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On Fighting Radar Guns And Speed Traps - More than 22-million "marks" on Escort Live app, including ones by yours truly. Its not often I'm one of those included in some press release statistic. But when Escort Inc., one of the biggest innovators in radar-detection systems, announced their Escort Live ticket-protection app passed the 22-million point in "marks," I can say I was a direct contributor.
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Another California Jury Indicts Red Light Cameras - Grand Jury finds accidents increased in Marysville, California where red light cameras were used. The Yuba County, California grand jury on Tuesday issued a report blasting the red light camera program in Marysville. The citizens chosen to investigate the program analyzed every claim made by city officials, taking nothing for granted. The report documents a number of ways in which the city and its vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, have been stretching the truth.
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Ousted Red-Light Camera Vendor Rakes In Windfall In Chicago, Illinois - Redflex leaves Chicago, Illinois under a cloud of scandal and with pockets full of cash. Even as Redflex Traffic Systems' scandal-plagued eleven-year tenure operating the nation's largest red-light camera system was ending, it was a particularly lucrative year for the company. The last Redflex cameras (at the intersection of Grand, Kostner and North) were turned off in February, but in the year before that, the company raked in $24 million, city records show, making this the second most profitable year in the company's Chicago history. The money did not stop flowing after the February 2013 date on which the company was banned from bidding on new work with the city. Xerox State and Local Solutions now runs the city's red-light camera system.
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Slow down! A ticket hikes up your insurance - If you get a ticket for even the most minor driving violation, you'll not only have to pay a fine but are also likely to see a significantly higher insurance rate. Driving without buckling up results in a 5% increase, but that's the smallest hike according to a report from insuranceQuotes.com, a website that allows consumers to compare quotes. Those caught not signaling a turn or failing to yield for a pedestrian pay 19% more on average for insurance as a result. Speeding, up to 15 miles per hour over the limit, can result in a 21% hike, according to the study.
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AAA calls on counties to audit speed camera programs - Baltimore councilman calls for hearing on secret audit that detailed high error rates. Driver advocacy group AAA Mid-Atlantic and some lawmakers urged local governments to conduct audits of their speed camera programs Thursday after learning that a secret audit last year of Baltimore's program documented far higher error rates than previously disclosed.
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Texas man fights citation after warning drivers of nearby speed trap - A North Texas man is trying to clear his name after he was arrested and cited for allegedly violating a city ordinance for holding a homemade sign warning drivers about speed traps. Ron Martin, 33, was arrested last October after an officer saw him standing in the median on the Eldorado Parkway in Frisco holding a sign that read "Police ahead," letting drivers know an officer was waiting at the opposite side of a nearby bridge.
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Texas: Red Light Camera Company Fights Photo Ticket Referendum - American Traffic Solutions sues Cleveland, Texas to block vote on red light cameras. A red light camera firm is once again suing to block residents from having a say in the use of automated ticketing machines in their community. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) filed suit last month asking a Liberty County, Texas district court judge to issue a restraining order that would keep residents from voting May 10 on red light camera use.
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Escort Debuts Fashionable Passport Max Limited Edition Series of Radar Detectors
Electronics of many categories are placing a heightened emphasis on fashion and design. So why not radar detectors? Escort debuted four new Passport Max Limited Edition radar/laser detectors at CES, with an emphasis on fashionable designs for your windshield. The Passport Max Limited Edition series of detectors features four new colors for the discerning motorist: Glossy Black, Brilliant Blue, Burled Wood and Carbon Fiber.
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Escort Passport Max - 1 of 10 from Top-rated reviews of the week - With improved detection performance and fewer annoying false alerts, it certainly justifies its price tag.
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Confessions of a traffic cop - We hear from a retired traffic cop who shares some of his tales from the road, as well as offers tips for avoid speeding tickets.
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Low-cost media streaming solution for your car - Portable Escort MediaFlair brings music and video on the road. Better known for radar detectors than mobile entertainment, Escort has expanded its repertoire to include sharing music, videos, and more on the road with its MediaFlair.
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Escort Passport Max takes top honors at SEMA - SEMA executives announced the winners of its New Product Showcase Awards for 2013 on Tuesday. The Escort Passport Max took top honors, while retro-looking radios and surface-mount speakers took second and third place, respectively.
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New Backup Camera Action Taken by Fed - A federal agency said yesterday it will recommend that new cars include backup camera systems but it fell short of making the cameras mandatory. And the Fed announcement came just after a consumer group said it will sue the government today, over the issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said backup cameras will be included in its New Car Assessment Program, which means it will list all the car models that include backup cameras on a public web site and then begin listing those vehicles as having "recommended" safety technology.
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Ohio Supreme Court Takes Up Photo Enforcement Again - Ohio's Supreme Court may once again take up the legality of red light camera and speed camera programs. The cities of Toledo, Columbus and Dayton have joined Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia in petitioning the justices to overturn a Court of Appeals decision from June that found Toledo's administrative review process unconstitutional.
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Virginia: City Hides Data Showing Increased Red Light Camera Injuries - More people ended up in the hospital after Virginia Beach, Virginia installed red light cameras. After holding out for more than three years, officials in Virginia Beach, Virginia finally released accident data that raise serious questions about whether the use of red light cameras has improved traffic safety in the city. Comparing three years before and three years after camera installation, the number of injury accidents went down 12 percent throughout the city. At the twelve intersections where red light camera tickets are issued, however, injury accidents went up 5 percent over the same period.
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The Most Egregious States for Speeding Tickets in the US - I've lived in Massachusetts for most of my life. I racked up a handful of minor traffic violations here over the last 25 years, but when I moved to Vermont, I seemed to be getting popped for violations once every couple of months. It was a combination of driving more during odd hours, and a lot of cops with nothing better to do. Those factors influence what state you're likely to get a ticket in, too, and how expensive it's likely to be.
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Louisiana: Cops Used Red Light Cameras For Personal Profit - Cops in New Orleans, Louisiana set up a company to earn extra personal cash from red light camera tickets. Police officers in New Orleans, Louisiana filled their own pockets with red light camera cash by setting up a private company to "review" photo citations off the official clock. The city's inspector general, E. R. Quatrevaux, on Friday released a report documenting how Edwin Hosli, the New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) 8th District commander, formed his own limited liability company called Anytime Solutions to take advantage of the lucrative business opportunity.
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Speed Cameras Tear Apart Ohio Town - Elmwood Place, Ohio council resigns in advance of a court contempt hearing over the use of speed cameras. The village of Elmwood Place, Ohio can no longer perform all the functions of local government, thanks to speed cameras. Four of the village's six councilmen have resigned over the way automated ticketing machines are used, and without a quorum village can no longer take any actions it faces a court contempt hearing on Tuesday. The controversy began in September 2012 when the village allowed Optotraffic to begin issuing $105 tickets using a portable speed camera with a 40 percent cut of the revenue going to the private company. Tickets were being issued at a rate that would have generated $2 million per year, or over $1000 per resident.
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California: City Obsessed With Red Light Camera Ticket Numbers - Emails reveal Menlo Park, California remains obsessed with red light camera ticket numbers. California is the largest market for red light cameras in the country thanks to the fines set by the state running nearly $500 each. Municipalities that adopt the technology are quick to deny any possibility that financial considerations have anything to do with their decisions to monitor local intersections. Internal discussions between the city of Menlo Park and camera vendor Redflex Traffic Systems suggest otherwise.
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Florida Quietly Shortened Yellow Light Standards & Lengths, Resulting in More Red Light Camera Tickets for You - A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida's rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera fines.
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"The Man" vs. Machine - Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket thanks to a pesky radar? Some one million people receive speeding tickets every day; the cost of the average speeding ticket comes out to $150. A full 16 percent of drivers will get a speeding ticket this year and 95 percent of these drivers won't contest their tickets. So, how exactly does a radar work? It uses waves to detect distance and speed of objects based on the doppler effect. A transmitter oscillates an electrical current through an antenna to an amplifier by using a radio wave.
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Louisiana: Red Light Camera Tickets Can Increase Insurance Rates - Louisiana Department of Insurance confirms red light cameras can increase premiums for drivers in the state. Louisiana Insurance CommissionerIn states like Arizona and California where photo enforcement tickets carry license points, insurance rates rise when a red light camera or speed camera ticket is sent to a vehicle owner. It is less well known that the same can be true in states where points are not assessed on photo tickets. On Monday, the office of the Louisiana Department of Insurance clarified that nothing prevents insurers from raising rates on vehicle owners who receive a photo ticket in the mail.
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Red light cameras: Bill would require car owners to 'snitch' - Getting a red light camera ticket can cost you dearly -- up to $500. That's if Bakersfield police can pinpoint you as the driver in the picture. If they can't, they send you a notice asking you to snitch on the person behind the wheel.
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California: Audit Finds Split-Second Yellow At Red Light Camera Intersection - Audit finds a malfunctioning Sacramento, California red light camera intersection had a 0.05 second yellow time. Red light camera opponents often charge municipalities exploit intersections that have dangerously short yellow times for the purpose of issuing tickets. An outside audit of the Sacramento, California red light camera program confirmed that tickets were issued at an intersection where the yellow warning period on occasion flashed by faster than the eye could see.
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Speeding Tickets: 65 issued per minute and other fun facts - It's every driver's nightmare: flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror. Speeding tickets can strike a blow to anyone's day. While you pull away from the officer with your ticket in hand, you wonder, "Is going 10 or 15 miles per hour over the speed limit that big a deal?" or "How is much is my insurance going to go up now?"
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Maryland Gives Up On Traffic Camera Reform - Nearly $100,000 in direct contributions to Maryland lawmakers from speed camera companies pays off with state dropping reform bill. Maryland's General Assembly adjourned for the year on Monday with balloons and confetti showering delegates. Governor Martin O'Malley (D) made the rounds, congratulating lawmakers on for a job he considered well done. Photo enforcement firms also ended the day with a celebration after their investment paid off with the defeat of all legislation that might have imposed limits or quality checks on their ticketing operations.
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Rhode Island: Accidents Increase With Red Light Cameras - City data show accidents continue to rise at red light camera intersections in Providence, Rhode Island. After a decade of toying with the use of red light cameras, Providence, Rhode Island has seen a continued spike in the number of accidents at photo enforced intersections. Between 2006 and 2012, the program generated $6,160,975 in revenue, but accidents have skyrocketed over the last three years.
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Judge: Village's traffic cameras 'high-tech game of 3-card Monte' - ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio - A judge ruled in favor of drivers ticketed after Elmwood Place installed traffic cameras to target speeders. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled Thursday that the ordinance failed to provide due process guarantees to anyone receiving a notice of liability from the village.
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Specialty Automotive Tuners Answer Unique Vehicle Void - The makers of the famous Escort radar detector have bundled technologies to create a virtual network of speeders. The detectors use Bluetooth wireless communications to tap into your smart phone's Escort Live applications. This tech combo and subscription allows you and your fellow drivers to instantly learn about all radar/laser encounters in your vicinity, automatically providing the most up-to-date and accurate protection on the road. The Escort Live app enables other Escort-using drivers to help you avoid costly radar speed traps.
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Escort Live: Crowd Sourcing for a Good Reason - It seems like yesterday we brought to your attention the technology Escort unveiled that coupled electronic counter-measures and social crowd sourcing in the war against speed traps and revenue generation. Yes, we speak of the Escort Live ticket protection app that connects your smart phone with others who then identify, mark and alert you to impending speed traps.
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Florida City Caught Issuing 1645 Camera Tickets On Shortened Yellow - St. Petersburg, Florida issues $259,910 worth of red light camera tickets at intersections where yellow was up to 1 second too short. A tenth of a second can make a big difference. In St. Petersburg, Florida, the yellow time at intersections was shortened by fractions of a second for thousands of drivers, enabling the red light camera program to generate an extra $259,910 in revenue in 13 months. To the unaided eye, the difference between a 4.3 second yellow and a 4.2 second yellow is too brief to be perceived, but it was enough to boost the number of citations issued by five percent.
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Speed-camera take: $1.5 million - Elmwood Place, Ohio - Alleged speeders have paid more than $1.5 million in fees for tickets that the village's unmanned speed-camera system issued, and the village has reaped about $700,000 of that, says Mike Allen, a lawyer who is asking a Hamilton County judge to shut down the system. Allen argues the speed-camera operation is unconstitutional and "nothing more than a money grab."
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Confessions of a Traffic Cop - Thirty-five years ago, middle school-age Mike Brucks realized he wanted to be a police officer. After graduating from high school he joined the army and became a military traffic cop on the million-acre Fort Bliss in western Texas and New Mexico. "It was a small-scale community, with slow speeds, and we would investigate accidents on- and off-post, in Colorado, New Mexico, and as far as Corpus Christi, anywhere a serviceman was injured or killed," Brucks says. After six years in the Army he joined the El Paso Police Department as a traffic cop. He retired last May after 22 years and almost 40,000 tickets, by his estimation, most of which he issued while riding Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson big-motor touring bikes. Here are some of his stories from the road and tips for motorists looking to avoid a ticket.
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Maryland: Speed Camera Company Admits 5.2 Percent Error Rates - Xerox admits several of its cameras in Baltimore, Maryland issued tickets to innocent motorists 5.2 percent of the time. Over the past two decades, advocates have argued the main advantage of a speed camera is that the machines never lies. Most states codify this belief with a legal presumption that the automated citation is accurate and it is up to the defendant to prove otherwise. In Baltimore, Maryland last week a leading speed camera vendor made the unprecedented admission that the technology frequently lies, but obvious examples of false readings slipped through the process due to "human error."
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Red-light traffic cameras have drivers seeing red - The application of technology without sufficient discipline is usually a bad thing. Witness the latest problems with red light cameras. Depending on how you read the latest studies, cameras are either a Big Brother danger to the public or the latest in life-saving technology. Either way, some drivers are seeing red -- and turning to other technologies to help.
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Drivers irate over Elmwood Place speed cameras - Speeding tickets generated by unmanned cameras in this small village just north of Cincinnati resulted in an angry crowd at the Village Council meeting Tuesday, where elected officials tried to calm concerns about the new practice. I's caused quite a stir, as 6,600 notices costing $105 each were issued through the mail beginning Sept. 15, according to numbers provided by Elmwood Police Chief William Peskin.
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Maryland Governor Pushes Photo Ticketing Agenda - Maryland governor pushes agenda of speed camera and toll road enforcement firms. While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) dropped his endorsement of photo enforcement last week, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) took to the airwaves Tuesday to defend it. In an interview on WTOP Radio's "Ask the Governor" show, O'Malley sung the praises of a program run by a corporations that provided thousands in donations to his campaign.
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Florida: Review Shows Increased Red Light Cameras Accidents - Analysis suggests Hallandale Beach, Florida red light cameras have failed to reduce accidents. A review of the accident history at red light camera intersections in Hallandale Beach, Florida suggests automated ticketing machines have failed to yield an overall safety benefit since Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions (ATS) began paying for the right to issue tickets and collect fines at a pair of intersections more than two years ago.
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Escort SmartRadar review (Android Version) - The stealthy and accurate Escort SmartRadar doesn't attract a lot of attention. A small, remote display allows it to be used without the app. The Escort Live app adds a database of recently reported Live Alerts and red-light cameras. The SmartRadar and Escort Live combo proved to be effective in avoiding and detecting speed-detection hardware.
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California: Marysville Police Chief Says Red Light Fines Too Expensive - If you get caught going through a red light in the city of Marysville, you'll face a $478 fine. But, the police chief says that fine is not only unfair to drivers, but to the city as well. "I've gotten one, yeah, and my final fine was almost $600. It's nuts," said one resident.
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Review: Escort SmartRadar detector Apple Pack - Both Escort and Cobra have worked to take advantage of smartphones to enhance their respective radar detectors. Escort's SmartRadar variants offers many of the company's proven technologies taken from standalone detectors, but in compact, discrete packages that connects to iOS or Android devices via Bluetooth. In our full review, we spend a few thousand miles with the SmartRadar Apple Pack and Escort Live app for iPhone.
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1stRadarDetectors tests the Escort SmartRadar - I attended the annual radar detector test hosted by Speed Measurement Laboratories in late June 2012. There were several SML test goals this year, one of which was to test the maximum distance that a radar detector could detect laser. Another was testing over the hill at 2.2 miles; which I think was a highly needed test, as most drivers encounter hidden speed traps all the time under those driving circumstances. Also tested was photo speed camera alerts and RDD electronic invisibility.
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Florida Appeals Court Sides with Red Light Cameras - Second highest court in Florida splits again on the question of red light camera legality. The Florida Court of Appeals has split on the photo enforcement question. Earlier this month, the Fifth District ruled implementation of red light cameras prior to the 2010 legislative approval was illegal (view opinion). In late November, the Third District upheld the use of automated ticketing machines (view ruling). The Fourth District weighed in on Wednesday, siding with the private, for-profit firms that issue tickets on behalf of municipalities.
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New Jersey Rubber Stamps Red Light Camera Timing - Governor of New Jersey offers strong endorsement for red light cameras as he restarts photo ticketing program. The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) yesterday gave the go-ahead to cities and private vendors to reactivate their red light camera programs. The devices were shut down a month ago after twenty-one cities caught ignoring a provision of state law requiring the yellow signal timing at camera intersections to be certified based on a statutory formula. Governor Chris Christie (R) announced the ticketing program's restart on New Jersey 101.5 radio's "Ask the Governor" show on Tuesday after receiving a text message on air from NJDOT Commissioner James S. Simpson.
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Florida: Early Red Light Camera Program Failed to Reduce Accidents - Analysis of one of the first Florida red light camera programs shows it failed to reduce accidents. One of the first Florida towns to rush into the use of red light cameras has seen an increase, not a decrease, in the number of accidents since the devices were installed. According to an analysis released Monday by a retired Florida Highway Patrol lieutenant, Gulf Breeze had no particular problem with collisions at its intersections when it decided to ignore a ruling by the attorney general and install automated ticketing machines in March 2006.
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Poll: Catching Criminals is Fine, But Don't Use Drones for Speeding Tickets, Americans Say - Go ahead and use drones to track down criminals, to combat illegal immigration or for search-and-rescue missions. But to issue traffic citations? No way, say Americans.
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Americans Oppose Using Drones to Catch Speeders, Poll Finds - Americans support using unmanned aircraft for patrolling borders and tracking down criminals, but not handing out speeding tickets, a poll out Tuesday finds.
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Chicago, Illinois the 6th Most Ticketed US City - Addition of speed cameras to the streets of Chicago, Illinois likely to increase its speed trap rating. The Second City is actually the sixth city -- at least when it comes to speeding and traffic tickets, according to the National Motorists Association (NMA), a motorists rights organization.
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What That Speeding Ticket May Really Cost You - How will that speeding ticket you just received affect your insurance premium? Insurance.com has calculated average increases for 14 different driving violations, and devised a new "Uh-Oh!" calculator to give you a more customized estimate. Not surprisingly, reckless driving is the costliest violation, with an average rate increase of 22 percent. By comparison, a seat-belt infraction results in a 3 percent increase.
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State Reports Show Speeding Not a Significant Cause of Accidents - Analysis of data from twenty-five states confirms exceeding the speed limit is not a significant cause of accidents. Out of 2.7 million traffic accidents recorded in twenty-five states over the course of a year, only 1.6 percent were caused by drivers who exceeded the posted speed limit. The figures come from an analysis by TheNewspaper of annual reports typically compiled by each state for use in applying for grant money from the National Highway Transportation Agency (NHTSA).
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Texas Judge Strikes Down Red Light Camera Referendum - Judge prohibits public vote on Port Lavaca, Texas red light cameras because the program raises money. A Calhoun County, Texas judge on Monday ruled that voters were prohibited from having a say in whether a foreign company can issue red light camera tickets in the city of Port Lavaca because the photo enforcement program's primary purpose is revenue generation.
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City Of Miami Adds 60 Red Light Cameras - The City of Miami installed 60 new red light cameras and plans to add 35 more within the next months, The Miami Herald reported. The cameras, which were installed at intersections beginning in January 2011, have issued photos for 77,504 violations in one calendar year, the newspaper said. Just over half of each $158 fine goes to the Florida Department of Revenue for the city, according to Albert Sosa, the head of a capital improvement program. Another portion of the ticket money goes to the private vendor of the cameras.
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Escort's Redline helps you fight back against Big Brother's cash grabs - There's a new weapon in consumers' battle to keep more of their hard-earned after tax income from cash-grabbing governments. It's the $499 Redline, a new entry into Escort's line of radar detectors, and it's also available with a nifty-sounding new wrinkle called Escort Live!
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New Radar Detector Taps Into Social Network - Sometime you need a little help from your "friends." Escort's new SmartCord® Live lets a motorist tap into a social network that tracks the location of police speed traps. We thought we'd seen just about everything in radar detection when we heard the news about Escort's new SmartCord® Live system that links your Escort or Beltronics radar detector, your Apple iPhone, and other Escort users into a national network of radar, laser, police car, red light camera and speed camera detection.
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Escort Radar gives you an iOS option for ticket avoidance - Escort Radar has long been the leader in Radar/Laser detection products. Two new detectors, the 9500ix and the 8500x50 not only keep that "leadership" alive, but have taken it one step further. Both units are fully compatible with a new (leaving me speechless) technology for the iPhone and android phones, called "Escort Live". Their tagline is simple; "Social Networking for the Road".
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Red Light Cameras Ticketing Drivers Who Stop at Lights - Cities increasingly using red light cameras to ticket drivers who come to a full stop. Cities around the country have begun dropping the use of red light cameras,which were once touted as the best way to stop drivers from "blowing through" red lights. Disappointed municipal officials invariably point to the systems' failure to generate the promised amount of revenue as the reason for the change. To keep from losing more clients, the red light camera industry's latest move has been to ticket drivers who stop at red lights to boost the number of potential violations.
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ESCORT Live Socializes Speed Trap Avoidance with App + Radar Accessory - We've seen plenty of applications that attempt to crowd source the reporting of speed traps, red light cameras, accidents, and other want-to-avoid circumstances while on the road, so at first ESCORT Live may seem like nothing new. That's exactly what it does. But unlike other apps, ESCORT Live comes with two accessories - a SmartCord® dock and an actual radar detector - that detect speed traps via radar, relay the detection to your phone via bluetooth, and make reporting of speed traps easier and more accurate for its users.
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Escort Live Social Network Protects You From Speed Traps - Social networks are everywhere, but here's one that's actually kind of useful: Escort Live, a "social network for the road" that aims to protect drivers from speeding tickets. Escort Inc. makes a variety of different devices for drivers, including radar detectors for detecting police lasers (which are, according to the company, totally legal in 49 states, just not in Virginia and Washington D.C.). Escort Live consists of a smartphone app that connects to a driver's Escort or Beltronics radar-detection device using the company's SmartCord® device.
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Florida Appeals Court Sides with Red Light Cameras - Divided three-judge appellate panel in Florida upholds the unauthorized use of red light cameras. The Florida legislature's authorization of red light cameras last year was superfluous, a divided state Court of Appeals panel ruled yesterday. The majority sided with the city of Aventura in overturning a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court decision from last year that found Aventura had jumped the gun by giving American Traffic Solutions (ATS) a green light to mail out automated tickets without waiting for the state's permission.
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BREAKING: State House Passes Speed Camera Law - Look out Chicago! Springfield is sending speed cameras your way. Late Wednesday afternoon, after some heated debate and some minor tweaking to SB965, the bill passed out of the Illinois House by a vote of 64-50. The state Senate burned rubber passing the bill earlier in the fall veto session, so the bill heads back to the Senate for most likely quick passage to the House amendments, and then to Gov. Quinn's desk for his signature.
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Hands on: Escort Live for Android, iOS - Escort surpasses Cobra in smartphone integration. Many electronic devices now work directly with smartphones, including radar detectors that help users avoid expensive encounters with law enforcement. Electronista had a chance to try out Escort Live, a new service that aims to provide a deeper level of smartphone integration than Cobra's iRadar system.
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Escort Live for Android and iOS is Better than Cobra iRadar System [Video] - Getting a ticket from a law enforcement officer is definitely painful. When it comes to avoiding such encounters, radar detectors help a lot. We got a chance to play with a new service, Escort Live, which provides a deeper level of smartphone integration while using your radar detector. To take advantage of the service all you have to do is purchase a special cable to connect your smartphone to your existing Escort radar detector. Now, we know that many of you out there are interested in Cobra's iRadar system. But Escort Live is a whole lot better.
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New Female-Friendly SEMA Products - ESCORT Live™, now available directly from ESCORT, uses Bluetooth technology embedded in SmartCord® Live™ cords and a unique app for the driver's smartphone. When alerts are detected, they are transmitted to the ESCORT Live™ "cloud" and then broadcast across the ESCORT Live" network, notifying drivers of potential ticket threats. In addition to these live alerts, ESCORT's industry leading Defender® database of fixed position cameras and speed traps is also provided.
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Is Your Community Profiting by Installing Traffic Cams to Monitor You? - You see a flash behind you as you coast through a red - sometimes you get the flash even if you run through oddly enough - and you hang your head. You're not alone, one out of every five Americans lives in a community that pays a for-profit company to install and operate cameras that record traffic violations. And while most of us have at one time speculated police departments have ticket quotas to meet, did you know that some of these contracts require cities to share revenue of tickets with the camera vendor?
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Speed Cameras Could Blanket Nearly Half of Chicago - Nearly half the city would fall into so-called safety zones where speed cameras sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel could flag fast drivers for $100 tickets, according to a Tribune analysis of camera legislation in Springfield.
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Radar detectors will be able to warn Others of Speed Traps - In the cat-and-mouse game of avoiding police radar, speeders are about get a potent new weapon: each other in an automatic social network. Going on sale today is a system from detector maker Escort, based in West Chester, Ohio. Escort hopes to have "hundreds of thousands" of Escort Live networked devices in place within a year. The system consists of nothing more than a new power cord for an Escort unit, costing $79, that transmits radar sightings to the user's GPS-enabled smartphone. The phone then will automatically transmit the information to all others nearby in the network. About 2 million drivers have Escort units.
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Prince George's County Expands Controversial Speed Camera Program - The grace period for Prince George's County's new speed camera program has ended, as county police prepare to add more than a dozen of the controversial devices by week's end. More than 2,000 motorists were caught speeding on Allentown Road by cameras positioned near Isaac Gourdine Middle School and Tayac Elementary School over the last 30 days, according to Maj. Robert Liberati, head of the county police department's forensic services division.
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Baltimore Countty Shifts Speed Cameras, Adds Another - Three cameras to move to new school zones. Motorists who speed through Baltimore County will soon find different school zones monitored by speed cameras. This fall, Police Chief Jim Johnson will shift the locations of three of the county's 15 speed cameras, spokeswoman Elise Armacost said Wednesday. And early next year, the county will add a new camera at Perry Hall High School.
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Washington: Appeals Court Blocks Binding Vote on Photo Ticketing - The Washington Court of Appeals sided with a traffic camera vendor in blocking a binding vote on red light and speed cameras. The Washington Court of Appeals yesterday delivered a big win to American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the photo enforcement firm that has fought hard to prevent the public from voting on red light cameras and speed cameras. A three-judge panel overturned last month's decision by Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Ira Uhrig that had found the ATS suit was specifically crafted to block public access to the ballot.
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Dayton, OH - New Speed Cameras Nabbing Thousands - Four cameras catching more than 200 speeders per day. More than 3,500 speeding citations were issued in the first 17 days that Dayton's expanded traffic camera system was activated - more than 200 per day - and that was with only four of the 10 cameras in place. Dayton police call it evidence of a rampant speeding problem, but if citations continue on this pace, it could also create millions of dollars in revenue for a city facing a $15-million-per-year budget hole by 2013.
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Houston, Texas Mayor Defies Voters, Restarts Red Light Cameras - Red light cameras to return to Houston, Texas over the objection of voters who rejected cameras in November. The mayor of Houston, Texas announced yesterday that red light cameras would be reactivated even though a majority of voters in November approved a ballot measure in November forbidding their use. The vote was overturned after a largely off-the-record between a federal judge, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and city attorneys on the day after Thanksgiving. Mayor Anise Parker wanted the cameras back on for revenue reasons and US District Court Judge Lynn N. Hughes granted her wish last month by citing a technicality to cancel the election result.
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Federal Judge Overturns Public Vote in Houston, Texas - Traffic camera company finds friendly federal judge to overturn results of anti-camera referendum in Houston, Texas. American Traffic Solutions (ATS) on Friday advanced toward its goal of reactivating the red light cameras to Houston, Texas. A majority of voters demanded in a November ballot vote that the cameras be taken down, but US District Court for the Southern District of Texas Judge Lynn N. Hughes believes the people had no right to vote.
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Speeding Tickets Can Raise Insurance Costs 53% - Consumers may know that their bad driving record will raise their car insurance, but just how much will a single moving violation cost them? Plenty, according to a new analysis from Insurance.com. The website looked at 32,000 of its auto insurance policies sold in 2010 and found that those with zero moving violations on their driving record can expect to pay, on average, $1,119 a year in premiums. However, as soon as a consumer had a moving violation on record, the quotes skyrocketed. Their analysis found that: One violation led to an average annual premium cost of $1,318, an 18% increase; Two violations lead to average annual premium cost of $1,497, a 34% increase; Three violations lead to an average annual premium cost of $1,713, a 53% increase.
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Balancing Budgets on Drivers' Backs - Cities and states across the country are broke. But instead of raising taxes, lawmakers are raising traffic fines. "This business of using fines and traffic fees as revenue sources is just flat wrong," said Lew Uhler with the National Tax Limitation Committee. "This is simply a tax by another name."
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Kansas Legislature Approves 75 MPH Speed Limit - Kansas to raise rural interstate speed limits to 75 MPH. The top legal speed in the state of Kansas is one signature away from becoming 75 MPH. State legislators on Friday gave final approval to a bill raising the limit from 70 to 75 MPH. If approved by Governor Sam Brownback (R), Kansas would join a dozen other states that have already made the move. Only Texas and Utah have a higher, 80 MPH limit.
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I-95 Cameras Snap Speeders, Spark Controversy - As Interstate 95 sweeps past this small town along South Carolina's coastal plain, motorists encounter cameras that catch speeding cars, the only such devices on the open interstate for almost 2,000 miles from Canada to Miami. The cameras have nabbed thousands of motorists, won accolades from highway safety advocates, attracted heated opposition from state lawmakers and sparked a federal court challenge.
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Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Use of Laser Jammers - Court of Appeals in Massachusetts rejects ability of police to stop drivers with license plate frames, laser jammers. Police in Massachusetts may no longer stop a car merely because a laser jammer or aftermarket backup camera partially obscures the motto on a license plate. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals decided on March 2 that the state police had no business pulling over Patrick H. Miller simply because the phrase "Spirit of America" at the bottom of his plate was partially covered as he drove on Route 93 South in Stoneham on April 30, 2009.
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South Carolina Considers Alternate Penalties for Drivers Caught Going Slightly Above Speed Limit - South Carolina is considering a bill that would allow police to slap $150 tickets on motorists caught driving less than 10 mph over the limit -- 10 times the current minimum -- but let them skip reporting the tickets to shield low-speed offenders from higher insurance premiums.
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America's Worst Speed Traps - If you've ever been pulled over for speeding, you know it feels like you're a gazelle that just got taken down by a lion. And, while this recession, and the gaping budget holes that resulted, have turned most cities into a jungle for motorists, there are some cities that have far more speed traps than others. And automated traffic cams have only egged them on. Now, they can snag just as many motorists for speeding, if not more, with less manpower.
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Ohio: City Plans to Install Speed Cameras at 10 Locales by Spring - Dayton City officials are forging ahead with plans to add photo speed enforcement cameras near 10 of the city's most dangerous accident areas for automobile travelers. The automated cameras likely will be installed by late April or early May, and drivers will be given a 30-day grace period before $85 fines will be levied.
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Study Puts Spotlight On Red-Light Cameras - The national debate over red-light cameras is heating up again as a new analysis from a traffic safety group argues that the controversial devices saved 159 lives in 14 cities during a five-year period. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says red-light cameras reduced the rate of fatal red-light running by 24% from 2004 to 2008. Had the cameras been installed in all U.S. cities with populations above 200,000, 815 deaths would have been prevented, says the Insurance Institute, a group funded by auto insurers that aims to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage caused by crashes on the nation's roads.
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New Jersey: Camera Town Caught with Short Yellow Times - Glassboro, New Jersey admits red light camera generated $1 million worth of tickets at intersection with short yellow. The first southern New Jersey municipality to issue a red light camera ticket admitted last week that it issued 12,000 tickets worth $1 million at an intersection where the yellow light time was illegally short. At the intersection of William Dalton Drive and Delsea Drive, motorists were given just 3 seconds of yellow warning before the camera began snapping -- as opposed to the 4 seconds mandated by state regulations. Mike Koestler, the former mayor of Harrison Township, caught the error after receiving a ticket.
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CarTronics: Escort Passport iQ - Two common pitfalls that afflict those on the road: getting lost and getting tickets. What if you could avoid both? Here's the single solution that would be a great way to cash in some of those gift cards you got last week; the innovative Escort Passport iQ. It looks and functions like a portable GPS navigation device. Its bright five-inch LCD screen suction-cups to the windshield and displays map data provided by NAVTEQ, a major supplier of mobile device mapping software.
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Don't Get Nabbed For Speeding - While radar detectors and GPS navigation units are effective implements, until now, a driver who wanted to be fully equipped with the latest electronic countermeasures needed both. But just in time for the holiday driving season, Escort has introduced an innovative new product that singularly meets the needs of the modern speeder. Escort, a company that has been producing radar detectors since 1978, recently introduced a radar/laser detector housed in a windshield-mounted GPS navigation unit. Escort calls their new device the iQ.
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New Mexico: Study Shows Photo Enforcement Increased Accidents - Study shows total accidents increased slightly where combination red light speed cameras were used in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo enforcement cameras are temporarily disabled in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a study by the University of New Mexico failed to offer a complete justification for the program. Mayor Richard J. Berry announced that he would eliminate six of the twenty red light camera intersections where accidents increased the most. He also will stop issuing speed camera citations at intersections -- although he plans to keep three vans to set up mobile photo radar traps. While the contract with Redflex Traffic Systems is expired, Berry is seeking a better deal from other photo ticketing vendors.
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Texas City Caught Again With Illegally Short Yellow Time - Newest red light camera intersection in Baytown, Texas has a yellow light .3 seconds below the legal minimum. Baytown, Texas has been caught using an illegally short yellow time at the latest city intersection to be monitored by a red light camera. Tickets have been issued since January 30 at the intersection of Cedar Bayou Lynchburg Road at Garth Road where the yellow time is set to 4.0 seconds, the bare minimum acceptable amount for an intersection posted at 40 MPH according to Texas Department of Transportation guidelines. The Baytown Red Light Camera Coalition (BRLCC) uncovered the fact that the intersection approach is in fact posted with a 45 MPH sign, meaning the bare minimum legal yellow for the location is 4.3 seconds, not 4.0 seconds.
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Missouri State Auditor Defunds Speed Trap City - A notorious Missouri speed trap town was busted Wednesday by the state auditor for violating the law. Randolph, Missouri has a population of just 47 people, but the police department last year dished out 3132 fines -- nearly all speeding tickets issued to motorists passing through on Highway 210. A formal examination of the city's book uncovered the fact that Randolph made more than thirty-five percent of its revenue from freeway traffic ticket, in violation of the Macks Creek law, an anti-speed trap statute named for a town that went bankrupt after its ability to issue speeding tickets was revoked.
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South Carolina: Renegade Mayor Issues Illegal Photo Tickets - The mayor of Ridgeland, South Carolina is taking a stand in defiance of a state law that bans the use of speed cameras anywhere in the state. Mayor Gary W. Hodges earlier this month began issuing speeding tickets based on evidence provided by an automated traffic system set up in a recreational vehicle parked on Interstate 95 despite warnings from lawmakers.
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Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents in Baytown, Texas - Accidents increased 40 percent one year after red light cameras went live in Baytown, Texas. After a year of use, red light cameras have failed to deliver the promised safety benefits in Baytown, Texas. The Houston suburb activated the majority of its cameras on July 13, 2008. Since then, the number of accidents at eight camera locations has increased 40 percent, contrary to predictions from city officials. The increase in accidents has not been in minor "fender benders," as is frequently claimed by photo ticketing advocates. Rather, the number of collisions resulting in an injury jumped 75 percent. Rear end collisions increased 39 percent. Results from comprehensive, independent studies elsewhere in the country have yielded similar results.
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Speed Cameras Cause Erratic Driver Behaviour - New research from car insurer LV= reveals that many motorists admit to behaving erratically in front of speed cameras with thousands confessing to slamming on the brakes or looking at their speedometer as soon as a camera comes into view. This erratic behaviour could be leading to the number of accidents which occur around speed cameras with the research showing that at least 28,000 road accidents have been triggered by speed cameras since 2001, as motorists slow down ahead of them and then speed up once they are clear.
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Maryland, Tennessee, Australia, Germany: Bogus Speed Camera Tickets Issued - Speed cameras in Brentwood, Maryland; Bluff City, Tennessee; New South Wales, Australia; and Salzburg, Germany falsely accuse the innocent. A speed camera in Bluff City, Tennessee claimed that an octogenarian woman from Virginia blasted through the town on a motorcycle at midnight. Jean Robinson from Lexington, Virginia neither rides a motorcycle nor ever visits Bluff City, WSLS-TV reported. Nonetheless, despite claiming that "three people" review every citation, nobody at the police department or photo ticket company noticed that the ticket shows Robinson's vehicle ownership details -- she owns an automobile. The vehicle committing the alleged offense on the ticket is a motorcycle with a similar license plate number.
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Pennsylvania Governor Proposes Tolling, Taxing and Ticketing to Balance Budget - Pennsylvania governor sees new taxes, tolls, fees and cameras as the key to shoring up the state budget. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is struggling in his latest budget with the desire to spend more money while lacking tax revenue due to the economic recession. Nonetheless, the $28 billion budget for 2011 expends $200 million more than the previous year. Rendell yesterday testified before the state Senate Transportation Committee about how he intended to hit up motorists to make up much of that amount.
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Rental Car Companies Turn In Own Customers To Photo Ticket Firm - Avis, Budget, Hertz, Advantage inform on their customers to American Traffic Solutions to boost photo ticket profit. At least four of the country's top rental car firms sell information on their customers to a photo enforcement firm. American Traffic Solutions and its subsidiary, ATS Processing Services, signed contracts through which Avis, Budget, Hertz and Advantage agreed to hand over information on renters so that ATS can collect extra money on photo tickets.
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Ohio Legislature Considers Overturning Visual Speed Decision - Bipartisan group of Ohio state senators hope to fire a legislative message of disapproval at the supreme court over speed ruling. A bipartisan effort to overturn a controversial Ohio Supreme Court ruling garnered the support of twelve of the state Senate's thirty-three members in just four days. Senators Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) and Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) jointly introduced legislation on Thursday that would forbid police from issuing speeding tickets based solely on the officer's best speed guess.
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Oklahoma To Deploy Photo Ticketing Cameras Statewide - Private company to set up network of cameras to track Oklahoma drivers and issue insurance tickets to generate $95 million a year. Oklahoma is preparing an unprecedented statewide deployment of automated ticketing machines designed to generate $95 million in revenue. Instead of using red light cameras and speed cameras, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS) is preparing to sign a contract with a for-profit company that will track all passing motorists with a network of at least twenty automated license plate recognition (ALPR, also known as ANPR) cameras. The devices would also "generate significant additional revenues" by issuing $250 citations for expired insurance using the Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification System (OCIVS) database that went live in July 2009.
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Michigan: Lawmakers Propose Crack Down On Speed Traps - Proposed Michigan law would require speed limits be set according to engineering, not budgetary principles. Between 2004 and 2009, Michigan's tax on license points -- primarily from speeding tickets, generated $400 million in revenue. The National Motorists Association has documented speed traps throughout Michigan responsible for generating a large portion of these fines. The group named the Detroit suburbs as among the worst in the country for targeting drivers. The traps are located in areas where the speed limits do not match the flow of traffic, despite a 2006 state law that set the proper method for setting limits.
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Top 10 Places for Speeding Tickets - If you're feeling the need for speed, we've got a list of states you might want to avoid. Driverside.com has put together a list of what it calls the "Top Ten Speediest States." Because they count speeders by the number of speeding tickets issued, we think it's more like the 10 states with the busiest traffic police. After all, are there more fast drivers where the police issue a lot of tickets, or where they issue very few? Maybe these are just the top 10 states where speeders are likely to get caught. At any rate, they're the states with the most speeding tickets issued per capita.
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Virginia Governor Kicks Off Massive Photo Enforcement Expansion - Virginia governor creates new type of ticket camera, expands red light cameras and approves shortening of yellow lights for profit. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) signed into law last week a proposal that would create an entirely new form of automated ticketing machine, an "airport business" camera. The move followed his approval last month of legislation designed specifically to revive his state's moribund red light camera program.
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Technology Wars: Cops vs. Speeders - People speed for plenty of reasons. Some claim they're in a hurry. Some aren't paying attention. Some do it for sport. Likewise, police have multiple motivations for ticketing speeders. Some officers claim driving anything over the speed limit is "unsafe." Some departments do it to fill municipal coffers hit hard by falling tax revenues. And yes, some do it for sport. Regardless of why drivers speed and cops ticket, each side is using technology to increase their chances of success.
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The Truth About Speed Traps - For the half-century since radar guns first started picking off lead-footed drivers on America's highways, the speed trap has been an unseemly topic. To the busted, it's what it sounds like - a dirty kind of ambush, often employing a sudden drop in the legal speed limit to set the trap, and a traffic officer's sniperlike trigger pull to seal the deal. To municipalities and law enforcement agencies, it's not a trap but a necessary evil, and a crucial deterrent to keep rampant, potentially dangerous speeders in constant fear for their licenses. The fact that it rakes in cash for the city, county or state just makes it a win-win for the good guys. Today, the ongoing duel between radar-and-laser-detecting drivers and cash-strapped municipalities is about to become even more one-sided, as states are approving the use of automated, unattended speed cameras. But what most drivers don't realize is that they never really stood a chance to begin with.
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Speeding 'cushion' may dwindle due to recession - The recession may be claiming a new victim: the 5-10-mph "cushion" police and state troopers across the USA have routinely given motorists exceeding the speed limit. As cities and states scramble to fill budget gaps with revenue from traffic citations, "not only are the (speeding) tolerances much lower, but the frequency of a warning instead of a ticket is way down," says James Baxter, president of the National Motorists Association, a Wisconsin-based drivers' rights group that helps its members fight speeding tickets.
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Federal Appeals Court Embraces Speed Cameras - A divided three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday upheld the imposition of automated tickets on individuals who may or may not have committed any crime. The judges ruled on a case that began when Kelly Mendenhall received a ticket in the mail for allegedly speeding in Akron, Ohio in December 2005. Although the ticket against her was dismissed, her husband, Warner, fought the legitimacy of the Akron ordinance all the way to the state supreme court which, unlike the high courts in Minnesota and Missouri, approved of speed camera use.
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Shorter Yellow Lights: Are They Your Town's Latest Cash Cow? - The yellow traffic light is taking on a new meaning for motorists during these tough economic times: one expensive trap. According to the National Motorists Association (NMA), some municipalities have been caught shortening the time in which yellow lights are on in order to generate additional revenue from tickets issued to motorists caught on traffic cameras running red lights. At least six cities including Dallas and Chattanooga, Tenn. have engaged in the practice in recent years, the organization's Web site says.
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Arizona: The Surveillance State - In 2007, Arizona became the first state in the country to install ticket cameras state-wide, meaning there are cameras on most state highways; there are cameras at many intersections; and there are camera-vans videotaping on side streets. The owner of any car caught going over the speed limit or running a red light receives a ticket by mail.
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Arizona Senate Panel Approves Photo Ticketing Expansion - Arizona Senate committee approves vendor-sponsored legislation to expand photo radar in the guise of reform. The Arizona Senate Public Safety and Human Services Committee approved legislation last Wednesday that would substantially expand the size and scope of the photo enforcement program in the state. Lawmakers voted 6-1 to approve legislation allowing the use of automated ticketing machines for a number of new types of violations. Committee Chairman Linda Gray (R-Phoenix) sponsored the legislation after becoming an enthusiastic supporter of cameras.
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Traffic Camera Company Seeks to Rewrite Arizona Law - Faced with heavy financial loses, Redflex petitions Arizona Supreme Court to eliminate personal service requirement for photo tickets. An automated enforcement company is turning to an unelected branch of government to re-write Arizona law regarding proper service for traffic tickets. Redflex Traffic Systems of Melbourne, Australia convinced John D. Wintersteen to file a petition earlier this month that asked the Arizona Supreme Court to modify the state's rules of civil procedure to better accommodate red light cameras and speed cameras.
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Tennessee City Defies State Legislature, Renews Traffic Cameras - Tennessee City Defies State Legislature, Renews Traffic Cameras Red Bank, Tennessee renews photo ticket contract for 12 years in defiance of legislative attempt at camera regulation. The city of Red Bank, Tennessee voted Tuesday to extend its automated ticketing contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) for twelve years, in open defiance of the state legislature. Earlier this month, the House Transportation Committee gave its approval to proposed legislation that would place a temporary moratorium on red light camera and speed camera program renewals while a set of engineering and operational standards are developed to ensure statewide uniformity. The committee took great pains to ensure that no city would be deprived of any existing red light camera or photo radar revenue by refusing to ban any existing practices.
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New York Governor David Patterson Pushes Speed Cameras - New York State budget includes proposal to generate $96 million in profit by 2012 through freeway photo radar. New York Governor David A. Patterson (D) is joining a number of other states in promoting the use of freeway speed cameras as a way to address his state's massive $7.4 billion budget shortfall. Patterson's budget proposal, released yesterday, includes a plan to deploy fifty photo radar vans to generate $96 million in net profit for the general fund by 2012.
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Indiana Lawmakers Push Freeway Speed Cameras - Indiana state representatives propose freeway speed camera program after taking thousands in contributions from potential camera vendor. Lawmakers in Indiana, swayed by the potential budget enhancement that recently convinced California's governor, have introduced legislation that would authorize photo ticketing in the state. House Minority Floor Leader Bill Friend (R-Macy) and state Representative Shelli VanDenburgh (D-Crown Point) last week filed House Bill 1289 to create a so-called work zone freeway speed camera program.
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Georgia Balances Budget With Speeding Ticket Tax - Georgia implements speeding ticket tax to shore up the state budget. Drivers in Georgia were hit for the first time last Friday with a new tax on speeding tickets designed to raise between $25 and $30 million in annual revenue for the general fund. The plan was modeled on the driver responsibility taxes in states like Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas. A similar plan in Virginia was so unpopular that legislators repealed the tax within six months and refunded all of the money that had been collected under the program.
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Analysis: Short Yellows Boost Revenue for Texas Cities - Nine intersections with the shortest yellows in Texas saw a four-fold increase in their red light camera ticketing rate. A number of Texas cities are exploiting short yellow timing at intersections, generating significant additional revenue, according to a review of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) data by TheNewspaper. The citation issuance rate at the nine intersections with the shortest yellow timing in the state was four times greater than the ticket issuance rate at locations that offered yellow times exceeding statewide averages.
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Texas Red Light Cameras Generate $100 Million in Tickets - Privately operated Texas red light cameras issued $100 million worth of citations over a twelve-month period. Red light cameras in the Lone Star State generated $95,799,675 worth of tickets in a twelve month period according to reports filed with the Texas Department of Transportation. Private vendors based in Australia, Arizona, Dallas and England used a total of 333 cameras installed across 36 Texas cities to mail 1,277,329 tickets between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2009.
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Indiana: City Threatens $2500 Fines for Challenging Traffic Tickets - Lawyer sues traffic and parking courts in Indianapolis, Indiana over threatened $2500 penalty for contesting a ticket in court. Motorists who receive minor parking or traffic tickets in Indianapolis, Indiana are being threatened with fines of up to $2500 if they attempt to take the ticket to court. A local attorney with the firm Roberts and Bishop was so outraged by what he saw in Marion County traffic court that he filed a class action suit yesterday seeking to have the practice banned as unconstitutional.
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Tennessee: Early Results Poor For Clarksville Traffic Cameras - After their first six months of use, the red light cameras in Clarksville, Tennessee have failed to produce any reduction in the number of accidents. The city's first three cameras were installed May 1, and a comparison of accidents at these locations from May to the end of October compared to the same period in 2007 and 2008 shows that the total number of collisions jumped 22 percent following the installation of cameras.
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Texas: Accidents Increase at Controversial Red Light Camera Intersection - Overall accidents rise at Baytown, Texas intersection a 18 months after installation of red light cameras. Accidents rose after the installation of a red light camera at one major intersection in Baytown, Texas. The private company American Traffic Solutions began issuing automated tickets at the intersection of Garth and Baker Roads on March 21, 2008. Since then, safety has not improved at the controversial camera location.
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German Court Questions Laser Speed Camera Accuracy - German court overturns speed camera ticket because laser speed camera could not be proved accurate. A German court last month overturned a traffic citation after prosecutors failed to prove the accuracy of a new laser-based speed camera technology. The district court of Dillenburg heard testimony from four experts, each of whom cast doubt on the system. The Judge Matthias Gampe concluded that the motorist accused by a Poliscan automated ticketing machine of driving 96km/h (60 MPH) in a 40 (25 MPH) zone was not guilty.
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Shudder Speed: Rise of the Stealthy Traffic Camera Fuels drivers' Disgust - You rip open the envelope and there it is: Another darned photo-enforcement traffic ticket. The photograph, the zoom-in on the tag, it's you, baby. Your car. Two weeks ago. Forty-one in a 30-mph zone. It's from your favorite municipality. You can pay $40 now or $80 later. You can also contest it, the infraction letter says, and that's a laugh. You remember seeing that the folks who went down to fight their automated tickets in Montgomery County got convicted 99.7 percent of the time. Like a Soviet election, you think, a sham, a joke, and you, the chump in the parade.
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Maryland Cities Create School Zones for Speed Camera Use - Baltimore and New Carrollton, Maryland create new school zones in areas that have no children for the purpose of installing speed cameras. Maryland cities will create brand new "school zones" in an attempt to issue speed camera tickets on roads that previously had no need of the designation. When the state legislature authorized speed cameras six months ago in response to a $690,506 lobbying campaign from photo ticketing and insurance companies, lawmakers mandated that the cameras could only be used within a half mile of a school zone. Baltimore is among the first to admit that it will bypass that restriction.
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Massachusetts: Red Light Cameras Proposed to Fight Deficit - Governor of Massachusetts slips red light cameras into state budget after camera firms donate $10,245 to lawmakers. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) on Thursday outlined his plan to reduce the state's $600 million deficit and help struggling municipalities by, among several other revenue raising measures, installing red light cameras. The governor's proposed fiscal year 2010 budget amendments would eliminate an existing state law forcing police officers to issue traffic citations personally. Under the new legislation, any jurisdiction in the commonwealth could give private, for profit companies the right to issue $100 traffic tickets.
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Texas Red Light Camera Program Offers No Appeal to Citations - Texas cities allow no meaningful appeal of red light camera tickets. College Station fudges accident data in voter brochure. The right to a meaningful appeal in a red light camera case does not exist in the state of Texas. While several states have allowed photo enforcement tickets to be appealed to the highest level -- Minnesota's highest court ruled on a photo ticket in 2007 and a red light camera case is currently pending before the California Supreme Court -- several Texas municipalities are using an ambiguity in state law to deny challenges beyond the lowest level of the court system.
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California: Right Turn Camera Makes $1 Million a Month - Right turn on red camera issues half of the tickets in Riverside, California at a rate of nearly $11 million a year. Red light cameraA single red light camera in Riverside, California issued $1 million worth of right-hand turn on red tickets in just one month. The automated ticketing machine installed in March at Tyler Street at the entrance to the 91 Freeway has become the most productive of the city's cameras and now accounts for half of the citations issued by Riverside's vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia. The camera helped boost the grand total of citations mailed since January 2007 to 82,448 tickets worth $32,532,203.
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Memphis Red Light Cameras Go Live - With news cameras rolling, and curious onlookers all around, city officials activated Memphis' first set of red light cameras Wednesday at Winchester and Riverdale. A total of 13 intersections will eventually have red light cameras will be activated through the program, which Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery said is not about punishing drivers.
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Maryland Deploys Speed Cameras on Interstate Highways - Speed cameras in Maryland to issue tickets on high-volume portions of Interstate 95. Maryland officials wasted no time in kicking off the required warning period for the statewide interstate highway speed camera program authorized by a law that took effect yesterday. Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley announced that the first three locations for the cameras would target motorists in so-called work zones on some of the most heavily traveled interstates in the country.
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Xerox Becomes a Red Light Camera Company - Photocopying giant Xerox buys outsourcing giant ACS, becoming a $22 billion company with traffic camera and tolling operations around the world. Xerox Corporation announced yesterday that it would acquire Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) for $6.4 billion. ACS is a major, long-time player in the speed camera, red light camera, tolling and parking ticket business. Xerox, famous for its domination of the photocopying market from the 1960s to the 1980s, sees the purchase as a way to reinvent itself and dominate the business outsourcing market.
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UK Billboards Equipped with License Plate Spy Cameras - Billboard campaign in the UK uses Minority Report style license plate recognition cameras to target advertising. An advertising campaign in the UK began using automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to identify passing vehicles and create personalized advertisements. The motor oil giant Castrol UK Limited yesterday activated a set of five electronic billboards in London that flash an image of the exact type of Castrol-brand motor oil appropriate for the nearest vehicle.
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Illinois City Forgets Lesson of 1992 Photo Enforcement Referendum - Photo enforcement caused a voter revolt in Batavia, Illinois in 1992. City leaders want to try it again anyway. Despite the clear message sent by voters in 1992, the city of Batavia, Illinois is busy pursuing a return to the use of photo enforcement. Police Chief Gary J. Schira made a sales pitch to the city council last month on behalf of the private companies that operate red light camera systems, hoping to add the lucrative program to his budget. Minutes from a Government Services Committee meeting on November 19, 2008 described the intention of city leaders:
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County approves red light cameras - Albemarle County supervisors have given the green light to install cameras at major intersections to spot drivers running red lights. Violators would be mailed a $50 fine as well as photo evidence of the violation.
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New red light cameras in Knoxville are high-tech - Knoxville's red light camera program is expanding and getting a high-tech makeover, thanks to a new company called Laser Craft. Two new cameras have already been added, but don't expect to see a flash if you're caught running a red light. "Now I won't see the flash, I guess it will just be a surprise in the mail," said Greg Scealf. The new cameras by Laser Craft don't need a flash to do their job, thanks to still ultra low light-sensitive cameras.
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Ohio City Jumps the Gun with Speed Camera Tickets - Heath, Ohio forced to refund $26,500 in speed camera tickets because Redflex mailed tickets before the program start date. Heath, Ohio was so anxious to start collecting on its new speed camera program that it issued $26,500 worth of tickets before the program was officially supposed to begin. The city's mayor, Richard J. Waugh, issued a statement Monday confirming that refunds would be automatic for each of the 265 vehicle owners mailed a ticket for alleged violations that took place on June 30. Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that actually runs the program, was not supposed to have begun issuing tickets until July 1.
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New Red Light Cameras Snapping Errant Motorists - Sacramento has new red light camera systems in three busy intersections with many more to come. The new digital red light cameras are now watching for errant drivers at 47th Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard; Howe Avenue and Hurley Way; and Fair Oaks Boulevard and Watt Avenue.
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California Legislators Prepare to Unleash Speed Traps in Pasadena - Proposed law would allow Pasadena, California to lower speed limits to generate more traffic tickets. A state Senate committee will vote today on whether to gut an anti-speed trap law that has protected California drivers for the past seventy-six years. Assembly Bill 564, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena), exempts his home city from the statute that now requires any jurisdiction using radar on a road receiving federal aid to use engineering safety studies to establish speed limits. The exemption for Pasadena passed the state Assembly by a 51-17 vote last month.
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Red Light Camera Program Returns to Virginia - Alexandria, Virginia restarts a red light camera program that created a 42 percent increase in accidents. Red light cameras have returned to Northern Virginia. The city of Alexandria announced for the first time yesterday that a private company has re-installed cameras at three intersections with citations going out on July 15. Until now, the city has been quiet about the revived program, hoping to avoid a public discussion of the controversy over accidents that persuaded the legislature to shut down the program in 2005.
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Tennessee Authorizes Statewide Freeway Speed Camera Program - Members of the Tennessee General Assembly misled into voting to authorize state-run freeway work zone speed camera program. The Tennessee General Assembly on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation authorizing the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Tennessee Highway Patrol to ticket motorists on interstate freeway work zones using automated cameras. Although many members in the House and Senate expressed strong opposition to the concept of photo enforcement, the authorization measure passed by an overwhelmingly 80 to 10 margin in the House and 28 to 0 in the Senate. The support was due in no small part to the bill's wording, which granted authority to deploy cameras in the guise of restricting them.
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Which are the worst states for tickets? - As the traditional summer driving season gets under way this weekend, a drivers'-rights group ranks the states on driver friendliness. New Jersey? Fuhgeddaboudit.
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Group Identifies States Least and Most Friendly to Motorists - Association lists states most likely and least likely to use motorists as a source of revenue. The National Motorists Association (NMA) yesterday rated all fifty states based on their friendliness toward the motoring public. By analyzing laws and speed trap patterns, the group measured each state's dependence on the motoring public as a source of state and local revenue.
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Revenue Low, Yonkers Dreams of Green From Red Light Cameras - AFTER years of waiting for state legislative approval, officials in Yonkers and on Long Island are installing cameras to take pictures of the license plates of cars that run a red light. Now their jurisdictions are preparing to take full advantage of the money they expect to be generated from the $50 fines.
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Alabama Legislature Approves Red Light Cameras - Alabama governor to decide whether to retroactively declare illegally issued red light camera tickets legal. The Alabama state legislature this week sent a bill authorizing Montgomery's use of red light cameras to Governor Bob Riley (R) for his signature. The city has been using automated ticketing machines since May 2008, but the local measure authored by state Senator Larry Dixon (R-Montgomery) and state Representative David Grimes (R-Montgomery) is designed to retroactively protect the city from any lawsuit challenging the legality of the first $1 million worth of tickets already issued without authorization.
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Red Light Camera Companies Exploit Victims to Push Florida Law - Insurance companies stand to benefit directly from expanding the scope of automated enforcement because photo tickets carry points in several states, including California. Take Elk Grove as an example. Last year, a pair of red light cameras in the city dished out 9,364 tickets worth $426 split between the city, state and Redflex. Ninety-six percent of the violations, according to the Sacramento Bee, did not actually involve red light running, but rather turning right on red. Nonetheless, each ticket recipient received a point on his license and three years of higher insurance payments.
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More Tickets in Hard Times - Cities searching for revenue look to their police departments as a way to cash in. Motorists beware: In some communities, police are issuing tickets during these hard times at a rate higher than ever in what critics say is an attempt to raise revenue in order to offset budget shortfalls.
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Fact 1: Speed is the primary factor in only a small number of accidents.
Fact 2: Slower speeds produce more dangerous driving conditions.
Fact 3: This is about the money, not safety.
Fact 4: Focusing on Speeding increases other crimes.

The economy is declining, which makes economically marginal people more inclined to commit crimes. At the same time, police are spending their days hauling down middle class parents in minivans for the sake of government revenue. If police are hiding in the bushes with RADAR guns to make a buck for the government, they are not available to deter or investigate crime. As the economic malaise worsens, I expect more and more cities to replicate the experience in Detroit.
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Montana City Rushes Camera Ordinance, Plans to Shorten Yellows - Billings, Montana plans to shorten yellow times to cash in before the state legislature bans red light cameras. Yellow times may shorten as the city of Billings, Montana rushes to install red light cameras before the state legislature has a chance to ban them. The Billings City Council voted 8-3 Monday to empower Redflex Traffic Systems, a private company based in Melbourne, Australia, to issue automated traffic citations in return for a cut of the revenue collected. Billings needs to act quickly because the state legislature last Thursday entered into final negotiations on legislation that would ban red light cameras.
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Montana Legislature Votes to Ban Red Light Cameras - The Montana state House and Senate each approved legislation that would ban red light cameras. The Montana state Senate yesterday gave preliminary approval to legislation that would ban the installation of red light cameras. The Senate voted 37-13 in support of the bill which must face one more vote before the modified legislation heads back to the state House for its consent.
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Study: Longer Yellows Reduce Crashes (Texas Transportation Institute) - The Texas Transportation Institute shows that engineering improvements are an effective alternative to cameras. The Texas Transportation Institute examined concerns that red light cameras were being used by cities that had not first exhausted available engineering alternatives such as improving signal timing and visibility. They studied individual police accident reports from 181 intersection approaches across three Texas cities over three years to determine the most effective solutions for problem intersections.
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Georgia: Some Cities Ignore Extended Yellow Law - Atlanta ignores new Georgia law mandating longer intersection yellows. Violations increase at half of the city intersections with cameras. Some cities are refusing to comply with a new Georgia law mandating a one-second increase in the duration of the yellow warning period at intersections equipped with red light cameras. At least seven cities that made the required timing increase in January experienced an immediate 80 percent decrease in the number of violations. Of these, Duluth, Lilburn, Norcross, Snellville and Suwanee put the brakes on their red light camera programs after the data made it clear that the programs would no longer make money. Rome is now leaning toward dropping its program as well.
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Red Light Camera Studies Roundup - A collection of red light camera studies over the last decade shows red light cameras have serious side-effects. Over the past decade, a number of studies have examined the use of red light cameras. The most relevant studies examined the devices in light of changes in traffic and engineering conditions made at intersections during the study period and pulled actual police reports to examine the particular causes of each collision.
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New York Legislature Approves Massive Traffic Camera Expansion - New York state legislature approves massive expansion in red light cameras. As budget deficits continue to soar at all levels of New York government, the state legislature on Tuesday approved a package of bills to provide relief through the use of red light cameras. The package of six bills extends new authority to use red light cameras to Buffalo, Nassau County, Rochester, Suffolk County and Yonkers. The legislature also gave the nod to New York City's long-held desire to increase by half the number of automated ticketing machines already installed.
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Get the Feeling You're Being Watched? If You're Driving, You Just Might Be - Cameras to catch speeders and scofflaws are spreading - and sparking road rage. The village of Schaumburg, Ill., installed a camera at Woodfield Mall last November to film cars that were running red lights, then used the footage to issue citations. Results were astonishing. The town issued $1 million in fines in just three months. But drivers caught by the unforgiving enforcement - which mainly snared those who didn't come to a full stop before turning right on red - exploded in anger. Many vowed to stop shopping at the mall unless the camera was turned off. The village stopped monitoring right turns at the intersection in January.
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Proposal to Track Uninsured With Red-Light Cameras Has Cities Seeing Big Money - Running a red light may get more complicated - and more expensive - for some of the country's uninsured drivers. Under a proposal by Chicago Alderman Edward Burke, cameras at 132 city intersections that currently enforce $100 red light violations would also be used to nab motorists whose cars are uninsured. Washington, DC officials told FOXNews.com it is willing to consider a similiar program.
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Escort Passport 9500ix Radar Detector Weeds Out False Alarms: Tech Test - The Promise: "No false alarms." That's the Escort 9500ix's central claim: This machine not only detects four bands of radar as well as speed-trap and red-light cameras, it can, with the help of an internal GPS antenna, sort out which signals are worth slowing down for and which aren't worth bothering you about. Over time, the machine "learns," which means if you're used to driving the same routes again and again, it will become a quiet and unobtrusive machine, alerting you only when there's a real speed trap.
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New Mexico Increases Cost of Red Light Camera Tickets - New Mexico lawmakers increase cost of red light camera tickets with profit sharing legislation. Facing increased budgetary pressure, the New Mexico state Legislature this week adopted legislation that will increase the cost of red light camera fines by a third, adding millions in extra revenue to state coffers. State Senator Michael S. Sanchez (D-Belen) introduced Senate Bill 519 to extend revenue sharing provisions that previously only applied to the city of Albuquerque to other New Mexico cities. The measure passed unanimously in the state Senate and by a vote of 64-1 in the House.
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Photo Tickets Pad Campaign Coffers of Arizona Politicians - Arizona politicians have collected $36,265,795 in campaign cash from a tax on speeding tickets since 1999. A tax levied on speeding tickets funds the re-election efforts of two-thirds of Arizona's politicians and provides lawmakers with a personal financial incentive to protect controversial photo enforcement programs. In 1999, a ten percent surcharge was imposed on all traffic tickets to create the "Citizens Clean Election Fund." The fund allows politicians to avoid tedious fundraising efforts.
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Ohio House Votes to Implement Freeway Photo Radar - Ohio state House votes to use speed cameras to mail near $300 tickets to freeway drivers. A deeply divided Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday passed sweeping legislation that would impose new penalties on motorists, including a statewide speed camera program. State Representative Peter S. Ujvagi (D-Toledo) inserted the controversial proposals into a "must pass" $7.6 billion transportation funding measure to avoid individual discussion of the merits of the many programs rolled into the 361-page bill. Only one Republican voted in favor of Ujvagi's plan, which passed by a margin of 53-45.
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Sticking It To The Man - Give us the dough, and nobody gets hurt. Question: Photo enforcement of traffic laws is about (choose on): A) spreading Kodak moments across the land; B) making highways safer; of C) the money? The correct answer is C, and all the arguments for B were knocked into the arroyo by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano last winter when the spendy Democrat discovered a $90 million gap in her budget.
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Speeding, Parking Tickets on Rise as Government Revenue Source - Drivers across the country, beware - a heftier fine could be coming to a dashboard near you. Faced with rising deficits and dwindling revenues, many states and local municipalities are turning to increased traffic and parking fines to fill their coffers.
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More Tickets in Hard Times - Cities looking for revenue look to their police departments as a way to cash in. Motorists beware: In some communities, police are issuing tickets during these hard times at a rate higher than ever in what critics says is an attempt to raise revenue in order to offset budget shortfalls.
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Top 5 Electronic Gadgets at the 2008 SEMA Show - Chronic speeders usually realize that there's a benefit to having a radar detector. Yet with so much of traffic enforcement automated these days thanks to speed cameras and the like, having a detector that knows where those nano-nuisances are located is a breakthrough. That's what Escort has introduced with its Passport 9500ix, with its GPS receiver and detailed description of every speed camera, speed trap and red light camera out there.
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Escort Passport 9500ci vs. K40 Calibre - Which is the better custom-installed remote radar detector?
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Escort Passport 9500i vs. Valentine One - Which is the better-behaved traveling companion? Can GPS really keep a radar detector quiet?
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Navman Provides GPS for ESCORT Radar, Laser Detectors - Automotive radar and laser detector maker ESCORT is using Navman Wireless OEM Solutions' low-power Jupiter 30 xLP GPS module in its latest models, the PASSPORT 9500ix and PASSPORT 9500ci.
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Speed enforcement cameras targets of Arizona rebellion - Road-side cameras meant to enforce speed limits are a big deal in Arizona. The state government is expected to rake in $90 million this year from the freeway spy-eyes. The take is projected to climb to $120 million in 2010 -- with $45 million more going to private contractors. Even in a state awash in $2 billion worth of red ink, that's real money.
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7 Tips to Avoid a Speeding Ticket in Your Porsche - Over the years, I've read a lot of different tips on how to avoid a speeding ticket. Most of the items mentioned are common sense. However, like anything, even the most simple things can be forgotten or overlooked if we're not reminded of them. While there is no sure fire way to avoid a ticket if you're breaking your local speed limit, you can greatly reduce your exposure by employing some or all of the following pointers.
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Expect More Speeding Tickets in Weak Economy - Got a lead foot? Hold on to your wallet. When local revenue falls, traffic citations go up. A new study to be published in next month's Journal of Law and Economics finds statistical evidence that local governments use traffic citations to make up for revenue shortfalls. So as the economy tanks, motorists may be more likely to see red and blue in the rearview.
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Do Denver red-light cameras deter violations? - Denver has failed to enforce its red-light camera contract, collecting the $75 fines but not collecting the data necessary to determine whether the program actually is reducing red-light running.
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Houston Red Light Camera Report Undermines TxDOT Camera Study - Study finds accidents doubled at Houston, Texas red light camera intersections undermining the conclusions of a statewide report. Accidents more than doubled at the Houston, Texas intersections where red light cameras are installed, according to a study released Monday by Rice University and the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). This result posed a dilemma for TTI and the city of Houston which had requested the study.
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Speeding? You'll pay higher 'taxes' - Watch out, leadfoots: Many strapped cities and towns are trying to fix their budgets by stepping up traffic enforcement. Here's a tip for the next time you're barreling down U.S. 425 through northeastern Louisiana: If you see a sign that reads "Baskin Town Limits," slow down. Way down. Baskin has been expecting you. Between 2004 and 2006, little Baskin (population about 200) got 87% of its town budget from speeding tickets, the highest percentage of 304 Louisiana municipalities surveyed.
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New York: County Admits Cameras Are For Revenue - Suffolk County, New York report only mentions revenue as the reason to install red light cameras. Strapped for cash, Suffolk County, New York admits it wants to install red light cameras to generate revenue. In a four-hundred-page review of the county's financial situation released earlier this month, officials mentioned only one purpose for the automated traffic enforcement devices.
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Radar Detector Built to not Cry Wolf as it Filters Fake Signals - Escort's new Passport 9500ix, a radar detector that's built to learn from its mistakes and to never cry wolf. The device utilizes an internal GPS antenna and logs radar frequencies detected in different areas. An auto-learn feature cross-references locations with signal frequencies and blocks out signals it encounters that are not speed traps.
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Traffic Cameras Coming to a Road Near You? - Hoping for smoother traffic on the area's busiest thoroughfares, the Virginia Department of Transportation is proposing to install more traffic-monitoring cameras in the Charlottesville region. If installed, the cameras would be the first of their type on the U.S. 29 corridor. Mounted on tall poles at traffic signals, they would be able to monitor real-time traffic flow, congestion and response to crashes.
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Innocent Florida, Louisiana Motorists Receive Bogus Photo Tickets - White man sent photo ticket for offense committed by a black man in Louisiana while great grandmother in Florida receives bogus ticket from Georgia. Recent incidents in Georgia and Louisiana call into question the common assertion of photo enforcement advocates that the camera never lies. Officials in charge of red light camera and speed camera programs claim it is "rare" for erroneous tickets to be issued because a human police officer diligently verifies each and every citation for accuracy before it is issued.
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Connecticut: New Tool to Catch Speeders - Connecticut State Police now have a new weapon in the fight against speeders. The force now has 89 new TruSpeed laser speed guns. This is the latest speed measurement technology.
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Tennessee Appeals Court Embraces Red Light Cameras - Tennessee Court of Appeals issues ruling designed to encourage the use of red light cameras. The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued a ruling yesterday promoting the use of red light cameras throughout the state. A three-judge panel rejected a constitutional challenge to city of Knoxville's automated ticketing program filed by photo ticket recipient Ronald G. Brown. Brown argued the case on his own behalf after his Chevy had been photographed on September 18, 2006 at the intersection of Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway. The city alleged the vehicle entered the intersection a split-second after the light turned red, and so it mailed a bill for $50. Brown told the court that because he had no choice but to pay the ticket and thereby admit guilt, or, if he was not driving, to inform on someone else who was, the system itself violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.
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Tennessee Appeals Court Embraces Red Light Cameras - Tennessee Court of Appeals issues ruling designed to encourage the use of red light cameras. The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued a ruling yesterday promoting the use of red light cameras throughout the state. A three-judge panel rejected a constitutional challenge to city of Knoxville's automated ticketing program filed by photo ticket recipient Ronald G. Brown. Brown argued the case on his own behalf after his Chevy had been photographed on September 18, 2006 at the intersection of Kingston Pike and Alcoa Highway. The city alleged the vehicle entered the intersection a split-second after the light turned red, and so it mailed a bill for $50. Brown told the court that because he had no choice but to pay the ticket and thereby admit guilt, or, if he was not driving, to inform on someone else who was, the system itself violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.
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10 Ways to Avoid a Speeding Ticket - If it's OK legally, get a radar detector. Yes, they're expensive (good ones, anyhow). But a one-time hit of, say, $300 for a decent radar detector is cheaper than even a single big speeding ticket and the higher insurance costs that will come with it. Radar detectors are legal in most states and well worth the investment to avoid a speeding ticket.
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Australian Company to Issue Arizona Speeding Tickets - Arizona to use 200 fixed and mobile speed camera units to raise $165 million in revenue. The Arizona Department of Public Safety announced yesterday that it would pay an Australian company $28.75 for every ticket it is able to issue on state highways. By September 26, Melbourne-based ticket vendor Redflex will activate what will soon become the largest speed camera operation in the United States. Governor Janet Napolitano (D) commissioned the program to generate $165 million in revenue from the $165 citations. Redflex hopes this bottom line inspires other states to follow.
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Scottsdale Traffic Cams to Start Citing for Left Turns - Scottsdale will begin using its red light cameras to ticket drivers who turn left against a red arrow next month. The tickets will start on Aug. 1 for drivers who ignore the signals. It will be the first time the city issued tickets for left-turn violations in the 11 years Scottsdale has had the cameras.
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UK: Speed Camera Operator Rigged the System - Speed camera operator tagged innocent motorists so that he would be the top ticket issuer in Lancashire, England. A UK speed camera operator, desperate to keep his position as the top ticket issuer, manipulated evidence to obtain more convictions, according to a report by a government watchdog agency. The UK Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced yesterday that the civilian employee of the Lancashire Constabulary was fired at the conclusion of an inquiry that opened in October 2007.
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Escort Announces a New Radar Detector with GPS Intelligence and Safety Camera Database - Further expanding its technological leadership in the radar and laser detector industry, Escort Inc. announced today the next generation of its GPS-powered speed and location intelligent radar and laser detectors, the all-new PASSPORT 9500ix.
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Louisiana Legislature Passes Red Light Camera Bill - Louisiana State Legislature adopts a bill expanding speed cameras in the guise of a bill that limits them. The Louisiana House of Representatives yesterday gave final approval to a bill that would dramatically expand the use of red light cameras and speed cameras, but that appeared to be a limitation on their use. Senator Derrick Shepherd (D-Marrero) introduced the measure which simply forbids the application of drivers' license points to red light camera and speed camera tickets. It passed by a vote of 92-5 in the state House and 26-10 in the state Senate. Shepherd explained in a Senate hearing on his measure that his bill was no limitation on any city, because none impose license points.
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California Appeals Court Defends Red Light Cameras - California Court of Appeals ruling defended red light camera programs against a number of legal challenges. The Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal on Friday issued a ruling designed to save the state's red light camera programs from a series of legal challenges. Five separate cases filed between 2001 and 2005 in San Diego, San Francisco and West Hollywood were combined in the decision. Each case offered a number of legal arguments centered on contractual arrangements and were designed to undermine those cities' lucrative red light camera programs. The appellate court refused to overturn lower court cases that had upheld the photo tickets.
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Rhode Island: ACLU Report Shows Red Light Camera Flaws - ACLU of Rhode Island report shows the city of Providence failed to demonstrate any benefit from its red light camera program. A report released yesterday by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that the state's only red light camera operation has been a complete failure. In 2005, supportive lawmakers narrowly passed a law authorizing photo ticketing after agreeing to include a sunset provision that would invalidate the law in July 2008. With the deadline looming, supporters are scrambling to save the program. On Tuesday, the state Senate Judiciary Committee voted to make the photo ticketing authorization permanent. The full state House voted 35 to 23 to approve a similar measure on May 8. The ACLU's report is designed to give lawmakers a reason to re-think this course of action.
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New York: Lobbyist Sparks U-Turns on Cameras - Lobbyist convinces assembly red light camera foe to embrace red light cameras. Negative publicity then forces that lawmaker to drop his embrace. One of the most powerful New York state lawmakers has reversed himself twice on the question of red light cameras. State Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman David Gantt (D-Rochester), a long-time foe of red light cameras, last month changed his tune and introduced AB10948, legislation that would allow any county in the state to operate red light cameras. Currently, their use is only permitted in New York City.
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6 Cities That Were Caught Shortening Yellow Light Times For Profit - Some local governments have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead. Chattanooga, TN, Dallas, TX, Springfield, MO, Lubbock, TX, Nashville, TN and Union City, CA, have been caught with short yellow light times over the past few years.
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Missouri: House Committee Votes to Expand Traffic Cameras - Missouri House Transportation Committee adopts legislation encouraging cities to install red light cameras. The Missouri House Transportation Committee voted last week to encourage municipalities to install red light cameras. Existing state laws do not authorize the use of automated ticketing machines, but, beginning with Arnold in 2005, several cities have gambled that such a bill would be forthcoming. State Representative Kenny Jones (R-California) obliged by introducing a bill on behalf of the photo ticketing industry that granting that authority. According to state Attorney General Jay Nixon, without authorization these tickets would not hold up in court.
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Louisiana Lawmakers Vote to Expand Traffic Camera Use - Louisiana Senate committee adopts legislation giving municipalities the green light to use speed cameras and red light cameras. A Louisiana state Senate committee voted last Thursday to give the green light to municipalities eager to expand the use of red light cameras and speed cameras throughout the state. The Senate Local and Municipal Affairs panel approved a measure introduced by state Senator Troy Hebert (D-Jeanerette) that would grant specific, state-level authorization for the use of cameras to ticket motorists.
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Colorado: Freeway Photo Radar Approved - Colorado approves freeway speed cameras. Creates possibity of ticket for failing to move over for photo radar van. The Colorado state legislature gave its final approval last week to legislation allowing the use of speed cameras in highway work zones. The move was part of a series of bills designed to raise $18.1 million annually for the state budget through increased traffic fine amounts and expanded ticketing operations. The latest measure was approved by a 61-2 margin in the state House and 22-12 in the state Senate. Governor Bill Ritter (D) has indicated his intention to sign the bill into law next week.
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Stock Pressure Drives Red Light Camera Placement - Nestor Inc places red light cameras in locations designed to shore up falling stock price. Pressure from Wall Street is driving a vendor to position red light cameras at intersections that will help drive up its stock price. Nestor Inc. faces Nasdaq stock exchange delisting, a humiliating process that began nearly one year ago when the Rhode Island based company's stock fell under the minimum level of $1 per share. In San Bernardino, California City Attorney James F. Penman was led last week to issue a memo to the city manager warning that red light cameras were not being installed at intersections based on their accident rate.
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Texas: 260 Bogus Red Light Camera Tickets Tossed - Corpus Christi, Texas forced to cancel 260 red light camera tickets issued to motorists making a safe and legal right hand turn. About 260 motorists wrongly accused of "red light running" in Corpus Christi, Texas will have their citations canceled. After receiving numerous complaints from innocent drivers, the Gulf Coast city was forced to admit that drivers who had safely stopped should not have been ticketed by the machine located at the intersection of Cimarron and Yorktown.
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Revenue Concerns Derail Maryland, Washington Photo Ticketing Expansion - Concerns over the disposition of profits have thwarted efforts to expand photo ticketing in Washington state and Maryland. In Maryland, lawmakers deadlocked over whether localities or the state should pocket the millions in revenue generated by tickets that some wanted boosted from $40 to $75. In Washington state, the fear of a voter initiative has frozen the interest of many cities in installing new red light camera systems.
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UK: Top Speed Camera Trap Caught Tricking Motorists at Night - The most profitable UK speed camera issued $26 million in tickets at night when a speed limit change warning sign was completely unlit. The UK's most profitable speed camera that has been sending ú60 (US $120) tickets to vehicle owners at the rate of 2000 per day may now be forced to issue refunds. The device, located on the southbound M11 at Woodford, Essex is situated at the point where the speed limit suddenly drops from 70 MPH to 50 MPH. Last month motorist Simon Grills forced the Crown Prosecution Service to drop his speed camera ticket after he proved the signs warning of the speed change were effectively invisible at night. Grills produced evidence showing the lights meant to illuminate the signs had been burned out since November 18, 2005.
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Missouri: Jail Time Possible for Red Light Ticket Recipients - Proposed ordinance would jail motorists in Saint Louis, Missouri for failure to pay red light camera tickets. This means motorists who go on vacation or have a ticket that is lost in the mail could find themselves subject to serious consequences. The penalty imposed by the proposed ordinance brings the potential fine for non-payment up to $500 and imprisonment for up to ninety days.
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It Pays to Avoid a Speeding Ticket - Or Fight One - The best advice: don't speed. But if you get nailed, fight it - because a $50 speeding ticket can cost you thousands once your insurer gets wind of it. True, a few more bucks won't change your life, but the fine is usually the least of your worries. Even one speeding ticket can begin to turn your name to mud in your insurer's eyes. More than one can cost you thousands of dollars in higher premiums.
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Maryland General Assembly Adopts Statewide Speed Cameras - Maryland looks to reap millions by approving speed cameras on freeways and side streets. The Maryland state House on Thursday voted 90-45 to approve a measure authorizing speed cameras on freeways and secondary roads throughout the state. The vote followed the state Senate adoption of a similar measure by a 26-21 margin earlier in the week. The measures were sponsored by Governor Martin O'Malley (D) who sees photo enforcement as a key to boosting budget revenue.
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Connecticut: Thousands Face Bogus Speeding Tickets - More than 83,000 motorists could face bogus speeding convictions if Connecticut approves photo enforcement program. Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) announced as part of her state budget submission that she intended to generate millions in new revenue with a freeway speed camera program. As the Hartford Courant pointed out, this puts more than 83,000 motorists in the state at risk because their license plate numbers are shared by drivers with a different type of license plate.
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Camera Maker Admits Ticketing is Addictive - Cities get addicted to red light camera and speed camera revenue according to the CEO of Affiliated Computer Services. A top vendor of speed camera and red light camera services told investors that his company represents a great investment opportunity because the cities who use his product cannot resist the steady revenue stream it creates.
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Connecticut: Rell Wants Cameras to Focus on Speeders - Traffic cameras along Interstate 95 are nothing new, but if Gov. M. Jodi Rell has her way, a different set of cameras will be installed along highways to photograph and ticket anyone who is breaking the speed limit.
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Houston, Texas Banks on Short Yellows - Red light cameras in the Houston, Texas area are earning millions of dollars in extra revenue by trapping motorists with short yellow signals. KPRC-TV timed the yellow duration at a number of high-speed intersections and found them to be far below the level recommended in Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) guidelines. At the intersection of FM 1960 and West Townsend in Humble, for example, the posted speed is 50 MPH which suggests that the yellow should last five seconds. Motorists, however, only get 3.6 seconds of warning before the red light camera begins issuing tickets.
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Rome, Georgia Red Light Cameras Increase Wrecks, Profit - The number of accidents increased at the Rome, Georgia intersection where a red light camera was installed, but profits have continued to increase. The total number of collisions at Hicks Drive and Turner McCall Boulevard jumped 24 percent between 2005 and 2007 while total profit increased 19 percent.
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New Mexico Senate Strikes Speed Camera Profit - The New Mexico Senate launched a direct attack on Albuquerque's speed camera and red light camera program this week. The chamber voted 35-1 to approve a measure that cuts all automated ticket fines in the city to $75 and mandates that the profit be distributed to the state courts. Until recently, Albuquerque's automated ticket fines reached as high as $400 each which helped generate more than $11.7 million in revenue.
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Connecticut: Governor Pushing for Freeway Speed Cameras - Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) will push for the installation of freeway speed cameras as part of her budget submission to the legislature Wednesday. The move, combined with a request for one hundred additional state troopers over the next five years, is designed to bolster the number of traffic citations and generate millions in new revenue. Rell previewed her plan to the Hartford Courant newspaper yesterday. Rell follows the lead of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano (D) who announced in her January budget submission that a new statewide freeway speed camera program would generate $165 million in revenue.
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Radar Detectors Give Speed Freaks a Rush - Radar detectors, once thought of as relics, are back on the radar. As people endure longer commutes and growing traffic jams, they are increasingly tempted to hit the gas pedal harder. Police are fighting back with a web of electronic surveillance, from laser and radar speed traps to automated cameras that spot speeders and issue tickets by mail. To improve their odds, committed speed demons (and scofflaws) are resorting to a new generation of high-end radar-detection devices. The new models, which detect a wide range of radar bands and lasers, are touted as having better range and more sensitivity than their predecessors while generating fewer false alarms.
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The Most Expensive States for Speeding Tickets 2007 - According to stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the I-95 corridor between the southeast and New England includes five of the 10 U.S. states carrying the highest fines for speeding - Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland and New Hampshire. All hit up speeders for a maximum of $500 or more for a first offense. Judges in Carolina and Georgia, not to mention 16 other states, have the discretion to add jail time.
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Volunteer Radar Gunslingers Nail Speeders - Speeders beware. Your neighbors might have you on their radar. That's the message police departments across the country are trying to send by loaning residents radar guns and turning them into neighborhood speed watchers. Volunteers can't ticket the drivers they catch breaking the speed limit, but their reports can result in warning letters being sent by police, depending on how fast the drivers were going.
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Banned by the Police, Laser Gun that led to Unfair Speeding Fines - Laser guns that may have helped to wrongly convict thousands of motorists have been shelved by a police force. The move could call into question their use to trap speeding drivers right across the country amid fears that they give false readings.
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Georgia Speed Trap Brings Huge Profit - Pendergrass, Georgia collects $1136 in ticket revenue for every resident. Northeast Georgia's number one speed trap for the past three years in a row is continuing to generate record profits from traffic fines. Last year, the Pendergrass Police Department collected $558,020 in fines with $312,636 in expenses leaving the department with a $245,384 net profit for the year.
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8 top traffic-ticket myths - Much of what you've heard isn't true. But this is: If an officer asks if you know why you were pulled over, the answer is a very polite 'no.'
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Virginia County Judge Declares New Driver Penalties Unconstitutional - A Henrico County judge declared the state's new abusive driver fees unconstitutional Thursday. With his order, Yeatts instructed Henrico General District Court clerks not to collect civil remedial fees that can reach $1,000 or more for certain driving offenses. The ruling is binding only in Henrico County but is being immediately appealed to Circuit Court and could eventually reach the Virginia Supreme Court.
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The Taxman Hits, in the Guise of a Traffic Cop - SHORT of cash and long of arm, the State of Virginia recently unveiled the nation's first $1,050 speeding ticket. You have to go 20 miles an hour over the speed limit to get that one; but under a new set of rules there are now a whole host of violations considered "reckless driving" that subject errant Virginia drivers to fines of $1,050 to $3,000 - plus court costs, if you fight and lose. The money will be spent on maintaining roads and bridges, safety improvements and closing a $500 million gap that emerged in last year's transportation budget. All over the country, supporting safety improvements on the wages of reckless driving has become a tradition. But in the relations between government and its citizens, the four-digit traffic ticket also seems to signal a leap in the use of fines and fees - and just about any other form of enhanced governmental income production - to avoid the dreaded thing itself, a tax increase.
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Virginia to issue traffic fines as high as $3,000 - Virginia is for lovers, or so the state slogan has declared since 1969. Starting Sunday [July 1, 2007], Virginia also will be the home of the $3,000 traffic ticket. The new civil charges will range from $750 to $3,000 and be added to existing fines and court costs. The civil penalty for going 20 mph over the speed limit will be $1,050, plus $61 in court costs and a fine that is typically about $200.
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Ohio: Highway Robbery - The booming business behind tristate speed traps - and which roads bank among the worst offenders... Speeding tickets. They're inevitable - if you spend just part of your workday on the road - and sometimes undeserved. While there are absolutely no legitimate excuses for truly speeding, there's often no legitimate excuse for speed traps. On the Ohio side, especially, tiny municipalities can be found bolstering revenue by setting ticket quotas and prowling the pieces of interstate and other roadways that thread through their borders. Ohio, in fact, ranks No. 1 in the nation for issuing speeding tickets.
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Georgia: Speeding May Break You - On the lookout for Georgia's worst speed traps? Here's something a radar detector won't tell you - the price of a speeding ticket in South Georgia can vary by as much as $850, depending on where you happen to get caught. Georgia's motorists also pay some of the highest speeding tickets in the country. Georgia is one of only five states allowing fines up to $1,000. By contrast, 33 states charge motorists $250 or less.
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Oklahoma: New Law Eliminates Speed Trap Restrictions - Several speed traps are back. State lawmakers have repealed legislation that designated five Oklahoma communities as speed traps. Police in these areas are once again allowed to issue tickets on highways that run through their city limits.
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Texas DOT Shuts Down Photo Radar Operations - The Texas Department of Transportation has ordered cities using unauthorized speed cameras to cease ticketing operations. Rhome Mayor Mark Lorance confirmed to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper that the city had received the department's order. Earlier this month, the state House of Representatives unanimously voted to ban speed cameras in the state.
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Ohio: Petition to Stop Speed Trap - Middlefield, Ohio residents will vote on whether to overturn an ordinance establishing the village as a speed trap. Ohio law allows small towns to establish mayor's courts instead of using county courthouses. The practice is meant to allow the towns to keep the significant revenue generated from motorists. The practice, however, has come under fire because it encourages speed traps. One of the most vocal critics is the Ohio Supreme Court's chief justice.
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Florida: Cops Set Up Christmas Speed Trap - An Orange, County Florida cop disguised himself as an elf to issue between $10,000 and $50,000 in speeding tickets in less than three hours.
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Minnesota: Police Chief Wants Speed Traps to Fund Overtime - The police chief of Goodview, Minnesota suggests speed traps are the best way to fund overtime for his officers.
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New Tool to Ticket People Who Are Not Speeding - The most popular, and controversial, laser speeding ticket gun has added a tailgating ticket feature.
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Florida: Homeless Speed Trap Is Back - Police in Ocala, Florida have brought back the practice of dressing up like the homeless in order to generate significant traffic ticket revenue.
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Top Georgia Speed Trap Collects $1000 per Resident - Police departments in small northeast Georgia cities are using speeding tickets to generate up to $1000 per resident in annual revenue.
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New Photo Radar in Scottsdale - If you drive on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard near 77th Street, you'd better watch your speed.
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Oklahoma Fights Speed Trap Towns - The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety takes action to shut down small towns that issue speeding tickets to shore up municipal budgets.
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Oklahoma: Speed Trap Police Department Shut Down - The speed trap town of Shamrock, Oklahoma will lose its police department because its officers are not properly certified.
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Tennessee: Speed Trap Mayor Suspended - The speed trap mayor of Coopertown, Tennessee has been suspended after more than a dozen witnesses documented his misconduct in court hearings.
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Tennessee: Speed Trap Fine Refunds Possible - Coopertown, Tennessee may be forced to refund illegally issued speed trap tickets.
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Arizona: Freeway Radar Set to Expand - Prescott Valley, Arizona moves to adopt freeway speed camera ordinance to share in the $19 million generated in Scottsdale.
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South Carolina Grand Jury Indicts Speed Trap Town - The municipal judge and police chief in McBee, South Carolina indicted on charges of using speed traps and car seizures to raise money for the city.
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Speeders Armed With High-Tech Gear Joust With Cops - The public obviously is well served when police suppress reckless and dangerous drivers. Still, many of the nation's speed limits can be raised safely, in light of advancements in cars and improvements in road construction. And let's face it: Speed limits have been set low in many locales for no reason other than nabbing lots of drivers who pay fines and provide local government with extra revenue.
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Top Ten US Speed Trap Cities - The National Motorists Association issued a warning to holiday weekend travelers urging them to avoid or use caution when driving through the ten cities most notorious for speed traps. "Nothing can ruin a vacation more quickly than an undeserved speeding ticket," explained Eric Skrum, the group's communications director.

The top-ten list of speed trap cities was created with data from the SpeedTrap Exchange, a site that identifies locations that combine arbitrarily low speed limits with heavy traffic enforcement designed to raise revenue. The top-ten cities are as follows:

  1. Detroit, Michigan suburbs
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  5. Houston, Texas
  6. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  7. Austin, Texas
  8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  9. Nashville, Tennessee
  10. 10.Fresno, California

Illinois: Freeway Speeding Cameras Activated - Marked white photo radar vans are ticketing motorists on the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago, Illinois. Illinois State Police officers will sit inside the vans belonging to Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) while the machine generates tickets. Illinois will pay the company $2950 per month per van as well as a $15 bonus for every ticket the company is able to generate. The program represents the only statewide use of freeway speed cameras in the United States. Currently, only two cities -- Scottsdale, Arizona and Washington, DC -- operate photo radar on freeways. Illinois stands to make far more as the state's maximum fine is five times greater than Scottsdale's.
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Scottsdale, Arizona Making Millions with Photo Radar - Freeway speed camera revenue in Scottsdale, Arizona grows to nearly $3 million with no signs of slowing. Photo radar units on the Loop 101 freeway in Scottsdale, Arizona have generated more than $2,894,766 in revenue since the set of six speed cameras were activated on February 22.
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