Archive for the ‘red light cameras’ Category JEFFERSON CITY – Yesterday the Missouri Senate added a statewide ban on red light traffic cameras to a broad bill on transportation.

That bill now is under review and still awaits the final votes from the Senate. While this bill will be enforced statewide, the Missouri Supreme Court has already banned the use of red light cameras in Springfield, Mo.

Senate leaders have voiced skepticism about the chances of the portion banning red light cameras staying in final version of the bill.

IN OTHER NEWS : South San Francisco to pay for errant tickets

South San Francisco officials will refund $237,000 in revenue from voided red-light camera tickets and to pay up to $250,000 to the San Mateo County Superior Court to cover costs of issuing refunds to nearly 7,000 drivers.

City to remove red-light camera

c/o Daily Journal, San Mateo County

The city of San Carlos will likely remove its single red-light camera because it is losing more than $2,000 each month at the current location and has no other intersections that warrant that type of enforcement, according to officials.

In October, the City Council considered switching the camera at westbound Brittan Avenue and Industrial Road to Holly Street after learning the area had a significant number of violations. But a new traffic signal looping system installed at the site improved traffic flow. A new survey in March showed the violations had been completely eliminated, according to Police Chief Greg Rothaus.

Besides, if the city moves the existing camera, it must extend the current contract with Redflex beyond its Oct. 27, 2011 end date.

With no need for enforcement and no desire to continue a program that loses money, the City Council Monday night will consider giving Redflex, Inc. written notice not to automatically renew the contract.

Currently, the city pays Redflex a fixed fee of $5,870 monthly through November 2010 no matter how many violations occur — a model which lets the city avoid the scrutiny of jurisdictions who pay nothing for their systems but receive revenue exceeding a pre-defined amount.

San Carlos pays another $2,000 in expenses each month used for personnel costs associated with the program, bringing the total annual cost to approximately $94,440.
The city lost approximately $70,000 over the two years, Rothaus told the City Council when the issue first arose in October.

Although the city will benefit by not running an average monthly deficit of $2,213, Assistant City Manager Brian Moura said city officials were swayed more by the lack of need.

BTC – Coaltioned protests occurred nationally to recuse local and national governments for playing a role in objectifying citizens with “soft surveillance” or “corporate voyeurism”. This is the term to describe indirect surveillance of persons doing what they do as a byproduct of having a camera on site for other reasons (i.e. to control people who run red lights or to watch for afterhours intruders with intent to steal or malign property).

Camera Fraud, Liberty Restoration Project and others worked together to form a more prolific dissent over the use and abuse of surveillance today.
News Digest Updates on the protests below:

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon
Location: American Traffic Solutions HQ in Ahwatukee
9801 S 51st Phoenix, AZ 85044

Date: Sunday, February 14th, Noon to 3 pm CT
Location: Intersection of Addison & Western

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon
Location: S Broad St & S Penn Square

Date: Sunday, February 14th, Noon to 3 pm CT
Location: Intersection of Clayton and Hanley Road

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon – 3pm
Location: 39th and Southwest Trafficway

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon
Location: Intersection Broadway and Providence Road

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon
Location: Intersection of Glenstone and Sunshine

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon
Location: Intersection of Derrene and Abercorn

Date: Sunday, February 14th, Noon
Location: TBA

Date: Sunday, February 14, 2pm
Location: TBA

Date: Sunday, February 14, Noon
Location: Santa Monica Boulevard and La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069


(Big love to Surveillance Camera Theater, all Camera Fraud supporters, Rep. Carl Isett and South San Francisco Mayor Mark Addiego)

How to Stage Your Own “Surveillance Camera Theater”

In 10 Easy-to-Follow Steps!
c/o Surveillance Camera Players

1. Find out exactly where the surveillance cameras are. If you haven’t seen any as you’ve walked around your town or city, check the archives of the local newspaper for announcements of installations of closed-circuit TV systems. Surveillance cameras can be: A) operated in public places by the police or other “public” authorities; B) operated in public places by private authorities; C) operated in private by private authorities; or D) operated in private by public authorities. (To date, the SCP have performed in front of A and B, but not in front of C and D.)

2. Unless you live in the United Kingdom, it is unlikely that you’ll ever be able to get a copy of the surveillance footage in which you appear, so forget about it, and concentrate on using your own cameras to document your performances. Be advised that this means having “an extra person,” that is, someone other than the performers to shoot the film or video. (In the UK, citizens may request copies of CCTV footage under the Data Protection Act, which went into effect in October 2000. If you obtain such footage, use it to publicize your performance(s). See Step #9.)

3. Map the exact location of the cameras you’ve located in Step #1 and incorporate this information into your flyers (see Step #7).

4. Plan out as best you can the “play” you are going to perform. The action or message of this play should be clear, intelligible and relevant. Short is good; shorter is better. (Most SCP plays are around two minutes long.)

Your play can be original material or it can be an adaptation of someone else’s work. (If it’s the latter, choose a work that is as widely known and easily recognized as possible.) Your play doesn’t have to concern surveillance cameras. But if it does, you’ll have less to explain to people. If your play doesn’t explicitly concern surveillance cameras, you’ll have more to explain. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for it gives you an opportunity to say that you’re using the cameras as if they were part of your own TV station and that your play is your idea of “must see TV,” or you can say that you’re giving the police officers and security guards who watch the cameras something really interesting to watch.

Don’t know exactly what you want to perform? Come up with the location of your performance first, and then think what play would go over best in that particular place. Know what you want to perform? Then perform it in a place that best fits the subject matter.

Don’t forget that the cameras don’t pick up sound. This means that your performance will be silent. All characters, settings and action must be able to be conveyed by pantomime, costuming, scenery, words and/or pictures on poster boards, etc. etc. Get the poster boards in the discard bin of an art supplies store, and use big black magic markers to form the words and draw the images. Sketch out everything in pencil twice: first on a sketch pad and then on the board itself. When you’re satisfied that you’ve gotten it right on the board, go over the pencil lines with magic marker.

5. How many people do you need to perform? You’ll need at least two, not including your photographer/video person: one to hand out flyers, one to perform. Three people is good: two performers and one flyer-person. If you can get four or more people involved, more power to you. You’re rollin’ full on when you’ve got four or five performers, two flyer handlers and two photo or videographers!

6. Schedule your performance for a memorable day: the anniversary of an important historical event, an annual ritual (paying taxes, voting, worshipping Santa), or the day something important is happening elsewhere. If possible, match the time, place and subject matter of your play as best you can.

7. Prepare an informational flyer that will be handed-out while the performance is going on. The flyer should explain who you are and why you’re performing in that particular location and, if you’re rollin’ full on, why you’re performing on that particular day. Include the map you made in Step #3. Attribute your action and flyer to a group with a catchy name, even if one doesn’t exist. Use the name “Surveillance Camera Players” if you can’t come up with anything better.

8. When you finally perform your play, perform it over and over again for a total of 30 to 60 minutes. Marvel at how much fun this kind of protest is!

Before, during and after your performance, don’t be afraid of the police or security guards. If someone threatens to call the police, let them, and continue with the performance. If and when the police come, approach them or let them come to you confident in the knowledge that you’re doing nothing illegal. If and when the cops ask/order you to stop and leave the vicinity, do so, especially if you’ve been at it for a while and have made contact with and given flyers to a good number of people. Hit it and quit it! Your quarrel isn’t with the police, but with the people who employ the police. Only get arrested (disobey an order to disperse) when you want to get arrested.

9. Write up the performance and publish it in a zine, on a Web site, or as a photocopied pamphlet that includes your original flyer, the map and whatever photographs you have from the performance.

10. Go back to Steps #1 or #4, and start again.

For information about obtaining a refund,
call the red light ticket hotline at (650) 829-3777.


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA (KGO) — The mayor of South San Francisco’s message to those captured on red light cameras at two heavily traveled intersections in the city before Jan. 27 is this: Don’t pay your ticket!

“We don’t want any more money to refund, so please don’t pay your ticket.” That is South San Francisco Mayor Mark Addiego’s answer to drivers who were nabbed by red light cameras in the city between Aug. 15 and Jan. 27. If you have already paid your ticket, the mayor says you will be reimbursed.

It all stems from one big snafu in which the City Council failed to seal the deal with the manufacturer of the cameras.

Related STORY: Technicality leads to refunds for red light runners

“The ratification of the contract somehow fell off the radar,” Addiego said.

City officials believe some 3,000 drivers were ticketed, amounting to more than a million dollars in citations. They occurred at El Camino and Westborough, and El Camino and Hickey. Fixing the mistake will be costly for this small city, especially during lean times.

“It could range up to $50,000 to undo it, just administratively with manpower,” Addiego said.

Not to mention all the money the city would have received from those huge fines.

Annalyn Chacon was caught on camera twice just one month after she moved to the area. Both times Chacon was making what is called a “California stop,” a rolling stop as you make a right against a red light. The tickets have cost her almost $900.

Almost all of the many e-mails we received since we broke the story last week were from motorists who made those California stops.

Paul Ault was cited in September making the same kind of stop as Chacon did.

“I know it’s a big revenue line for the city, but it doesn’t seem responsible,” Ault said.

Believe it or not, the mayor seems to agree.

“I don’t think they rise to the same level as someone who blows a red light, so I think we need to look at the red light cameras for right turns versus through the intersection,” Addiego said.

The mayor says a letter will be sent in two weeks to all those cited explaining how they can obtain a refund.

For information about obtaining a refund, call the red light ticket hotline at (650) 829-3777.

c/o Maine News Updates

AUGUSTA — Privacy versus law enforcement concerns will be weighed when a bill comes up restricting uses of traffic surveillance cameras in Maine.

Sen. Dennis Damon’s proposal would prohibit the use of such cameras to collect data that could be used to identify a vehicle or individual. The proposal adds automated license plate recognition systems to the list of regulated surveillance.

The South Portland Police Department last month became the first in the state to launch a license plate surveillance system, which uses cameras mounted on top of a cruiser to search for stolen vehicles and traffic violators.

The bill goes today before the Transportation Committee, which Damon co-chairs. The Trenton Democrat says its aim is to protect individuals’ privacy.

TIBURON, Calif. (KCBS) — The town council unanimously approved a police program that will photograph the license plate of every vehicle entering and leaving town.

Police Chief Michael Cronin proposed what he called “the most inexpensive, cost efficient method” of tackling crime even before the slaying of Joan Rosenthal, the town’s first murder in four decades.

“We have an obligation to spend as few tax dollars as we can,” he said.

Listen KCBS’ Margie Shafer reports

The council vote on Wednesday came after a debate about the balance between privacy and public safety that stayed cordial despite the strong feelings of some residents.

“I am disgusted by this plan,” said Terry Graham. She and other residents who spoke at the meeting said the cameras would change the ambience of the tony town.

Cameras on Tiburon Boulevard and Paradise Drive—the only roads in and out of town—will be positioned to capture only an image of the rear license plate. Cronin said records would be purged after 30 days.

“The safe guards are far stronger in smaller communities than they are in much larger ones or in entities like the state or federal government. If you have a problem with a Tiburon police officer and you call a council member, I’m going to have to provide an explanation within an hour,” he said.

The camera idea is not entirely new. Former Mayor Andrew Thompson proposed the cameras in the mid-90s.

Cronin expects to see the cameras installed within four to six months. The total cost could run as high as $197,000.