California City Dumps Red Light Camera Program

El Monte, California votes to eliminate red light cameras after study shows they did not reduce accidents.

Following San Jose, California’s recent decision to reject red light cameras due to NJMCDirect Law, the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte yesterday decided to put an end to photo ticketing after five years of use proved disappointing. With a unanimous vote, the city council declined to renew its contract with Australian camera vendor Redflex because, according to police, the cameras failed to produce any reduction in the number of intersection accidents. More importantly, however, the devices failed to produce revenue.

“We’re spending a lot of staff time on this just to gain $2000 a month,” City Manager James W. Mussenden explained.

“It doesn’t reduce accidents — that’s what our studies and results have come back.”

Data obtained by suggest the loss in revenue could be related to changes in intersection signal timing. On April 12, 2004 the city increased the yellow warning time to 3.5 seconds for the left turn movements at the intersection of Peck Road and Ramona Boulevard. The results were immediately felt. In March 2004, before the increase, Redflex mailed 665 tickets. In May, the first full month after the increase, citations dropped to 265. This small engineering improvement cut the photo enforcement system’s total profit by $1.4 million.

This result is also consistent with the Texas Transportation Institute finding that increasing the yellow signal time beyond the bare minimum amount can decrease violations by 53 percent (view report). The disappointing lack of violations gave the police department a green light to announce that the program had failed to save lives.

“A comparison of traffic collisions at Redflex monitored intersections vs. non-Redflex monitored intersections revealed that there is no statistical difference in the number of traffic collisions because of Redflex monitoring,” Police Chief Ken Weldon wrote in a memo to the council.

As a result of the council’s action, the city’s two red light cameras will be disconnected by November 30. A copy of the police memo is available in a 43k PDF file at the source link below.…

Read More
Speeding Ticket

San Antonio, TX: Interstate 10 Is Speeding Ticket Hot Spot

When and where in San Antonio are you most likely to get a speeding ticket? After analyzing thousands of speeding tickets given out in a six-month period, KSAT 12 found that Interstate 10 is a hot spot for getting speeding tickets.

“Every traffic shift has anywhere from 20 to 30 officers on it,” said Sgt. Gabe Trevino, with the San Antonio Police Department. There are three shifts each day.

According to the study, the No. 1 spot to get a ticket was on Interstate 10 and West Avenue. The third most likely spot to be ticketed is also on Interstate 10 at Fresno Street. The second most likely spot to receive a ticket is on Interstate 35 and Malone Avenue.

Most tickets are issued between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

According to Trevino, Officer Jason Aicher is the king of ticket-writers. “First of all, he’s a motorcycle officer,” said Trevino. Aicher wrote more than 1,300 tickets in six months. (That’s about 10 per work day!) He often watches school zones, and gave out 13 percents of the tickets he issued in those areas.

More tickets are issued at the end of each month, leading some drivers like John Rodriguez to believe there may be a quota. “It was toward the end of the month, meet the quota,” Rodriguez said.

Despite the study showing the greatest number of tickets being written during the last week of the month, police said there is no quota. “We don’t tell them, ‘You need to go write a certain amount of tickets every single day,’ [or] ‘At the end of the month we want to see a certain number of tickets,’” Trevino said. “That’s not the case.” Police say ticket quotas are illegal.

Still, police generate a significant amount of revenue from fines — including speeding tickets. In the year ending Sept. 30, the San Antonio Municipal Courts reported receiving more than $26 million from fines. Police, however, say money is not the motive. There have been more than 100 traffic deaths this year, and police said catching speeders saves lives.…

Read More

Rosebud, Texas Police Officer Fired Amidst Local Sign Controversy

A Central Texas police officer was fired Monday and could be in more hot water.

The Rosebud Police Officer was fired for working outside city limits against orders. It’s a rule he had reportedly broken multiple times.

On Saturday, the officer reportedly tried to take down a controversial speed trap sign along Highway 77 put up by some residents to warn drivers.

The signs were first put up that Friday as way for Rosebud Signs owner Bobby Bailey to combat what he thought was a police department giving out too many tickets. Rosebud residents helped pitch in and pay for the signs.

“The city was trying to more or less turn the town into a little evil town,” Bailey said. ”We want it to be like nice little Rosebud Texas, like it’s always been.”

The officer got into a heated exchange with one of those residents who helped Bailey with the signs.

“He told me the sign was impeding traffic,” John Borden, Rosebud resident, said.

Rosebud Police Chief Kenneth Proctor confirmed the incident.

“Evidently he confronted one of the owners there, or who put the sign up, and asked him to remove the sign,” Proctor explained.

The sign was on private property and outside the city limits. Chief Proctor said the confrontation about the sign was not the reason for the firing.

The officer is planning to appeal his firing, but it will be up to the Falls County District Attorney’s office to file any criminal charges.

Chief proctor also said while he doesn’t think his city is a speed trap, and has cut down on giving out tickets, he’s in favor of the signs.

News Channel 25 talked to that fired officer Monday night on the phone, he said he was directed by a supervisor to either ticket or arrest the people responsible for the signs. He thought taking it down would cause the least problems.

More signs may be put up on Highway 53, coming from Temple into Rosebud, in order to warn more drivers. Lights also may be added to the current signs so that drivers at night can see them.…

Read More