Anyone who pays attention to college or pro sports has seen a good “point shaving” scandal or two.
With all the big money to be made in gambling, players, coaches and even refs can be easily persuaded to manipulate the outcome of a game in favor of certain bookmakers. This is especially easy when the subject (usually a player) is having money troubles.
Politicians have been introduced to a similar pursuit by Redflex and American Traffic Solutions. Reducing yellow light durations by mere fractions of a second means millions more dollars are extracted from unsuspecting motorists approaching red light scamera intersections.
The latest example has been uncovered by a network affiliate station in Tampa Bay, in quite a thorough investigation. By their estimates, Yellow Light Shaving has produced $50 Million more in citations to drivers in Florida.
The worst part is that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) was instructing cities and towns to shorten yellow lights, which make intersections much more dangerous.
The emails recovered by the reporter at WTSP (Tampa) clearly show that FDOT employees were instructing cities to shave time off yellow lights to increase revenue, safety be damned.
Also included in the report are the many other locations in Florida where yellow lights were shortened and the politicians who benefit financially from American Traffic Solutions raking in the money from these intersections.
Privatizing law enforcement should never be done lightly. The combination of the government’s power to restrain individual liberty and greed for profit invites corruption. That’s the scenario playing out across the country with revenue cameras, sometimes called red-light cameras.
The most extensive photo-ticketing program in the world is in (surprise!) Chicago, and soon the greedy guys may be shopping for lawyers. The city had invitedRedflex Traffic Systemsto issue tickets in a deal that meant $100 million for the Australian firm and $300 million for the revenue pot stirred by the municipal bureaucrats. With numbers that big on the line, it’s hardly a surprise that the company behind this “safety” program cut corners to encourage the city to increase the number of cameras.