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Why You Need PhantomALERT I Print E-mail

Motorists Seeing Red over Red Light Cameras

NEW CARROLLTON,, Md. - The town of New Carrollton's new mobile red light cameras are snapping up pictures like the paparazzi and motorists are calling the cameras out.

Danielle King got two tickets and says she's been wrongly accused. "I got caught by one up there," says King referring to the cameras along route 450.

Motorists complain they are being wrongly accused. King says," I think they need to go away. I just think they are unfair. They need to go away."

Fox 5 photographers stood at one intersection near 85th Avenue and caught the camera popping off like popcorn. Each ticket is a 75 dollar citation. One motorist shared his ticket.
He got cited in his white van, but a closer look at the ticket shows the vehicle is at a complete stop. Complaints are pouring in.

AAA Mid-Atlantic's John Townsend says it appears drivers are getting ticketed; not for running the red light, but for stopping over the white line.

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Arizona Monkey Driver

Driver wears monkey mask to beat speed camera

By AMANDA LEE MYERS, Associated Press Writer Amanda Lee Myers, Associated

Arizona Monkey DriverPress Writer Fri Sep 11, 9:22 pm ET PHOENIX – A driver has racked up dozens of speeding tickets in photo-radar zones on Phoenix-area freeways while sporting monkey and giraffe masks, and is fighting every one by claiming the costumes make it impossible for authorities to prove he was behind the wheel. "You've got to identify the driver, and if you can't it's not a valid ticket," said Dave VonTesmar, a 47-year-old flight attendant said.

It took Arizona state police months to realize the same driver was involved and was refusing to pay the fines. By the time they did, more than 50 of the tickets had become invalid because the deadline for prosecution had passed.

Authorities have since stepped up their efforts to ensure that VonTesmar pays his $6,700 in fines.

On Aug. 19, the Arizona Department of Public Safety served VonTesmar in person with 37 tickets, mostly between 11 and 15 mph over the speed limit. The pictures accompanying the tickets show a driver wearing either a monkey or giraffe masks in VonTesmar's white Subaru, which has black-and-white checkered racing stickers on its sides and a sticker on the windshield that reads "Bucktooth Racin'."

Agency spokesman Bart Graves also said authorities have surveillance photos of VonTesmar putting on masks before driving and believes that they will convince justice court judges in three area cities that he was the one behind the wheel and must pay his tickets.

"We have pretty strong evidence against him," Graves said. "We're just asking for his fines to be paid."

Graves said VonTesmar has repeatedly endangered public safety and that the agency is taking his case very seriously.

VonTesmar, who said he simply drives with the flow of traffic, said if the Department of Public Safety does have surveillance photos of him on the road, it proves he's not a danger to other drivers. If he were, officers would have pulled him over, he said.

Arizona began deploying the stationary and mobile cameras on state highways a year ago, and through Sept. 4 had issued more than 497,000 tickets. Of those, about 132,000 recipients had paid the fine of $165 plus a 10 percent penalty, netting the state more than $23 million. Arizona is the first to deploy such technology on highways statewide.

Many of the remaining tickets are either new, being appealed or have just been ignored. The state didn't have figures immediately available on the breakdown.

The backlash against the cameras has been fairly constant, however. Arizonans have used sticky notes, Silly String and even a pickax to sabotage the cameras.

Many believe the shooting death of speed-enforcement van operator Doug Georgianni on April 19 on a Phoenix freeway was a result of anger over the cameras, although authorities haven't made that direct allegation. Three separate citizens groups are targeting the cameras in initiatives for the 2010 ballot. Shawn Dow, chairman of the Arizona Citizens Against Photo Radar, said he's not sure whether VonTesmar has affected their cause.

"It is very funny," he said. "In one sense it shows how silly this whole thing is, so you know I'm glad he's using a sense of humor. The fact that he did it 90 times, I don't want to drive around the guy."

Dow said he finds it interesting that DPS conducted surveillance on VonTesmar.

"They're out staking out a guy with a monkey mask?" he said. "They watched him break the law and didn't do anything about it? If they had pulled him over, they could have pulled the mask off. It just proves photo radar is not about safety, it's about money."

Officials say the photo-enforcement program is designed to slow drivers down and keep the roads safer. But VonTesmar sees it a different way.

"It's a peaceful act of resistance — that's what this country was founded on," VonTesmar said. "I'm not thumbing my nose at DPS, but photo radar is not a DPS officer protecting public safety. It's nothing but a speed tax."

Red-Light Camera Malfunctions At Busy Cleveland Intersection

CLEVELAND -- One of Cleveland's red-light cameras went on the blink Tuesday at one of the city's busiest intersection, adding fuel to the fire for drivers who already don't like the cameras.The camera that malfunctioned is located at East 30th Street and Carnegie Avenue, and drivers are wondering if they will get a $100 ticket for doing nothing wrong. Thousands of motorists pass through the intersection every day, and most, if not all of them, were obeying the law when the camera took their picture, something the cameras are supposed to do when a motorist runs a red light.But on Tuesday, even when the traffic light was green or at a complete standstill, the cameras still flashed.It got to the point where you could time the flash every 15 seconds, then every 10 seconds.Fifteen minutes after NewsChannel5 contacts City Hall to alert them about the issue, a worker came out and apparently reset or shut the camera down.But now some drivers are wondering if the cameras malfunctioned Tuesday, how often do they malfunction?A City Hall representative said that no tickets will be issued for the malfunctioning camera.But write down Tuesday's date if you traveled East 30th and Carnegie and keep an eye on your mailbox.

City of Bellevue/Seattle, Washington
Drivers in this Eastside city are getting caught in the flash, and the fines are piling up. New traffic cameras went live on Monday morning. And that means there will be no more warnings for people speeding in speed zones; they'll only get pricey tickets.
Illinois Photo Radar Vans
SCAM Uncovered. Red light and speed camera are for PROFIT
Redlight Cameras Malfunction-$400 ticket
Red-light Camera and Radar-Detector
Red-light Camera, Traffic Ticket
$500 For Running A Red Light? Blame The Camera Print E-mail
redlight4.jpgGetting caught by a red-light camera can be pricey -- especially in California. With fees, traffic school and court costs, a single ticket can cost $500 or more.

More than a dozen states have banned those cameras, as voters see them as unreasonable revenue generators for hard up local governments. But some people argue these devices help curb traffic accidents.


"These are machines," says substitute teacher Robert Zirgulis. "They don't care. You go one foot over the line -- bam, $500."

He's been campaigning against the 18 red-light cameras set up in Culver City, west of downtown Los Angeles.

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Cedar Rapids turns on the red light cameras

by Pat Curtis on February 15, 2010
in Crime & Courts

Authorities in Iowa’s second largest city have activated the first of more than 20 red light and speed cameras, but drivers who are caught on camera breaking traffic laws won’t have to pay a fine just yet. Instead, for the next 30 days, Cedar Rapids drivers who break the law will receive a warning.

However, in mid-March, motorists who are caught running red lights or speeding could receive a citation in the mail and pay fines of up to $100. The cameras are expected to generate about $750,000 a year but Cedar Rapids Police insists it’s not about money.

Sergeant Cristy Hamblin says the cameras will help prevent accidents and injuries. “We have found — not just here in Cedar Rapids, but nationwide — that angle crashes…90-degree or 45-degree angle crashes produce the most injuries,” Hamblin said. All of the cameras in Cedar Rapids will be active by this summer.

“We’ve got 10 different locations selected, not just for red light camera violations, but also for speed enforcement as well,” Hamblin said. The cameras in Cedar Rapids will be clearly marked with signs to notify drivers where they are located. In Iowa, red light cameras are also active in Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Clive and Davenport.

Why You Need PhantomALERT III Print E-mail

Red light cameras unconstitutional?

One woman hopes Collier commissioners take a cue from the east coast
By Renee Stoll

COLLIER COUNTY, FL. - A judge in Aventura, just north of Miami, ruled to get rid of red light camera fines because they're unconstitutional. Will Collier County soon be following in their footsteps?

On local woman is hoping commissioners that that initiative. Especially, after a camera at the intersection of Golden Gate Parkway and Collier Boulevard gave out a ticket she says may not have happened just a few counties away.

"It's not always cut and dry," Marcella Johnson tells me of the recent red light camera citation that left her fuming.

"I was behind the bus. The bus ran the late yellow light and by the time I was at the intersection and I could see the light above the bus, I was in the intersection and the light was red."

In the video of Johnson's violation from the cameras at that intersection, you can see the bus in front of her and her van appears behind it just a few seconds later.

"I'm not tailgating the bus. I was going way under the speed limit. I was going 31 and it's 45," Johnson explains.

She thought inspectors for the tape would see the bus was blocking her view of the light and thought if she got a ticket she would fight it in court.

That is until she got a surprise in the mail, "I did not expect it to come in my husband's name. The car loan is under his name but I was the one driving it, so now I can't even fight the ticket."

Johnson's husband would have to go to a hearing to contest the violation, something that he can't take off of work to do. Marcella Johnson says this leaves her wondering if Collier County should reconsider the accuracy of these cameras, just like another county in Florida did. "It's unconstitutional, it's not right."

Commissioner Donna Fiala says the ruling in Aventura was discussed by commissioners Tuesday. They decided to keep the cameras rolling until the appeals court has decided whether or not to uphold the ruling.

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