Probably one of the most aggravating new ideas that the City Governments have endeavored in to find new ways to get into the pockets of it's citizens is the photo radar cameras that you are seeing popping up everywhere like dandelions in the spring. But what you don't know about this unconstitutional new scheme to increase revenues will surprise you.
First of all, I must preface this article by stating that red light running is
killing people from coast to coast at an alarming rate. How many times
have you seen someone blow through a red light at an intersection?
Especially when riding a motorcycle, one doesn't stand a chance when getting T-boned
by a driver flying through an intersection while not paying attention at all that a
light has turned red. Never run red lights folks- intersections are
dangerous areas and those lights are there to prevent accidents.
With the idea in mind that something needed to be done to decrease fatality rates in large cites, the photo radar camera was born. And it's intent has it's good merits, but where the idea of making people who run red lights accountable for their transgressions of the law, has now taken a turn in the direction of violating the Constitutional rights of the people of this city and many others- and it's of course driven by greed.
|The City of Albuquerque, and many other cities around the nation, have installed and continue to install these cameras. The first interesting fact is that the City doesn't own or operate these cameras. They are owned and operated by a private company located in Phoenix Arizona. When you receive a "ticket" in the mail stating that you have been photographed speeding or running a red light, it is actually a bill coming from Scottsdale, Arizona. Even though it has been printed with City letterhead and symbols etc., it is not generated by the City. Check the postmark on the envelope- it will show postmarked in Scottsdale. What this means is that a private business is photographing you and saying that you are|
of a violation and that you must pay a lot of money for it. But guess who
How it works: This private company, known also a 'Photonotice.com', has set up an agreement with cities around the nation to install their cameras and take pictures of people 'allegedly' speeding, running red lights and whatever else they can say you were doing. They produce the photo, send you a "ticket" in the mail instructing you to pay the City and when you pay it, the City gives Photonotice a big cut of the money. So what you have is a private enterprise making deals with City Government to make profits for both.
unconstitutional. When you receive the bill from Photonotice, it will
state what your violation is and that it is your burden to prove that you have
not committed the offence. If you are not the driver of the vehicle, you
are still responsible to pay the fine. The legal system in our country is
founded upon the fact that you are "innocent until proven guilty". The way
that this company has made a deal with the City to convict you and make it your
burden to prove yourself not-guilty is one very obvious violation of your
constitutional rights. Another is that any private business who makes
money by saying that you broke the law is of course going to have an interest in
you breaking the law. In other words, for this business to profit, it
has to say that you broke the law and that you must pay them. Without
accusing you, they convict you. This is not a City or State
municipality, it's a regular corporate company. It's no different then you
taking your digital camera out on the side of the road, taking a picture of a
car going by and then sending the registered owner a bill for speeding.
The way they make their money is that they have made a deal with the City to
send you a
bill with City markings, instructing you to pay the City, and then the City
gives them a percentage. Have you noticed that a regular speeding ticket
for going 10 mph over the limit given to you by a cop is around $100.00, but the
same speed violation from a photo radar 'ticket' is more like $150.00 to
$200.00? The reason is that the large extra money you're paying is going
How much money do they make? In an average day, there are about 4,000 photos taken of drivers doing everything from running red lights (sometimes yellow lights ) to speeding. There are vans with cameras parked in various places throughout the city just snapping away at drivers as they go by. By the end of the day those images will be transmitted back to Photonotice in Phoenix and approximately 4,000 "citations" will be mailed out to the owners. When each citation ranges anywhere from $100.00 to $300.00, then that means that they are generating around $500,000.00 a day. Half a million dollars a day, folks. And how do they get this much money? Because you're paying it- and you don't even know that you don't have to. Furthermore, you can commit as many red-light running and speeding offences as you want with this system and it won't ever go on your driving record or your insurance. You just keep sending the money in. Is this the design for safety? It would seem that taking away someone's license or restricting their driving privileges would be a solution to multiple-offence drivers. After all, that's why these laws exist right? Well, the fact is that the City and Photonotice want you to keep speeding or running red lights because it makes them rich, and taking away your driving privileges would only reduce their profits.
Myth: "They have to see
my face in the photo to send me a ticket"
How to beat them at
their own game: When it's your turn to get a bill in the mail for
something that Photonotice's cameras say you did, then do not just immediately
pay it. There is an option in the letter they send to schedule a hearing.
This is what you must do. The City has from 90 days of the violation to
schedule your hearing, if they can't schedule you within 90 days then your
citation is dismissed. If everyone who gets these bogus bills in the mail
requests a hearing, then the courts will become so bogged down that they won't
be able to get you in within 90 days. So step 1 is you must schedule a
hearing. Step 2, and you can do this without a lawyer, but it helps to
have one, show up to your hearing and tell the judge that you want to know how
this equipment is legitimately proving your guilt. If you were caught
running a red light, this is where your luck will most likely run out.
They will play the video of you running the red light. In the case of
speeding, they will show a video of you going by and the camera showing the
number of the speed you are allegedly traveling. There will be an APD
officer present to act on behalf of the cameras, but he/she will have no
knowledge of how they work, when or how they are calibrated, if they are
accurate, etc. There is no way that they can prove that you are traveling
at the speed that the camera shows. It's just some companies' equipment
who makes money off having their equipment say that you're speeding. It's
not a cop, or a state or city-owned and operated device. It's a private
business that has a vested financial interest in making sure you are portrayed
as doing something illegal. That is enough of an argument to show that
their is a possibility that Photonotice could be altering their equipment to
show whatever they want, or that it is possible that their equipment isn't
working accurately. That's a reasonable doubt, and reasonable doubt
results in inability to prove guilt. Many cases have been dismissed with
this argument, but you have to know it to be able to use it.
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