A new website, launched in January, is documenting the various ticket camera scams in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. It’s called CameraFraud DC and is an offshoot of the successful CameraFraud movement started in Arizona. Here a few of the stories they’ve covered so far.
The Fairfax County Yellow Light Scam
This article shows how Fairfax County used yellow light timing to manipulate the public into thinking the county’s red light camera program was effective.
Fairfax City Signs Illegal Contract with Australian Company
Here’s an excerpt: At 1am today, long after the public had left the council chambers and long after those who watch such things on public access cable television had dozed off, Fairfax City Council members approved the dodgy deal with Redflex. Five remained in the audience until the end to point out:
- Fairfax cameras increased accidents
- The contract is illegal on revenue neutrality and diversion of cash from the literary fund grounds
- The city is ignoring superior engineering countermeasures
- The tickets are unenforceable
- The tickets undermine constitutional protections and privacy
Maryland Speed Camera Program: Scams, Conflicts of Interest Everywhere
An excerpt: When he Maryland Legislature authorized Montgomery County to use speed cameras in 2006, the people were given certain assurances. One was that there would be no per-ticket payments to speed camera contractors, which would create a financial incentive for contractors to “cheat” to maximize profits. Another was that they would only be used in “residential and school zones”, not major arterial roads. And finally, that they would not be used as cash cows for local governments by earmarking the revenues for (undefined) “public safety” improvements. All of those promises were given to the driving public – and ALL of those promises have since been broken by the Montgomery County Speed Camera Program.
Speed Cameras Attract Lobbyists in Annapolis
An excerpt: The statewide speed camera bills currently being discussed, and soon to be voted on, by the Maryland General Assembly have been the subject of intensive lobbying efforts. In 2007, prior to the nearly successful statewide speed camera bill, they spent $144,346.74 on lobbying activities. ACS spent an additional $81,460.13 in 2008 through October 31, 2008 on this effort. ACS’s lobbying activities during the 2008 general Assembly included $6286.13 on two banquets at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse on January 29 and February 6, 2008 for members of the House Environmental Matters Senate Judicial Proceedings, House Appropriations, and Senate Budget and Taxation Committees. It will not be known how much they are spending during the 2009 legislative session until after the General Assembly ends in April.
The tide is turning against the ticket cameras and the group’s first protest drew public support and media attention.