Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Arizona photo enforcement citation loop holes result in a reported 20% dismissal rate

Arizona Photo enforcement loophole (flaws) dismisses 1 in 5 tickets (20%)

I was recently contacted by an Arizona ABC News affiliate, ABC 15 News (KNVX-TV Phoenix).

It would appear that I am not the only one who has been receiving flawed photo enforcement citations which fail to meet the long-established standards of due process of law, as codified in our U.S. Constitution's Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The good news is, a high percentage of flawed photo enforcement traffic citations are being tossed out, as reported by ABC 15 News investigative staff, Dan Siegel (investigative producer) and Joe Ducey (investigative reporter).

The bad news is, this is only the beginning of what most assuredly will be a long-battle between individuals utmost concerned about their civil liberties and the political "climate" of where the promises of "safety" come before everything else (except.. of course, corporate profits and budget short-falls).

I am confident that the powers-that-be, will continue their fight to further erode our already fragile civil liberties.

KNXV-TV Phoenix, further reports that Arizona is one of only four states where photo enforcement tickets (ie; photo radar speed camera) count against the licensed driver of the vehicle, although no detail was provided as to how a rear-view photo of a vehicle's license plate can be used to accurately identify the driver.

It's been reported that Arizona, requires that photo enforcement tickets need to be personally served, by process servers, within a 3-month period (90 days) before becoming invalid (dismissed).

While the Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano, may have managed to ostensibly make a 'valid' argument for red light cameras, speed cameras on the notion that the implementation of these technologies provide reductions in man-power [of law enforcement personnel, which can be used for other law enforcement duties, as does the City of Philadelphia], when this claim is examined more closely, it appears to be a disingenuous claim, especially when one considers the additional man-power required to serve, by individuals, these automated photo enforcement tickets.

When will the "insanity" end? The answer is Arizonans are going to have to put up with these disingenuous safety measures until the 2010 election year. Let's hope that when the time comes, the voters of Arizona will decide its time for a positive change from business as usual. Perhaps, Arizonans, should call for an immediate referendum on this matter, before Phoenix ends looking like London, England (the rich irony of this situation!)

I hope both Dan and Joe, of ABC 15, will continue to dig deeper in their ongoing investigation of the full impact photo enforcement has upon the residents of Arizona and our nation, at large.

Big Brother, our should we call her Big Sister

Fair warning, guys, prepare to be intimated by certain legislators, lobbyists, politically-minded law enforcement officers, and yes, Janet Napolitano's own administration—who are hell-bent on implementing these speed cameras and related technologies at whatever the "costs" (to our individual freedoms), without a full and proper public vetting processes, and most importantly without regard to the safety and well-being of the voters. And, I am not just talking about traffic safety.

The full text of Dan and Joe's article, can be located, here:

Arizona Photo enforcement loophole dismisses 1 in 5 tickets (20%)

Bottom Line: Expect further erosions to your civil liberties by the likes of Arizona Governor, the state's legislative and political arms to further erode of Arizona residents' right to due process of law, as a means to close this "loophole."

Again, I remind my readers:

"Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons."
Related reading:

Veil Guy


Anonymous said...

You all are idiots. How are the cameras unconsitutional?? If you are not speeding, you have nothing to worry about. You can go 9 over, you can still challenge the citation in court if you feel its wrong. The cameras free up DPS officers to do other public safety functions such as DOT inspections on unsafe trucks and equipment, help the stranded motorists that cannot help themselves...
Also, people claim that this is a cash generator for the state and that is why it exsists. If this was the only reason, why are you warned well in advance that it is up ahead?? People that have photo radar in other states do get that..
Also, if you notice, the speeds have slowed down, there has been fewer crashes in the enforcement zones, and the last point being, the cable barriers have not had to be replaced or repaired in the enforcement zones since they went live...I would rather have the cameras then depend on a radar detector or worry about hidden speed traps..At least you know where they are and if you get a citation, odds are very strong that you are in idiot for not paying attention.....

Veil Guy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Veil Guy said...

I think it is noteworthy that you made your insult to opponents of such technology, anonymously--enjoying your privacy while name calling.

You are spouting the PR of the misinformation campaigns undertaken by these for profit companies.

Your attack is riddled with error and false assumption.

1) This is not about speed. This is about corporate fascism corrupting the legal/legislative system for profit.

2) Nor is it about safety, either.
Speed cameras do nothing to actually remove the threat of poor or other unsafe driving at the time infractions actually occur.

3) It most certainly IS a cash generator for cash-starved budgets.

All one must do to understand this, is to listen to the professional lobbyists or the companies' own proposals selling their systems to states/cities experiencing budgeting problems.

4) The alleged safety enhancements and speed reductions are, in fact, ginned-up results in the reports to which you refer.

I know, I have read them in detail. Have you? I tend to doubt it.

5) The 'prominent' signage you refer to is often lacking or well-below the recommend sizes given the posted speed limits (PSL).

6) The little empirical data that has actually been collected suggests that photo enforcement (as a 'countermeasure') creates accident swapping. That is to say that accident rates may not actually decrease but change in type.

7) Redlight and speed cameras create an unhealthy dynamic called asymmetrical situational awareness which has been measured to increase rear-end accident rates in these areas.

If one was really concerned about enhancing safety, the following improvements could be made to our roadways:

1) Increase yellow light and all-red clearance phases to appropriate levels for the 85th percentile of speed (not necessarily the PSL, which may be artificially low).

2) Appropriately establish the correct posted speed limits (PSLs) to the recommended 85th percentile of speed.

3) Continue to use manned traffic enforcement to allow for immediate response to offenders which accomplishes two things that photo enforcement systems can not:

a) Immediate disincentive to driver and surrounding traffic.
b) Immediate removal of dangerous behavior that occurs with a traffic stop.

4) Stop the ginning of reports/conclusions supported by interests which have a financial stake in their conclusions.

5) Restore trust in government by encouraging honest and sound reporting and engineering solutions to our safety challenges.

PS: From one 'idiot' to another: 'then' -> 'than.'

Anonymous said...

Well as an Arizonan, I have to say that these cameras are popping up everywhere and I don't see the prominent state of emergency that apparently our police have led us to believe there is. I mean on a long stretch of highway, that I could maybe see where a DPS officer could not possibly patrol the area as usual as normal (whatever that is), well okay I can see there being cameras there. Or a HIGH-ly accident prone area, sure I can see a camera there....get my drift? Another thing is that I am on the road quite a bit and the most UNSAFE I have seen 9.9 times outta 10 is the idiots that don't bother using a blinker or the lane-darting driver, you know the one! Well these "royalty" that apparently just-about own the damn road by the way they freakin drive, well its those morons that cause most of the car accidents

This is a quote from the following address


In the next six minutes $1k in revenue will be generated from photo radar cameras in AZ. And another $1k six minutes after that. Now picture the for-profit entity that just snapped your photo reaching into your wallet, extracting $165 and giving a chunk of it to the State of Arizona. I haven’t verified these facts independently but I’ve read five different articles this evening that indicate there are over 200 Redflex photo radar cameras in operation in Phoenix Metro now. Governor Napolitano signed a law into effect this summer enabling the state-wide use of photo radar enforcement and if you drive in Phoenix you know that the situation is out of hand. Here’s why:

A. A for-profit Australian company (Redflex - RDF) has been essentially granted the ability to levy a tax against Arizonans and split the profits with the State. Last time I heard you needed to be a government entity to have the right tax a population.

B. You paid for the installation of these cameras with your tax dollars. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the penalties exacted on you from these “safety” devices would flow back into your municipality? They don’t (at least not the majority) - they’re flowing to a publicly-traded Australian corporation.

C. The most insidious thing about this whole sham is that the people who are collecting the tax get to do so under the guise of enforcing a safety measure. I call B.S. Camp out by a photo radar van or a fixed camera and watch as the flashes as they occur every few seconds. You’ll see an inevitable cascade of brake lights for half the cars on the road- 1/2 of the traffic instinctively slams the brakes for fear of getting flashed and the other half continues at their existing speed. That is a recipe for one thing, and it’s not safety.

What you can do right this minute
1. Sign up on Camera Fraud Meetup and get involved.
2. Print out the signature pages for the initiative and referendum and await instructions.
3. Tell 10 friends who are as pissed off about this situation as you are about 1 & 2

Unknown said...

Ok. here is my issue. I am a NY resident with a NY license. I was driving my friends car in phoenix last week. She also has a NY license but her car has an AZ tag. She got a photo enforcement citation in the mail yesterday and I was driving her car when it happened. What should we do about this.

Anonymous said...

Ok. here is my issue. I am a NY resident with a NY license. I was driving my friends car in phoenix last week. She also has a NY license but her car has an AZ tag. She got a photo enforcement citation in the mail yesterday and I was driving her car when it happened. What should we do about this.

Anonymous said...

I received a ticket in the mail. I ignored the first and only non-certified letter. They never contacted me again (over a year ago).
Bottom line is these crooks are out to make a fast buck. The State lets the managing company play like this is all legit for a cut in the action. The State doesn't pursue legal action because they can't.
This is all a money grab dreamed up by now ex AZ Gov Jano to make up for her driving AZ into financial ruin. But the good democrat got to bail from AZ to go on to destroy bigger and better things. Homeland security - God help us!

Anonymous said...

Recently I was on my way to AZ from NM to visit my folks in Phoenix,traveling highway 60 from Socorro NM to Phoenix in my GTR-35(the scenic tour through the Salt river Cannon)like driving down and back up the Grand Canon.just after crossing the border traveling west there is a series of steep hills and valleys,on an upward approach the crest of one particular hill is quite steep.So I slowed down because I felt uncomfortable approaching the crest,when I did get on top of the crest,I noticed at the bottom of the arroyo(at least 1000 feet high)was a vehicle with a pole mounted device at least 20 to 25 feet high.Not drilling for oil on the side of the road in a Ford explorer?Passing by at the speed limit (of course I'm wondering what the contraption was)The Marked AZ vehicle was obviously taking pics,and the operator was looking down deciding witch dog-nut to shove down his pie hole!The cam had a huge line of sight to the top of the hill,maybe in both directions?
Leaving Phoenix,I encountered another one on the freeway flats,the flow of traffic was 10mph over.
The drive through the Salt River canon is astounding!I counted 7 Hp's on a Monday afternoon.Be safe,cautious and prudent!

Anonymous said...

To the idiot calling others idiots. There is a stretch of I-10 in Phoenix that has three consecutive cameras three miles apart. Thats six miles in between. If you are speeding through those six miles, you are speeding once not three times, however, you will receive three citations. Can you say "double jeopardy", can you say "revenue generator." Someone needs to buy you a cup of reality. Why does the State not put those cameras ten feet apart, imagine that, they could issue 3168 citations to the same driver in stead of 3. Imagine the revenue. Where do they draw the line?

Georgia said...

Safety and speeding are ostensibly the targets for these enforcement cameras. Revenue generation is a more likely motivations for these greedy government and legislative people . One important aspect of these cameras that has bee ignored is the big brother watching us. We can be traced with these little inoccuos things. Has anyone thought about that. ANd don't think that it cant be happening!!

Anonymous said...

Due process of law = if you don't get served by a human, you are not liable for the ticket. PERIOD.

It doesn't matter if you get photographed banging a zebra with your name tag and official credentials in the pic. You still need to get served. It's AZ law. They have 120 days from the violation date to serve you. Getting something in the mail IS NOT SERVING YOU. This is simply so you will give up your right to be served.

Of course, if you are personally served, there is a fee associated with it. It's about $35 in Tucson, AZ. The chances that you will get served depends on a number of things.

1. How many photo tickets do you have? These tickets are dismissed without prejudice so this means that they can re-open a case at any time during the future. I don't know if the statue of limitations (SOL) apply. I think the SOL is 3 years for non-violent, non-felony crimes.

Just remember that if you get one ticket dismissed and accumulate another one, chances are they are going to come after you with both tickets.

2. Where is your car is registered? If your car is registered to an old address, chances are you will not get served, or they will serve the wrong address. I use my parents address, personally.

3. If your car is registered to a company name, chances are you will not get served. Even if your name is Joe Smith and your car is registered to your company (Joe Smith, LLC), chances are they will not serve you. I wouldn't put money on it but it can help.

This happened to a buddy of mine that worked for a dealer and ran a red light on a company car. He never received a ticket.

4. Avoid the process server at all costs! This means you and anyone that lives with you. For all the remaining days after you miss your court date, you have to sneak in and out your house and keep the blinds closed because they can serve you just by confirming they saw your through the window.

Personally, I would take off the license plate on my car since I parked my car under a car port. There was one instance where I went to throw out the trash and 1 minute later, I heard knocking at the door by a guy holding a paper pad. F*** that, I let his ass freeze outside. My lights and TV were on and my kid was screaming. Still didn't get served.

You also have to be smarter than the dudes trying to ticket you. These people are corporations, not the state government. When you get a photo ticket in the mail, they will state that you can see a higher resolution picture or movie clip by going to their website and entering a unique PIN # assigned to your ticket. I wouldn't do this because it might screw you over and give them proof you actually received the notification in the mail. A unique PIN# and citation# is just like telling them you did not want to respond to the letter. This means unexpected FedEx packages or other unusual knocks at the door (process servers are sneaky, you gotta watch out, i.e. Pine Express movie). There is a better way to track your case in AZ. Go to the following website and enter your name.


Here you can follow the progress with your case and see if it was dismissed or if further actions were taken (i.e. you got your license suspended or something to that effect).

The best way to avoid getting served is to drive the speed limit but for you with the heavy foot (me included) there are some smart ways to get out of this.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add one more item.

5. You will probably not get served if your car is registered in a different town (I.e your car is registered in Tucson and you get ticketed in Phoenix).

Anonymous said...

Have you notice that they locate the cameras just after a reduced speed is posted? is this helping to make a safer highways? or this is just about making money.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I was in Phoenix for first time today,looking for mall on Power ran red light,though great no cops,then saw photo enforcement sign.I a NM resident.Will I be pursued.?Very importantly can they put points against my NM license and insurance?Can they possibly drag me back to Arizona for traffic school?In late 60s,my last tickets was in 1968!Very upset,just retired was thinking of moving here,like the town,now wonder ?Concrete advise sure appreciated,thank you in advance for helping.You can reply to my anoymous email,please do so directly to reggiesorensen@yahoo.com Again thanks

Basilisk said...

I think the law states that the speed limit whatever it may be starts at the actual marker itself, not at the point at which the marker can be actually seen clearly. So if a camera, radar, laser or whatever is used and a person gets tagged for allegedly going 55 in a 55 zone coming up to a 40 mph marker but hasnt passed it, thats another good way to get out of a ticket.

jimho said...

These cameras are all about making the government and the contractors money and they do not work properly. I recently received a ticket in the mail claiming I was doing 79MPH in a 65MPH zone. The problem is, I wasn't doing 79, I was doing 66 to 67MPH with my cruise control on. I am 200% certain of this. Why? Because, I remember the incident very well. I live in a rural area of the state which rarely sees the traffic cameras. On the day in question I was driving in a pack of several vehicles past a mobile unit when I was passed by a vehicle from Colorado. I had my cruise control on and was doing 66 to 67 MPH within a pack that included a tractor trailer truck and several other cars. While passing the mobile camera I had a blindingly bright flash in my face and then another in my rear. I remember thinking why would someone would go so fast past the unit when it's location was clearly posted about 1000 feet before. These flashes coincided with the vehicle from Colorado passing me on my left and my being approximately in line with me and the unit's cameras so that if the unit was not properly working it would confuse me for the speeder. This was apparently what happened, and the contractor/ state mailed me the ticket. I wonder if everyone in that pack got a ticket, or just me. And why not, right? Someone has to pay, and I live in Arizona, not Colorado, so why shouldn't I pay for something I was not responsible for? Lastly, on the letter it tells me to pay the fine, and not to worry because no points will be assigned to my driving record. I guess the state's answer to the budget crisis is to punish and tax innocent people. Hey, its only a little tax, only 180 dollars. Why should it matter that 180 dollars actually means something to a little person.

jimho said...

I have just viewed the video of the event. Not only does it clearly show the events as I tell them, it shows the vehicle from Colorado passing me (though slowly in the image due to camera skew) on my left (camera right). You can damn well believe I'm going to peruse this; court, media, possible suit against the company.