cameras because they can’t find enough police recruits to enforce traffic laws.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for updating the list.
Jim Walker’s ATE Commentary of the Week
David Shaw and other NMA members have worked hard to bring the truths to Apopka officials and the public. Along with serious public dissatisfaction, the efforts have finally paid off with another major Florida RLC program closed.
The Case Western Reserve Study showing no safety benefits from cameras has gotten wide coverage in many states. It may help end programs in Texas and elsewhere.
The Iowa Supreme Court RLC case is a long shot, given previous rulings, but it could result in a long-needed ruling that the camera systems are based on money with little regard to either due process or safety.
NY city officials really want their speed cameras back. Some state politicians in Albany know they are money-grab rackets and oppose the cameras. It remains to be seen who wins in the long run. It was a great victory for our side when even the existing school zone speed camera program was allowed to expire in July.
The Colorado Springs RLC program is brand new and may get serious backlash. Some local residents have been raising public awareness, and the NMA has been providing some data and rationales for them to use in opposition.
Baltimore is a lost cause and will likely continue expanding the rackets until the residents revolt.
Texas is a battleground because the Governor wants them gone. Next year’s legislative session may be the real test on who wins.
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.
News from NMA Member Carl Boeckman out of Cincinnati, Ohio
With regards to the status of cameras in Ohio, my head is spinning. There have been so many lawsuits over the years. Drivers were supposed to be reimbursed for some of the fines. I have not heard of any drivers who ever received a refund. The one Cincinnati attorney (Mike Allen) who fought the cameras (and won refunds) has not spoken about the cameras (for years) on his radio show.
Cities used to be required to have a police officer operating the cameras. That was overturned in July of 2017.
I was in the Dayton, OH area last weekend and I didn’t see any of the cameras that exist. The Dayton NAACP is trying to get enough signatures to get the photo enforcement matter on the ballot. I don’t know what the ballot language says. It probably seeks to change Dayton’s City Charter (if there is a city charter). The Ohio Supreme Court ruled, last year that cities that have home rule authority can use the cameras.
Around June 20, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court declined the appeal of the Village of New Miami, Ohio. The lower courts ruled and upheld financial penalties on camera cities. This case started as a “Due Process” case. The motorists won!
The media is not covering the status of the cameras. When a city decides to use cameras, it should be reported often, in the media. I just performed a search on thenewspaper.com and noticed that more lawsuits have recently been filed in Ohio. I did not see anything in the local media about these lawsuits.
The City of Cincinnati does not use cameras. No jurisdictions in Hamilton County use the cameras. The closest cameras, to me, would be in New Richmond, OH (east of Cincinnati). New Richmond is located on U.S. 52 in Clermont County. I travel through New Richmond once a year. If I see anything, I will let you know.