NMA’s Weekly ATE Racket Report for September 5, 2018

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.

This Week…

TheVerge.com posted last week: How Should We Regulate Facial Recognition? How about not using it at all so this does not even have to be a question.

The Feds seized cash and cars from the CEO of the school bus camera company that destroyed the Dallas Independent School District.  This camera scandal looks like it is not over yet!

Pennsylvania had a spate of online editorials and stories about automated traffic enforcement and yellow lights. Two Editorials asked the state to study ATE based upon information gleamed from the Case Western University: We Need a Yellow Light on Cameras and State Should Study Red-Light Cameras. A TV station answered the question for a viewer: Are the Length of Yellow Lights Regulated?

Wait and See…

A New Haven, Connecticut Alderman has been conducting research at intersections and is now pushing for red-light cameras in the city.

The Washington D.C. based New Civil Liberties Alliance is assisting a resident of Coral Gables, Florida in a lawsuit to rid the city of Automated License Plate Readers. Only 50,000 residents live in Coral Gables and the city is on track of capturing 30 million plates this year. A former banker, Raul Mas Canosa wants to know why the city spent $3 million to put the ALPRs in place and why the city is tracking everyone who drives on US-1, then gives it to a private vendor who keeps the information for 3 years. The city has refused to stop using the ALPRs and it looks like this one is headed for court.

The City of New Orleans and Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who campaigned on getting rid of the cameras, are dithering on whether to rid the city of both speed cameras and red-light cameras. If they do, the city will lose $10 million in revenue.  And it really is all about the safety, isn’t it?

Several NJ State Senators have introduced the Camera Enforcement Inoculation Act which if passed would prohibit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission from providing identifying information to camera enforcement entities, thus making it impossible to issue tickets for automated enforcement infractions to New Jersey motorists. Great Idea and we hope more state lawmakers look into pushing a similar bill!

Last Tuesday, the NYC Council did pass its Speed Camera Program for the School Year after the Governor signed an emergency order.  Will it last?  This is indeed a wait and see! In the meantime, plans are already afoot to increase the number of speed cameras so that the entire city becomes just one giant speed trap!

More fallout from the NY state and city shenanigans over the speed cameras:  A Long Island Nassau County Executive seeks input on putting school speed cams in his neck of the woods.

NYC Streetsblog asked the questions last week in a post: CAN NYC Council Bill to Create Speed Camera Program Survive a Court Battle? Since it is REALLY illegal—probably not!

Texas State Legislature begins its next session in January (It meets every two years) and since the Governor has sided with banning the cams…many feel optimistic that this might be the session to finally get rid of red-light cameras.

A citizen’s group in Amarillo, Texas is working to push signatures for November ballot measures to rid the city of red-light cameras and parking meters.

Bad News…

The Dayton, Ohio Chapter of the NAACP did not gather enough signatures before the deadline to get a ban on automated traffic enforcement on the November ballot for their city.

Eugene, Oregon Police have hope that high visibility surveillance cameras will help deter crime in the city.  Looks like Big Brother had no trouble gaining a foothold.

On October 1, San Antonio school district will begin using school bus cameras despite the recent Dallas school bus camera scandal.

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 nma@motorists.org for updating the list.

Jim Walker’s ATE Commentary of the Week

Taking property by forfeiture from the CEO of the corrupt stop arm camera company AFTER his guilty plea in Texas is fine. What is NOT fine is forfeiture from people who are not convicted or sometimes not even charged with crimes.

The fight against ticket cameras in Pennsylvania goes on, and it is good to see many contrary comments on the articles – even though money may win out.

The Alderman in New Haven would likely find the violation counts to be a lot smaller if the lights were retimed for the actual perception/reaction times and actual approach speeds of at least 85% of the drivers.

The NJ bill to prevent identifying camera ticket victims for violations in other states is a good idea, but the other states may have ways to get the information anyway. It would be a really good bill to pass, however, as it would make it harder to ever bring ticket cameras back to NJ in the future.

Hopefully the NYC camera return will be challenged in court.

The Dayton camera opponents will have to try again.  State laws about home rule make combatting the cameras very difficult.

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.

If you are fighting automated traffic enforcement in your city, drop us a line and let us know what you are doing. Currently, there is no clearing house to oppose ATE and the NMA wants to help remedy that situation. Email us at nma@motorists.org today.

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