Reasons to Ban Red Light Cameras

Burden on the innocent: Misidentification

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the registered owner is the driver only 72% of the time. Without consideration for any other shortcomings, over 1 in 4 tickets are issued to the wrong person.

 Burden on the Innocent: Equipment Malfunctions

Sensitive photo enforcement electronics are often left unattended and vulnerable in harsh and extreme weather conditions 24/7. No one knows if all of the components of a photo system are working properly at any given moment, or if equipment has started to malfunction intermittently. Equipment vendors refuse to publish their equipment reliability and error rates.

Even when you win, you lose

Every time a driver receives a citation from a traffic camera, they are faced with the decision to take time off work to fight the ticket, or to just pay the fine. So either way, the driver loses.

Leaves Motorists Defenseless

Motorists who receive photo tickets are at a severe disadvantage to make a defense due to the weeks or months that may lapse before a driver is served with a citation. Weeks or months after a “violation,” a driver is unlikely to be able to recall the details of the“violation.” Furthermore, drivers are unable to collect evidence to defend themselves because it is unlikely that signs and road conditions are the same as they were when the alleged violation occurred.

Less Safe

Multiple studies show an INCREASE of accidents with red light and speed cameras. Driving conditions on roads and freeways are made more dangerous by interrupting the free flow of traffic as people respond to the presence of cameras. The same goes at red light camera intersections where drivers slam on their brakes to avoid tickets.

Lack of Audit and Oversight

There is no stated maintenance or audit program by any government authority of the private camera vendors and their equipment and processes to ensure reliability and accuracy.

Uses our money to feed out of state Corporations

Murfreesboro’s camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions (from Arizona), receives an average of 50% of the money that is generated by the cameras.

Conflict of Interest

  • Traffic cameras provide lawmakers with a personal financial incentive to protect controversial traffic camera programs.
  • Camera vendors provide court administration modules for judges, attorneys, and witnesses that present and assess common dispute tactics and appropriate sound counter- measures required for successful prosecution.
  • Camera vendors develop the violation criteria that the cities use to determine what constitutes a violation.

Criminal Activity Has Become a Civil Matter, Not a Crime

Murfreesboro treats photo enforcement citations as a civil fine and not a criminal citation. Therefore, you have none of the constitutional protections that you would normally have; such as the right to be confronted by witnesses, the opportunity to cross-examine or subpoena the camera equipment operators or anyone who handled the evidence, or to examine the design and operation of the equipment itself.

Photo Enforcement Vendors Are Not Trustworthy

  • Arizona Secretary of State, Jan Brewer, confirmed that Redflex (ATS’ competitor) documents used in court to convict motorists of speeding in Lafayette, Louisiana had been falsified.
  • Many cities have all been caught shortening yellow lights to increase profits from red light cameras.
  • In Italy, a speed camera company was caught in a fraud scandal that involved 109 officials and contractors.
  • In January 2009, the makers of the T-Red brand of red light cameras were similarly arrested for fraud after prosecutors found motorists were being trapped at intersections with short yellows and improperly certified equipment.
  • Redflex violated federal law by using radar units that were not FCC certified.
  • Redflex employees have been charged with assault, child pornography, and extreme DUI (while driving a photo radar van). They can observe your car, wife, and children and they can figure out where you live. They have access to your DMV records.

Invasion of Privacy

The cameras are high-resolution video devices that run 24 hours a day. According to officer King with Arizona DPS, “We can just about zoom in and see stuff on the dash.”

Affects Consumer Spending and Tourism

Nationwide, cities have responded to threats from locals and out of towners who have vowed to stop shopping in areas with photo enforcement by removing equipment.

Lucrative Photo Enforcement Favored Over Engineering

Cities rarely conduct engineering studies to determine why a particular intersection experiences more accidents. Officials incorrectly assume that bad drivers flock to these intersections and that their behavior can be cured with the threat of tickets received weeks after the infraction. In reality, the same drivers are present in all intersections, and if a particular intersection has a high accident rate the reason is undoubtedly due to flaws or problems that can be corrected with proper traffic engineering. Such measures may include: adding signs, making signs clearer, more visible signs, changing road striping and indicators, adjusting light timing, and increasing signals more visibility. Until an engineering study is done, it is impossible to understand the underlying factors and thus impossible to objectively evaluate possible solutions.

Doesn’t remove any immediate threat to citizens like drunks, reckless drivers, or speeders.

 Creates distrust and animosity for local officials, law enforcement departments, and makes a mockery of our judicial system.

9 responses to “Reasons to Ban Red Light Cameras

  1. MrLinn

    Superbly stated, should be on the first page of every Sunday newspaper next week!

  2. You failed to tell everyone that when we learn the laws of driving, a yellow light is to caution the driver a red light is about to appear. Yellow is only a caution not a stop..
    This yellow light law is a Murfreesboro city ordinance. Those who do not reside in Murfreesboro would have no knowledge of such an ordinance. This is an unfair action to collect an unfair amount of monies for an outrageous and unlawful ordinance.
    The carmeras are unfair and should be out lawed…

  3. Dennis Jones ⋅

    The cameras are the reason I don’t shop in Murfreesboro anymore.

  4. Pingback: Reasons to Ban Red Light Cameras - The Liberty Caucus

  5. William

    Exactly. How do more people not understand this? Thanks!

  6. ⋅

    They should use the money on tornado sirens instead of traffic cameras

  7. Yishmeray ⋅

    Brilliant. Thank you for this excellent summary. These cameras are just another way to fill the coffers of local governments and/or police departments while emphasizing and enhancing the adversarial nature of their relationship with the populace. It occurs to me that perhaps that last is an advantage! It will lead people to a more accurate assessment of the true nature of the modern state.

  8. You expected different from a government?

  9. My first violation was on my motorcycle, in a driving rain. I ‘slow-walked’ my bike through a right turn on red, with ALL other traffic in the intersection stopped.

    My second was behind a very tall passenger bus that blocked my view of the traffic lights. I moved through the intersection behind the bus, assuming he could see the light. All traffic in every other direction was stopped.

    100 bucks – I’m convinced that an actual cop at the intersection in either instance would not have ticketed me.

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