War On Driving

ARRESTED: The First Domino in the Redflex Bribery Ring Topples

Not only is this the first domino to fall in what’s likely to be a long line of destroyed political careers scattered from coast to coast in the U.S., but it’s also another lie that Redflex has been caught in.

For months now, they’ve been denying that their company or anyone associated with it is being investigated by the Feds.

Well, that’s an interesting claim, in light of today’s arrest of the man at the center of the Redflex-City of Chicago Bribery Scandal, as a result of an ongoing Federal Investigation. 

The news of that arrest broke today in the Chicago Tribune: 

"Charges Filed Against ex-City Hall manager of red light camera program"

Then it was later picked up by NBC Chicago:

"Former Red Light Camera Manager Charged with Bribery"

You may remember that this ex employee of the city of Chicago, John Bills, was named as being the architect $124 Million scheme to steer Redflex contracts to the city. For his trouble, according to the local NBC affiliate, he was awarded a very handsome takeaway: 

A retired Chicago official who managed the city’s red light camera program for almost a decade was arrested Wednesday for allegedly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to steer city contracts to Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc.

John Bills, 52, is accused of receiving cash bribes and other forms of payment, including a $177,000 condominium in Arizona.

We’ve said all along that this scandal will eventually lead to the demise of Redflex and this arrest is actually ahead of schedule. When Bills sings like a canary to get some sentencing leniency, who knows what will come out of his mouth.

Better run for cover, politicians with Redflex ties. This won’t be pretty.

And as for Redflex denying that former Arnold, MO councilman and the creator of WrongOnRed.com was telling the truth about the Federal investigation? Well he has a little something to say about that. We asked Hay for his thoughts on the matter and he put them in their place:

"Redflex has no shame, and no qualms with deceitful statements. Just Monday, a representative of the City of St. Peters, MO read a letter in an attempt to thwart the St. Charles County Council from allowing their residents to vote to ban Redflex’s systems. The letter supposedly written to them by the "Redflex CEO" stated that there was "misinformation" being spread and that Redflex and their employees were not under any indictment, or Federal Investigation in 13 states for bribery, fraud, or corruption.
I find this denial by Redflex to be particularly laughable in light of the unsealing of the first criminal complaint and arrest of John Bills in the US Attorney’s supposedly “non-existent” Federal investigation. They would not be Redflex, if they did not deny the painfully obvious.”

Redflex also issued a laughable release to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in advance of what should be yet another blood letting. If you need a cheap laugh, here it is [link].

Needless to say, this saga will continue in entertaining fashion.

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Pictured above: John Bills locked up in his cell and preparing to sing..

Colorado Senate Votes to Ban Red Light and Speed Cameras

On Monday, the state of Colorado took a giant leap forward in ridding their streets and intersections of the scam known as photo ticketing. in a 21-14 vote, the Colorado State Senate passed a bill which would make this scam officially illegal throughout the state. 

The text of the bill, SB 14-181 can be found here

It’s primary sponsor is Senator Scott Renfroe, who has pushed hard to ban red light cameras in Colorado since 2012

This is a great development, but there is still much work to be done before a ban on scameras is achieved in Colorado. The House must pass the same bill and then send it to the Governor John Hickenlooper, who has openly said he doesn’t know how he would handle it. That’s code language for, American Traffic Solutions and Redflex are making it mighty appealing for me to veto that bill.”

Coloradoans need to keep the pressure on the legislature, to make sure the bill is heard in the House. Then Governor Hickenlooper needs to hear the message loud and clear, so that he can’t slither his way to a veto.

Above: A Denver area scamera is visibly shaken at the prospect of being torn down

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Local press outlets around the Denver area are generally assuming that because the Speaker of the House is cosponsoring the bill that it will definitely go to a vote in that chamber. We don’t make assumptions here and it’s better to err on the side of beating up the politicians.

Contact info for CO legislators - [Legislative Directory]

This type of legislation, when passed, has a way of spreading to other states, especially in the same region. Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas will be watching this result very closely.

Guest Post: DiBlasio’s War Against the Motorist in NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to make New York’s roads a bit safer for pedestrians. Excellent. Nothing wrong that. But his vision zero approach which includes lots more of those intrusive revenue generating red light cameras that spy on drivers as they pass intersections…ah, no. That does not make us happy at all. In the state of New York, red light traffic tickets are akin to parking tickets, so regardless of who committed the crime, the citation is sent to the registered owner of the car. Not the best way to crack down on reckless drivers exactly.

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[Above - Mayor Bill Diblasio caught jaywalking while on his cell]

 Although camera tickets do not come along with the hefty fine and points associated with an officer served ticket, they can still be quite expensive, affect insurance rates, and incur surcharges, so they are certainly worth fighting for.  A New York City traffic ticket lawyer can help put together one of the following defenses:

1. Challenge the camera

There are instances when the pictures are unclear, causing the ticketing agency to obtain wrong license plate numbers. So, you can evade the fine by proving that the vehicle in the photo is not yours, or the light was not red, or claim that the photo does not imply that the traffic light was operating properly.

2. Argue that you were justified or were trying to avoid harm

Since the case will be presented in front of a judge, you will be able to provide evidence to support your action, though this will require you to admit to the offense. Considering the large number of red light violations, you may be able to provide evidence that justifies your particular offense. For instance, a reckless driver may have forced you to drive in a lane controlled by a red-signal (1116-(d)).

3. Provide evidence that the violation was a situational mistake (mistake of fact)

There are instances when a judge will toss out your ticket if you can prove that there was inadequate response time. For instance, your visibility may be obstructed by a large vehicle, giving you inadequate notice to stop at the red light signal. Basically, there are many things that could obscure your line of vision, allowing you to justify the violation.

4. Make the constitutional argument

You can claim that the use of monitoring equipment is a violation of your due process right, since it exerts burden of proof on you – the accused. The Sixth Amendment right to confrontation allows you to confront your accuser – the witness who maintains the system and records associated with the camera. If no witness shows up, the case can be dismissed.

[Zev Goldstein - The Law Office of Zev Goldstein PLLC | 845-371-8457]

Redflex, ATS Front Group Props up “Political Tool” with Fake Twitter Following

The key to getting people hooked on bad habits for life is to start them young. Just ask tobacco and alcohol companies, who notoriously catered their ads to minors for decades.

It serves as no surprise then, that a failing industry like photo ticketing would be looking to youthful advocates in an attempt to indoctrinate impressionable go-getters and score a new face for their scam. It looks like a woman named Jordan Hibbs, of ASU, has been snatched up by an American Traffic Solutions/Redflex front group. As it turns out, she may just be the perfect person to assume their spokes person roll. Jordan admits, she’s not afraid to “fake it” as long as it elevates her status in the process. Her Twitter numbers even fooled press agents at the White House, who twice invited her to live tweet during the State of the Union address this year. More on the fallout from this deception is covered below.

Scamera Company Propaganda is a Shadowy Game

This dark side of propaganda certainly has not escaped red light camera and photo radar companies. In fact, their astroturf front groups like Red Means Stop fill their coffers with hefty donations from the two profit-driven camera vendors, Redflex and American Traffic Solutions. The organization will then advocate for “safe roads,” but conveniently ignore best practices to achieve that goal, like longer yellow light times. They  instead claim the only solution is to put up cameras. It’s more than a cozy relationship, it’s dishonest and damaging to the safety goals they claim to advocate.

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[Pictured above - Sen John McCain with lobbyist group, Red Means Stop]

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