More redlight ticket madness.
Revenue generators Traffic Cameras in Washington, DC operated by private companies have written a total of 4,019,023 tickets worth a total of $305 million. That is equivalent to one ticket not just for every resident of Washington, DC, but for every single resident of the District plus surrounding Virginia and Maryland suburbs. In a 2009 case, a Washington, DC judge ruled that if more than one car is visible in the photo for a speeding ticket, there is no way to prove which car was speeding. So how do the companies respond? They tamper with evidence by cropping the photos.
Miami makes $3.5 million a year from about 15,000 citations issued by traffic cameras. In order to contest your $158 red light ticket, a driver must pay an additional $85 to an appeals board that works entirely for the city. Wanna take a guess on how many appeals will go your way? Even if the appeal DOES go your way, the city still gets your $85 appeals fee. The city hires the hearing officer, who is not required to have any
legal training and cannot use formal rules of evidence. Now this person
will be a rubber stamp for $85 fees, ALL of which are kept by the city.
They have to pay the camera vendor and the state out of the $158, so the $85 is all gravy. Since when does the government get to accuse you of a crime, and then charge you a fee in order to prove your innocence?
In Newark, the city improperly wrote more than 20,000 tickets at $500 each over a 6 1/2 year period.
Meanwhile, NOLA cops are using their cameras to line their own pockets then laundered the money through the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, a tax-exempt organization that describes itself as “dedicated to supporting the people and processes of the criminal justice system in New Orleans.”
The first southern New Jersey municipality to issue a red light camera ticket admitted in 2011 that it issued 12,000 tickets worth $1 million at an intersection where the yellow light time was illegally short.
Voters in Hernando County, Florida will decide whether or not to get rid of red light cameras by voting on a referendum in 2014 (pdf alert)
The voters in Sugar Land, TX aren’t so lucky. The camera contractors in that town have been helping the local politicians perform some legal maneuvers to deny their voters the opportunity to place a referendum on the ballot.
Researchers at the University of Tennessee had this to say in a recent study:
“A literature survey
reveals that most municipalities implementing red light cameras are
committed to private red light camera providers with certain revenue
goals to financially sustain their red light camera programs,” the study
found. “Most red light cameras are installed with dual, conflicting
purposes, reduce red light running and maximize private (and public)
sector revenue from red light running citations”
It is becoming increasingly obvious to me that the government in this country is, at every level, simply a scam for some to gain wealth at the expense of others.