Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Redflex Photo Enforcement PR Misinformation Masquerading as News

Redflex CEO, Karen Finley.

Manipulated and Exploited News Anchor: Howard Beale
Updated: 29 Nov 2008

Redflex (photo enforcement vendor) is clearly a master of exploiting and manipulating news organizations to promote whatever PR nonsense they desire in an unrelenting effort to maximize their company profits.

Here's the latest Redflex photo enforcement PR pablum that has been picked up by Reuters news.

After reading this Redflex self-published nonsense, it really makes me wonder: is there any integrity left in our news media outlets? (Text in yellow, may be fact. Text in red, complete self-created PR B.S.):

REDFLEX Traffic Systems (, the largest provider of photo enforcement systems for roads and highways in the U.S., announced today Director William Bell of the Arizona Department of Administration's decision to order a stay vacated for the award of the Arizona statewide photo enforcement contract. This decision allows for the resumption of the execution of the largest program for speed enforcement on state highways and roads in the United States. The contract, which was first awarded to REDFLEX by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) in July, 2008, will utilize both fixed and mobile applications of REDFLEXspeed(TM) and REDFLEXred(TM) cameras. REDFLEX state-of-the-art, FCC Certified mobile speed van units are in use across the nation in over 15 different cities, more than twice of that of the trailing photo enforcement vendor.

"We are ready to serve the State with our advanced, certified technology and have desired for delays caused by contentious protests from the unsuccessful bidder to end so our work on this landmark safety initiative can begin," said Karen Finley, CEO of REDFLEX Traffic Systems.

"We are committed
to working with the State of Arizona to keep our roads safer through the wider adoption of our proven digital photo enforcement technology." REDFLEX has been, and continues to be, a leader in the utilization of automated traffic enforcement to solve traffic safety problems throughout the country.

REDFLEX runs the longest running traffic safety program for Paradise
Valley, Arizona which celebrates 20 years of traffic safety this year.

In 2006, the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, in cooperation with DPS, Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and REDFLEX initiated a six fixed system speed enforcement pilot along a 7.8 mile stretch of the 101 loop surrounding the city of Phoenix.

The findings were further evidence that superior
technologies result in a meaningful positive impact to the community served.

A study conducted for this trial determined:
-- Speeds were reduced by -9 mph
-- Total crashes were reduced by 44% to 54%
-- Injury crashes decreased by 28% to 48%
-- Annual estimated community dollar savings between $16.5[M] and $17.1[M] including lost productivity, wages, medical costs, etc.

About REDFLEX Traffic Systems

REDFLEX Traffic Systems Inc. is the largest provider of digital red light and speed enforcement services in North America, with photo enforcement programs in over 200 U.S. communities. With headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, and offices across the United States, the company provides traffic safety technology and administrative expertise that helps reduce deaths and injuries resulting from traffic collisions. REDFLEX, which partners with public safety officials in state and local governments, has created many of the technology and processing methods that are now standard in the photo-enforcement industry. Founded in 1986, REDFLEX Traffic Systems is the longest consistently operating company in the industry. For more information visit

SOURCE REDFLEX Traffic Systems Inc.

Shoba Vaitheeswaran of REDFLEX Traffic Systems, +1-623-207-2403, or cell, +1-480-440-0647,


Notice the smooth reference to a 'study.'
  • Who's study?
  • Who paid for or had influenced with it?
  • What assumptions were made?
  • What kinds of baselines were used, if any?
  • Were there any environmental variances that could affect outcome (like construction, lane restrictions) during the study's test periods?
  • How long was the actual study conducted and over what periods?
  • Were there sufficient empirical data collected?
  • Were these stated 'reduction' numbers actually observed and measured?
  • What conclusions were derived using calculated, estimated, or projected numbers using complicated math formulae (knowing that with statistical analysis 'regression to the mean' often leads to mistaken conclusions* and results can vary dramatically with small changes in assumptions)?
  • How were these 'conclusions' substantiated?
  • To what degree did attributional bias and cognitive bias impact findings?
  • Where's the reference to the underlying 'study?'

Redflex Sales Presentation Despite Their Own-Cited Reports' Recommendations and Occured Just Two Months
After Preliminary Findings of Arizona's Test Program and Before 'Final' Report. Other Presentations were made to Scottsdale, Arizona City Council for continuation of Speed Camera Program.

This report was likely the preliminary report
—by professors Simon Washington (Ph.D.), Mr. Kangwon Shin, and Mr. Ida Van Shalkwyk (of Arizona State University)—which was created to be used as a sales blueprint to peddle Redflex's products/services throughout the country well before the actual (and heavily massaged) 'final' report was to see the light of day.

*As these reports, themselves, state:
  • Their 'safety impact' conclusions may be invalid or overstated
  • Crash-types are often swapped (as opposed to crash-rates reduced) with the implementation of these photo enforcement 'safety' programs
  • Rear-end accident rates actually increase at RLC intersections & speed camera locations
  • It's more prudent to implement simpler engineering improvements (like re-timing or establishing more appropriate speed limits)
Question: When do 'findings' of a preliminary report serve as a basis for establishing policy?

Answer: When big money is at stake.

Despite the unprecedented meltdown in the global economy and the global markets, Redflex's stock closed today at merely 9% off of its 52 week high. Compare that result to most other stocks currently being traded, many of which are off nearly 10 times as much!

The blatantness of their despicable intent is breathtaking, the willingness of government and institutions of "hire" learning to be complicit partners, unfortunate, and the fact the news media hasn't picked up on it, shocking.

Veil Guy

Sunday, November 23, 2008

License Plate Scanning/License Plate Recognition (ALPRS): More Big Brother-Like Privacy Destroying Technology

License Plate Scanning/License Plate Recognition Systems: Harmful to Privacy

As readers of my blog already know, I have been spending a lot of time discussing the growing use of automated photo enforcement systems—red light cameras and fixed/mobile speed cameras—and the negative impact these systems are having on our civil liberties and rights to privacy.

I have been focusing on this issue as now is the time to defeat the proponents of these systems before we end up like our friends across the pond in the U.K., other parts of the E.U., or like Singapore that have already resigned themselves to the widespread use of such heavy-handed mass-surveillance tactics.

The situation in our own country is about to get even worse.

Why? Because there is yet another technology that is quietly in the process of coming online and once again, Janet Napolitano's Arizona is leading its push (along with California and New York). Why this administration is Hell-bent on creating a police state, is beyond me (and it is alarming to consider the implications of Napolitano as the next head of DHS).

The technology to do it is called automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) or license plate scanning and is being incorporated into police vehicles (as mobile license plate recognition systems) to scan a vast amount of vehicles.

These license plate scanning/license plate recognitions systems are no longer being restricted to scanning parked vehicles. As with most new technology introduced for one purpose, license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems are being re-tasked to provide additional mass surveillance capabilities.

Apparently there is also a push to collect and data-mine this vast amount of information for the purposes of potentially tracking the day-to-day movements of a vast amount of law-abiding citizens.

Furthermore there appears to be little in the way of formalized procedures controlling how the data collected will be used and maintained.

According to the Arizona Republic's 23 Nov 08 article on license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems, it appears license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems have already scanned 1.2 million license plates since their "limited" introduction and which have reportedly lead to 122 felony arrests for auto theft—approximately .01 percent success rate, that's right 1/100th of one percent (assuming the reported numbers are, in fact, accurate).

Beyond installation into patrol vehicles, license plate scanning/license plate recognition systems are designed to be mounted in fixed positions on overpasses to simultaneously scan multiple lanes on our highways.

Using advanced OCR software algorithms, I expect there are no technical limitations to adding this capability into existing camera/video systems such as traffic cameras and, of course, red light and speed camera photo enforcement systems—as a back-end process.

I don't know about you, but between existing technologies—like GPS-enabled cellular phones, OnStar Navigation systems, red light cameras, and speed cameras—having yet another technology used to potentially track our day-to-day movements is troubling.

Our rights are being eroded each and every day, a little bit at a time and I continue to be surprised by our citizens' and news media's complicity.

At some point the "cure" is worse than the 'disease' and in the case of all of these dehumanizing automated photo enforcement technologies, the same can be said.

Like their cousins of automated photo enforcement, the technologies generally (but not exclusively) appear to be imported and the companies providing them, foreign-owned:

According to an automotive journalist friend of mine who recently attended the 115th Annual IACP Conference and Exposition at San Diego a couple of weeks ago, license plate recognition/license plate scanning (ALPR) systems were being marketed as the 'next big thing' in photo enforcement/surveillance.

Fortunately these new systems utilize infra-red imaging systems (to avoid visible flash disturbances), which means they've inadertently created another benefit of using Veil—anonymity—as Veil G4 can now be used to preserve and protect your privacy from their invasive nature.

VEIL'd License Plate, Completely Black and Unreadable to IR Imaging

We'll continue to monitor the growing use of this technology.

Big Brother continues to appear alive and well, but fortunately, so is American ingenuity.

Related Article(s):
Related Discussion(s) (New):
Veil Guy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Janet Napolitano Head of Homeland Security (DHS): Bad Idea

Janet Napolitano: Homeland Security Secretary (DHS), USA (United Socialists of America)

While much of the buzz with the news media has been surrounding the possible appointment of New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the reporting today concerning the appointment of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as the replacement Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS), by the incoming Obama administration, is an extremely troubling preview of the kind of change that may be coming to Washington, DC and to our nation.

Is Napolitano, as the head of Homeland Security, the kind of 'change' we believe in?

This is the same Janet Napolitano that has been a long champion of increased levels of civil rights robbing technologies of photo enforcement such as speed cameras and red light cameras.

This is the same Janet Napolitano that has been an advocate of foreign corporate profit taking at the expense of the hard-working taxpaying American citizen.

This is the same Janet Napolitano whose adminstration has used law enforcement to intimidate journalists who have questioned the legitimacy of their reported findings, their 'safety campaigns,' or 'public' outreach programs.

The is the same Janet Napolitano that has embraced Totalitarianistic tactics in an attempted control of Arizona's taxpayers day-to-day behaviors.

Janet Napolitano's appointment to Homeland Security Secretary would certainly further erode our civil rights in a post 9/11 world and likely be a harbinger of ever increasing mass surveillance.

With Janet Napolitano as the Secretary of Homeland Security, expect her cronies at RedFlex and American Traffic Systems to have unprecedented levels of access and influence who push hard to take their 'safety' campaigns nationally.

George Orwell's gloomy look at one possible future: off by just 25 years!

Message to the Obama transition team and other supporters of such an appointment of Napolitano as the head of DHS (ie; Arizona Senator John McCain, now concerned about his 2010 election):

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. Ron Paul, Aug 04.

It's going to be interesting to see who is going to be tapped to head the Department of Transportation. This appointment should also give us further indication of what 'change' may come (in the name of improving 'safety').

Change we can believe in? Yes! I Love Big Brother.

For all of our sakes, contact your state's U.S. Senators and tell them to reject this appointment!

Additionally, you can directly reach out to Obama's transition team (of which Janet Napolitano is a member!) and voice your concerns as they're soliciting input.

Related Reading:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Speed Cameras Promote Economic Fascism, Not Safety

Speed Cameras Promote Economic Fascism, Not Safety

Updated: 04 Nov 08

Arizona's state government [Gov. Napolitano (D)] embarks on fulfilling the promises and profit projections made by foreign-owned speed camera operating companies, like RedFlex, by installing 40 mobile speed cameras and 60 fixed speed cameras (with the potential of another 100 speed cameras to be added later) with the intention of saturating the major east-west and north-south travel corridors of Arizona for the purposes of generating substantial revenue on the backs of the taxpaying public.

As I was driving home from the south Jersey shore area and through the City of Philadelphia (which like Phoenix, photo enforcement companies have setup shop with the anticipation of expanding their deployments of speed cameras—with the profits from their operation—throughout the rest of the state of Pennsylvania [Ed Rendell (D)]), I was giving some thought to one of the potential implications of their speed camera deployment, that has not been publicly discussed: these speed camera systems are set to grossly excessive and unfair "fines."

For the purposes of exploring this implication, I will cite two similar circumstances, each with a vastly different outcome:

Imagine you are traveling to work (as the responsible tax-paying and productive citizen you are) from Mesa to Sun City (two cities just outside of Phoenix) and your route takes you on the highways of Interstate-10 and Loop 101. Let's say you left at about 6am as you wanted to get a jump on rush hour traffic.

In this first example, when you are on the highway, you get into the left lane and set your cruise control to 66mph and proceed to safely travel to your destination in this manner.

Since its early enough, you find you are moving nicely along with the normal flow of traffic (which is close to the optimal 85th percentile speed of travel).

Now let's assume that a traffic patrol officer has observed your driving for several minutes and through the course of several miles (perhaps 'running' your plate in anticipation of a traffic-stop) decides to cite you for speeding (unlikely, if the traffic was generally moving at similar speeds).

In this example, you'd eventually be pulled over and perhaps be given a warning or cited for speeding. The fine for your 'indiscretion' would probably amount to roughly $100.00, you would have been detained at least 10 minutes, and experienced an immediate deterrent from the officer to actually slow down the rest of your morning commute.

In the second example, you drive in the identical manner, but this time, there is no actual law enforcement officer there are, instead, a high density automated photo enforcement speed cameras installed along your route.

During your travel you manage to unwittingly trip 10 or more of these speed cameras strategically positioned (placed for maximum revenue) on the highway in "speed zones" where the speed limits are reduced (well below sound scientifically determined thresholds of the 85th percentile speed surveys*). *Source: individual close to speed camera industry.

In this second example, again you were moving along with the flow of traffic (which may not now be as smooth as speed cameras cause traffic porpoising) but, this time you received no immediate deterrent from 'speeding' from these speed cameras, for your 'small transgression', and you make it to work in a nice amount of time.

Several weeks later you receive 10 or more speeding tickets in your mailbox, all at one time, and amounting to more than $2,000.00!

This scenario is not far fetched, as each speed camera represents its own unique violation, even if they come within very close distances and in close time proximity.

If you further exceed Arizona's speed cameras 'small' overage allowances (10mph on highways and 5mph in school zones) by a greater speed, those fines will increase dramatically, potentially exceeding $500 for each speed camera violation*! *Source: Speed Camera Company Violation Portal.

Can you imagine getting $7,000 in "speeding tickets" for one morning or $14,000 for just one morning and evening commute to and from work?

And you'll be subject to this every day of the year (that's 365 x 24).

Put another way, these unrealistically high fines would be for driving merely 11mph the posted limit of 55mph—66mph—for a single duration of about 15 minutes. Ever done that before?

Sound absurd? Don't think it's possible? I wouldn't bet on it, at least in the short-term, not if Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano and her cronies at RedFlex have their way (that's their pipe-dream, as clearly articulated in their past annual shareholder reports).

Consider that Arizona imposes a fine, not to exceed $2,500 for a Class 1 misdemeanor*. *Source: Arizona misdemeanor fines.

It only takes one, with a reasonable level of intelligence, to see that these speed camera fine structures make no sense (but they do make a Helluva lot of money). To wit, RedFlex's earnings rose 25% for FY '08 and their operating profits rose an even more dramatic 45%, during the same period. (Source: RedFlex's 2008 Annual Report)

These results are even more telling when one considers that many economists agree that our economy has been in a recession and that these results do not take into account the additional revenue (ie; profits) from the statewide deployment of 100-200 new speed cameras that Arizona is just now beginning to undertake.

RedFlex's 2008 Annual Report Excerpts (with my annotation and emphasis):

Again new records have been set, by substantial margins, in relation to all standard measures of financial performance. More specifically, record results have been achieved in terms of revenue, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), net profit before tax (NPBT) and net profit after tax (NPAT). It is particularly pleasing, and worthy of note that such record increases were achieved despite significant adverse foreign exchange conditions. Approximately 80% of the company’s business is based in the USA. Between the start and the finish of the financial year the US dollar declined in Australian dollar terms by approximately 13%. That being the case, the financial records established by Redflex are all the more commendable. Since the end of the 2007/2008 financial year, there has been a significant improvement in the foreign exchange situation, from a Redflex viewpoint at least which hopefully augurs well for the balance of the current financial year.

Whilst Redflex is clearly a high growth operation, it is pleasing to record that corporate maturity and stability continue to evolve. Encouragingly, the company’s senior management, which has served us so well, has remained in place as a committed unified team albeit with some valuable additional appointments being made in light of the company’s rapid growth. Hopefully such managerial stability will be maintained in years to come.


Nationally, the legislative environment is becoming more favourable and the overall level of political resistance is receding as the technology grows more widespread and familiar [as government desperately attempts to fill severe budget shortfalls during this recessive period]. The most likely scenario is that this trend holds in the year ahead, although reversals remain possible.

The following is a review of legislative activity in the USA over the past financial year:
  • In Arizona, despite significant threats, including a ballot measure to ban the use of automated speed enforcement on state • highways, and complex budget issues, legislation was passed which included a state-wide freeway enforcement program. This leadership position by the State of Arizona opens the landscape for other states to replicate this state-wide model for speed and red light automated enforcement.
  • Efforts to restore operations in Minnesota [Gov: Tim Pawlenty (R)] and Iowa [Chet Culver (D)] with enabling legislation have not yet been successful. Redflex will continue these efforts in the next legislative session and will endeavour to garner improved support from cities and the police unions for the safety benefits that are offered.
  • Despite numerous competitive vendors’ efforts, enabling legislation in Florida [Charlie Crist (R)] has not yet been enacted. Legal opinions indicate that automated enforcement in the State of Florida remains illegal. Some competitors have proceeded at risk with early programs.
  • Ohio [Ted Strickland (D)] was relatively trouble-free compared to recent years in the state. A bill covering signage and yellow light intervals, which Redflex did not oppose, was passed in June.
  • In New Jersey [Gov: Jon Corzine (D)] legislation allowing pilot programs was passed and signed into law.
  • Massachusetts [Gov: Deval Patrick (D)] is also considering enabling legislation, and at this time the session continues and the outcome remains unknown. Redflex’s retained lobbying resources are working closely with cities to win passage of the legislation.
  • The Texas [Rick Perry (R)] legislature sits in session only every other year and 2008 was an off year. An opponent is planning another legislative attempt to ban the technology in 2009, and Redflex continues to engage support in that state.
  • A difficult period in New Mexico [Bill Richardson (D)] stabilised with the passage of legislation to channel excess funds from automated enforcement programs to a state level safety program. A panel was assembled mid-year in Albuquerque to determine the efficacy of the city’s safety program. Preliminary data [ie; cooked 'results'] that the Redflex program is improving community safety.
The percentage of camera systems which are currently not operational as a result of legislative and legal issues has decreased to less than 5%, from around 8% last year.

So there you have it, RedFlex, in no uncertain terms, is crafting a framework to expand their operations, revenue, and profitability to other states, suggesting as Arizona goes, so does the rest of this great nation.

For them, the United State's taxpayer is their target demographic (with the explicit enablement/encouragement by the government). Notice how RedFlex characterizes 'threats' [to its profitability].

It is clear that the of ultimate objective photo enforcement companies is speed camera revenue—with red light cameras (which can also be tasked as speed cameras with speed-on-green technology) as their initial foot-hold.

At a time when government is intruding more and more into our daily lives, our economy is in a free-fall, and many taxpayers may be struggling to make ends meet this is exactly what Arizona, RedFlex, and ATS intend to do: absolutely bilk, the taxpayer.

I believe eventually the public will ultimately reject these nefarious government/private business relationships and create a climate that is untenable to the would-be supporters of these corrupted relationships, but it will take time.

I, for one, am doing my part to blow the whistle on these guys (and gals) and expose them for what they truly are: economic Fascists.

Consider that certain government and private individuals connected with these systems deployment have been reported as having their own license plate registrations exempted from the fines these red light camera/speed camera systems automatically generate!!!

The sooner more people become aware of the facts and circumstances behind these ostensible 'safety' programs, the sooner we will rid our society of these evil and dehumanizing systems.

Faces of Evil Perpetrated for Greed:

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Timothy 6:10

If you work for these organizations, consider forgoing the high salary/compensation plans and pursue a more noble'll sleep better at night.

If you don't, please get involved, spread the word, vote the supporters out of office, pressure the media to report the real-facts and expose their fraud.

We owe it—not only to ourselves, but to our children, and to the memory of our nation's forefathers—the kind of society we leave to/for them.

Tomorrow is the day of an historic election and will likely mark a new era of even BIGGER GOVERNMENT (regardless of the outcome).

Vote the proponents of these companies (regardless of party affiliation) OUT OF OFFICE.

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. Ron Paul, Aug 04.

Related Reading: