Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Fraud of Southlake, Texas

Redlight Cameras.
A camera set up to monitor an intersection, and record video of vehicles passing through. Upon what is perceived as a violation, the owner of the vehicle is sent a $75 'administrative fee' eg, a fine, to identify someone else as the driver, or to request an 'administrative hearing'. No where is the actual driver of the vehicle identified, and no where is there any proof that the registered owner of the vehicle is in fact the offender. 

My understanding of our legal system is that we are innocent until proven guilty. 
My other understanding was that our 5th Amendment to the US constitution still applied.

Alas, this appears to not be so, as the halls of the cities are no longer filled with the clear notes of justice. 

Here is a sample of the Southlake Texas FAQ (Emphasis added):

Can the City, for any reason, waive a fee related to a red light violation?
Due to contractual obligations with Redflex, Southlake cannot waive any fees related to a red light violation.
Will I receive any points on my driving record for this violation?
No, this is a civil infraction that is not reported to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
Does a red light violation caught on camera go on my driving record?
No. This is a civil penalty against the owner of the vehicle, not the operator. As such, it is not reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety. However, failure to pay the civil penalty may result in the reporting to a collection agency and/or the county assessor-collector or the Texas Department of Transportation who may refuse to register a motor vehicle alleged to have been involved in the violation.

These redlight camera's are little but cheap tricks to increase the revenue of the city, and are run by companies, not the police.
Not only is this morally wrong and repugnantly Orwellian, these red light cameras have been demonstrably proven to cause increased traffic problems.


Gino said...

they do it differently here in CA.
you get a notice in the mail, with photo evidence, video evidence on-line, and the owner of the vehicle is asked to sign the form, 'not admitting guilt', that they were the one driving. (or id the person who was).

and then you are found guilty and charged $500 fine.
i'm not joking.

and still, no cop was involved.

Palm boy said...

Gino, they send a letter here too, I'll get a scan and put it up.

There is also video evidence online, but it is exclusively from behind, with no evidence of who the driver is.

$500???? This makes the $75 look easy.

Sra. Madera said...

California IS bankrupt so $500 sounds logcal for them. Texas Legislature needs to outlaw the Red light cameras as they have stated as their goal. It is a profit making business for the company Redflex. Dallas has relocated nonprofitable cameras after people started obeying the traffic lights. Each camera cost the city about $1400/month so they have to have people violate the lights or they are losing money. What a racquet! Robert just stop when you see the yellow for too long.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the revenue, why do politicians buy cameras?

1. They think we support them! A blogger addressed Astroturf Lobbying in the red light cam Industry. (To read the blog, Google Rynski and Astroturf.) Evidently, Astroturf Lobbying is when a PR firm creates an artificial grassroots movement, often via comments posted on newspaper articles like this one.

The politicians, sensing strong community support (they read these comment columns too), gives the OK for cameras. Is it plausible that the Industry would resort to a little clever PR, to show community support?

2. Politicians can make themselves immune from the tickets! In California a million private cars have plate numbers protected from easy look up, effectively invisible to agencies trying to process red light camera violations. Such "protected plate" lists exist in other states. (In CA the list includes local politicians, bureaucrats, retired cops, other govt. employees, and their families and adult children!) Someone should check to see how many, and who, are on the list in Texas.

KnightWing said...

So... if it's *your* vehicle, and it wasn't stolen, isn't it *your* responsibility?
A red light run is a red light run. They can put whatever cameras they want on there. You break the law, you pay for it.

Gino said...

i think knightwing is an astroturf blogger.

Gino said...

there is a legal case against the cameras now, maybe getting them all thrown out.

some lawyer got a tick, and wanted to cross-examine the the dude who issued the ticket from AZ.

in court, you have the right to question your accusers. anything less is heresay, and not admissable as evidence.

KnightWing said...

I don't even know what that means.

Is that what you call someone who speaks common sense instead of complaining about things without reason?
Then yes. Yes I am.

KnightWing said...

Like I said, if it's actually your fault, you can't complain.

If you've got a legitimate complaint (such as not being the driver of the vehicle or the photo being in error), then fine. Otherwise, don't whine because you're upset you got caught.

Palm boy said...

Madera: Thanks for the advice.

Anon, thanks for the pointer.

Kightwing, the astroturf blogger reference from Gino was a point at Anon's comment on the Astroturf PR company who works with Redflex.

Gino, thanks.

Jade Graham said...

To choose your wake-up phrase, go to Settings from the Main Menu, and select Voice control. best dashboard camera