Scamera Ban Nuetered!

According to Denver Post the House Veterans and Military affairs committee passed an amendment to the original scamera ban bill that completed gutted it.  This is a travesty and I would advise everyone to continue to reach out to their representatives and tell them that this bill needs to returned to its original language and passed.

Frankly, I’m quite disgusted, but not surprised, that our leaders would choose revenue over safety.

Scamera Ban Headed to House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee

As you know, the Scamera Ban has passed the Colorado Senate and is headed to the House.  It will first be heard by The Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.  If it clears this committee it will head to the house floor for a full vote.  Right now the belief is that it has the required bipartisan support to be passed by the full house.  After that it must go to Governor Hickenlooper to be signed.

A shout-out to the NMA for publishing a full list of the House Veterans and Military Affairs Committee members.  I’ve listed them below and I suggested you e-mail them, along with your own representative, and urge them to support it.  Also, while you’re at it, let the Governor know how you feel as well:

SU RYDEN
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2942
E-Mail: su.ryden.house@state.co.us

JOSEPH SALAZAR
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2918
E-Mail: joseph.salazar.house@state.co.us

KATHLEEN CONTI
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2953
E-Mail: kathleen.conti.house@state.co.us

TIMOTHY DORE
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2398
E-Mail: tim.dore.house@state.co.us

MIKE FOOTE
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2920
E-Mail: mike.foote.house@state.co.us

STEPHEN HUMPHREY
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2943
E-Mail: rephumphrey48@yahoo.com

JEANNE LABUDA
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2966
E-Mail: jeanne.labuda.house@state.co.us

JOVAN MELTON
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2919
E-Mail: jovan.melton.house@state.co.us

DOMINICK MORENO
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2964
E-Mail: dominick.moreno.house@state.co.us

DAN NORDBERG
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2965
E-Mail: dan.nordberg.house@state.co.us

ANGELA WILLIAMS
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2909
E-Mail: angela.williams.house@state.co.us

1 Down, 2 To Go – Senate Passes Scamera Ban

Great News!  The Colorado State Senate has passed the scamera ban.  The next hurdle will be the house, and finally the Governor.  At this time nobody knows what the stance is from the Governor’s office.  Please contact your house reps and Hickenlooper and ask that they support this bill.  I have a feeling that as former Mayor of Denver, he likely supports the scameras.  Let’s hope that an outpouring of support in favor of the ban will sway his decision.

Mike Johnston – Registered Scamera Dunce

As I’ve suggested everyone do, I contacted my representatives in Denver to ask them to support the bill on banning photo enforcement.  Honestly, I didn’t expect a response from either one of them.  Mike Johnston and Angela Williams are both big government tax and spend liberals (Williams proposed the “Amazon Tax” yet again).  I did however receive a response from Johnston, but I’m convinced it was a copy and paste message, probably done by one of his staff.

We found out in a CBS article that Johnston is a scamera supporter.  Read this little soundbite of utter ignorance and nonsense:

“If you don’t think evidence gathered by technology overseed by a person confronted by witnesses in court is fair, you should also probably outlaw that crazy device that a policeman has to hold in his car that shoots radar to tell how fast your car goes,” said State Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver.

Wrong, Mr. Johnston!  Wrong!

See my response to our scamera loving friend:

Thank you for your response, however, while your e-mail did not reveal where you stand on the issue, your recent statement in a CBS 4 article has. You apparently do not have the facts you need to make a proper decision on this issue. You said: “If you don’t think evidence gathered by technology overseed by a person confronted by witnesses in court is fair, you should also probably outlaw that crazy device that a policeman has to hold in his car that shoots radar to tell how fast your car goes.”

You miss the most important aspect of the matter. Cities are using photo radar and red light camera technologies as a cash grab. The cities themselves are not setting up the devices with the intention of improving safety. Denver’s own auditor revealed that the intersections with red light cameras were not the most dangerous intersections in the city. Why then, would they install them at intersections with less accidents, but higher traffic counts?

Comparing red light cameras and photo radar to actual law enforcement work is, frankly, unfair to the law enforcement professionals who put their life on the line to ensure our safety. You can get caught (or perhaps not if you use one of those special legislative plates) by photo enforcement multiple times and you will NEVER be removed from the driving public. As long as you can pay the fines, or dodge the process server or certified mail you’re in the clear.

Meanwhile, the companies who provide these services are laughing all the way to the bank. They managed to fool the city into buying their sales pitch and they pocket the majority of the money giving a small pittance to the city. This is why private corporations should never profit from law enforcement. As a Democrat I’m surprised you would side with these companies. They are rife with scandals and corruption. They bribe city officials, make “campaign donations” to have their business legitimized, and do whatever it takes to profit from the public. Their business model is despicable, and anyone who supports them is despicable as well.

Still no response from Williams, but given her love for taxes I doubt I’ll have one.

Aurora Shows Us Why Red Light Camera’s Don’t Work

Aurora is obviously running scared.  There were two separate articles about Aurora since the scamera ban bill passed committee.  First off, we have an article where the mayor is trying to use fear-mongering to state that if the program is shuttered that social services will suffer.  On that point I have a suggestion to Aurora city leaders.  Time to redo your budget.  Traffic fines, legal or otherwise, should not be factored into the budget.  And while it might give them a warm fuzzy to state the profits go to social services, truth is, it’s still operating dollars for the city in some shape or form, and it’s a boat-load of profit for the scamera vendor.

Next up we have the police chief crying the blues about how once the program is ended there will be chaos in the streets.  To make the point they released several videos of red light running in Aurora.  Some resulted in accidents, others did not.  But what you won’t hear any city leader say is that these videos were from red light cameras.  The simple fact that these videos were from red light cameras should be enough to easily demonstrate that they don’t work.  And let’s deconstruct this a little more.  Each one of the violations that didn’t result in an accident happened several seconds after the light had turned red.  Those who ran the red light received a ticket in the mail a week later.  Did it change their driving habits?  Probably not.  Will it get an unsafe driver off the road?  Absolutely not!  Those drivers who didn’t cause or were not involved in an accident received no point on their license at all.  Not really helping the safety claim at all, is it?  The majority of fines generated by these scameras come from right turns and misjudging the length of the yellow, sliding across the line just as it changed.  Red Light Cameras will not prevent distracted driving or get bad drivers off the road.

Nice try, Aurora, but we’re smarter than you think we are.

First Hurdle Complete

It was apparently a busy day for the sleazy lobbyists and scamera supporters.  But, the bill made it past the committee.  Now it will head to the floor.  Let’s hope that once on the floor it isn’t further weakened or amended.  That happens far too often.  Already, for some reason it has been amended to exempt toll roads.  That might be just for the fact that E-470 is a completely automated pickpocket system to begin with.  Or, maybe E-470 is wanting to cash in on motorists who have a bit of a heavy foot through the vast expanses of nothingness that E-470 serves?

Several items of note came out of the hearing.  As I had already mentioned, the police departments have gathered around to laud the scamera system and extol its benefits.  One scamera supporter with Greenwood Village Police stated how accidents have dropped since the use of the scameras.  I think it would be wise to point out that statistic can be manipulated to say what you want them to say.  There have been studies of the these systems that compared before and after number.  They left out key information such as whether the yellow time had been modified, if a countdown crosswalk sign had been installed, and overall traffic counts.  They even went further to change the definition of an intersection and the definition of an accident in their before and after numbers.

For Denver, just touching the white line is enough to get a bill in the mail asking you for money.  I’ve known people who’ve received these tickets.  I would be willing to wager a few beers that in 95% of those case an officer wouldn’t have issued a citation.  Matter of fact, I’ve seen officers stop over the line.  As a frequent pedestrian I try to be mindful of where I stop for a red light and there are days that I swear I am the only one who does in fact stop at the white line!

Denver made $7.8 million in 2013.  They DO NOT want to give up that revenue, your safety be damned!

Stop what you are doing right now and contact your representative and tell them to support this legislation in its original form and send ACS/Xerox, Redflex, and ATS back to the proverbial hole of public squalor they crawled out of!

Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25565831/police-among-critics-bill-banning-traffic-cameras-colorado

Colorado Scamera Ban (SB 14-181)

Senator Michael Renfroe has submitted his scamera ban yet again in the legislative session.  This time the ban has the support of House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, a democrat.  This is truly bipartisan legislation that needs to be signed into law!  Mr. Renfroe has tried this ban on multiple occasions and his bill has been killed in committee, usually on party lines.  The time to act is NOW!

Find your State Senator and State Representative at this link:  http://www.colorado.gov/esri/webmaps/my-hood.html

Explain to them why you want this legislation to proceed.  Be sure to also contact the Governor, John Hickenlooper and give him the same information.  Hickenlooper is the former mayor of Denver and supported the program as Mayor.  I have a feeling this would be one of the few bills he would veto if given the chance.

Make no mistake, it’s going to be a tight push to get this legislation through.  Renfroe submitted this bill in 2012 and it was killed in committee before it could go to the floor to even be debated.  Contact your elected representatives, contact your friends and family and have them do the same!  The Colorado Municipal League and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police oppose this bill.  That in and of itself should be enough to make you want to support it.

Thanks to Denver Post for alerting us!

Senate Bill 14-181

South Dakota – A Model for Other States

Have a look at what just happened in South Dakota courtesy of The Newspaper.

All I can say is, “Wow”.  After that I have to wonder when ACS/Xerox, Redflex, and ATS will be firing up the law suit engines.  If you live in SD, the state legislature pretty much made you invisible to any traffic camera in the world with the exception of maybe CA and AZ.  Hats off to those fine representatives.  They are a model of how things should be done.

Denver City Council, Colorado Legislature:  Please take notice.  The cameras are coming down!

Now, can I purchase a plot of land somewhere outside Rapid City and register my car there?  You know, SD might be on a gold mine to provide out of state license plates if they were so inclined.  I’d pay a little extra to carry an SD plate now!

Freedom of Expression

One of the original tenets of the founding of our country is freedom of expression.  The courts have upheld this freedom in many cases, including the use of our hands, or specifically one finger.  This afternoon on my way home I noticed the scamera van parked in a usual location so I drove by giving it the customary salute.  The speed limit in this “safety revenue zone” was 30 MPH.  According to my GPS I was traveling at exactly 27 MPH.  Apparently this hand gesture out the sunroof of my car was enough to distort the radar readings into triggering a flash!

I had noticed this strange phenomenon before so I decided to exercise the scientific method a bit and put it to the test.  I made two more passes at the scamera van, each time using my expression of “good will” toward the van.  Each time, at a speed of 27 MPH the camera flashed.  Could the operators of these vans be trained by their overlords at Xerox/ACS to document anyone who dare oppose them?  Are they building a dossier on the opposition in Denver that will get reported to the police, mayor, and city council?

Maybe it’s not that sinister.  I have two possible ideas to explain this phenomenon.  Perhaps the scamera operators are so drunk on their power to take money by mail from citizens that they are enacting their own form of return protest.  Or maybe the scamera operators actually do have a conscious and deep down they really hate what they do and are sending a flash of agreement in return.  Either way, sending them to the unemployment line is probably the best thing we could do!  Give them the help they need to find a job that is actually honorable and truly benefits society, not beneficial to fat cats at City Hall, Norwalk, CT, or Dallas, TX!

RT Video – Bribery As Usual

While the video only speaks about RedFlex and their bribery scandals, I tend to believe that this type of political wheel greasing is all too common in this business. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Here’s a nice steak dinner and a room at the Ritz, you’ll be a supporter of the cameras right? How about a campaign donation?

I have to think that these company execs and local leaders who support the camera systems must be required to take very long showers every night to wash off the sleeze!