The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Jan 23, 2009

Scam-eras and Profit

Arizona's Pinal County residents can drive without fear of having to pay a Redflex ticket for exceeding the speed limit. The county's Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to shutter the speed cameras at the urging of their new County Sheriff, Paul Babeau.
"I'm against photo speed enforcement completely," Babeu said, walking the three-member panel through a detailed PowerPoint presentation. "Here in Pinal, it's failed miserably."
Interestingly, the reason that Babeu gave for pulling the plug on the program was that only a third of the citations were actually being paid. The paid citations brought in $134,199.43, but after paying Redflex the county only netted some $12,391.58
Moreover, Babeu said, total motor-vehicle accidents increased by 16 percent in the same time period, and fatal collisions in the Queen Creek area doubled from three to six.

The sheriff said he couldn't be certain that speed cameras were to blame for the crashes, but he believes they were a factor.
Babeu's reasoning is only half right. The sheriff cites public safety concerns as only part of the reason that he wants to replace scam-era vans with deputies. What seems to be the real concern is the "paltry" profit generated by the program.

Last week Councilor Harris told KOB-TV that Albuquerque's scam-era program could only operate for another 4 years without costing the city money unless the legislature repealed the restrictions on Albuquerque's program (read it here). Just today it was revealed that some unnamed administration official signed a five year contract extension with Redflex (ABQ Journal - Subscription).
[Sidebar]
Exactly which bonehead signed this contract? It has to be someone with some level of executive authority. Marty's Minions are acting like a bunch of children who got caught eating stolen cookies. No one seems to know who was responsible for the cookie caper despite the chocolate smeared all over their faces.

That leaves just one person who's ultimately responsible... Mayor Martin Chavez. He hired these guys, he brought the Redflex scam-eras to Albuquerque, and he's responsible for both the new contract and the chaos surrounding it.
[End Sidebar]
Scam-eras are proliferating across the state - Farmington wants them, Santa Fe is negotiating with Redflex, and Las Cruces has signed on to the scam. Folks, this is about money - yours flowing directly into government coffers.
A quick search of news articles shows that local governments in San Jose California, Tulsa Oklahoma, and Richmond Hill Georgia have already or are considering raising traffic fines to pay for various government programs. The small community of Richmond Hill anticipates that the added fees will generate around $20,000 to pay for internet service inside their police cars. In California, speeding drivers who request a driving school to keep their insurance rates down saw that fee rise from $24 to $94 after January 1st.
Governments all across the country are trying to find ways to generate revenue. At the top of the list are items like scam-era programs and traffic enforcement. These types of programs can be instituted under the cover of "public safety" with the sole purpose of funding government programs and the excuse that if you don't want to pay don't break the law.

Who cares about due process, the right to face your accuser, or even whether or not you are guilty. In scam-era court you are guilty until proven innocent and are forced to rely solely on the state's evidence without any ability to question its accuracy (see a scam-era malfunction here).

To make matters worse, when government makes revenue its primary objective there's pressure to make sure that a certain amount of revenue continues to flow into its coffers. The simplest way to maintain revenue is to shorten the duration of yellow lights or change the light's timing (read it here).
Short yellow light times at intersections have been shown to increase the number of traffic violations and accidents. Conversely, increasing the yellow light duration can dramatically reduce red-light violations at an intersection.

Some local governments have ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead.
Unfettered, the Redflex scam-eras are a great way to raise revenue for the city. If you'll remember the program brought in over $6 MILLION in just a few months (read it here). The money has been so addictive that Marty and his Minions have even lied to the public about the effectiveness of the program (read it here).

Look... It all comes down to what you believe the role of law enforcement in society truly is. Should we use our sheriffs and police officers to protect the public and punish criminals or should we use them to collect revenue for the state - a tax collector behind a badge?

We've said it before... Law enforcement should not be about profit. Whenever the state relies on enforcement action for a source of revenue there's an incentive to break the very laws that government is tasked with enforcing.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like the little bird that was talking to Bob Clark on KKOB-AM was right. It has since been revealed that Ed Adams was the official who signed the new contract. I heard the excerpts of the exchange twixt he and Cadigan on KKOB-AM this am and boy was he evasive, just like any crook when caught.

Make no mistake, these Scam-eras are not and have never been about safety and anyone who feels "safer" as a result of them must not ever drive in real traffic.

So for all of you Old Fogey's who would say "if you never speed or run red lights you have nothing to worry about" I invite you to drive 20,000+ miles this year in this city as I do and see if you don't discover that you will compromise those high ideals somewhere along the line. And even if you don't, you are likely to come so close to an accident that the cameras will have no effect on that you will need to change your "Depends"!

Anonymous said...

First comment: Right on. As for the King Boot- Lick of Marty and Red Flex supporter, Don Couchman, Supreme Commander of District Eight, "Old Fouls and Fuddy -duddy club", take the advice of the first blogger.
You don't drive the streets enough.
You just get in the way of others out there trying to make a living. So get your ass to Furr's Cafeteria (3:30- early Bird Special), get home before rush hour, change your diaper and go the hell to bed.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I second the sentiments of the above. Don; word of advice. Don't bother us with your dribble at City Council public comments anymore. If you must at least change your cloths, lose the suspenders and for god's sake shave, take a bath and get a haircut. City Hall isn't a place to voice your back woods hick comments. Marty's not going to do anything for you brownoser.

Anonymous said...

These rip offs should be named "Green Light Speed Cameras" because that is what they really are. Ray Boy added the speed added after the citations dropped.Have you noticed that the speed limit drops right before the intersection with these cameras? This administration should solve crime instead of making criminals out of working citizens. If they were all about safety then why did SMARTY want to ditch them when he had visions of the Senate in his head?

Anonymous said...

Cadigan was on KKOB and said that when he is Mayor the cameras will be taken down.

Anonymous said...

Don the Northeast Area Commander! He has his own speed van on Academy because Ray Boy panders to him.

Anonymous said...

As I pulled up to the light at Paseo and coors the other morning I observed two young ladies jump starting a car at the intersection. As I got stopped I started to ask them if they needed help but saw that they were getting ready to leave. Now picture this, one had to turn her car around as they were "nose to nose" and as she did she backed into the intersection when there was no traffic, "K turned" and sat waiting at the light for the green signal. What she seem oblivious to was the fact that her backing out had caused the red light camera to flash. No doubt she will receive a bill in the mail ..(not a citation, as it isnt sent by a certified law enforcement officer -- it is simply a bill)

Anonymous said...

Cadigan is only against RedFlex because they fired him and his law partner.

No pay, RedFlex? Then you no play!

Vote for White!!

Anonymous said...

Woah! WTF?!

The red light debate has degenerated into personal attacks on a retiree who volunteers for his neighborhood association?

Yeah, kill Couchman off and you can get back to speeding through the city and running red lights. That makes a ton of sense.

Reality? What a bunch of freaks! True to form, the lynch mob wraps itself and its cause in the flag.

Classic!!

Anonymous said...

Red light cameras are a back door tax. It bastardizes law enforcement officers into revenue collectors instead of peace keepers.

Our constitution is in danger.

Anonymous said...

I hate these cameras and purchased a GPS device that beeps whenever I am near one of them.

www.gpsangel.com

Anonymous said...

Man, spending money on a gps device because your head is up your ass. I've never gotten a ticket, but I guess its because I don't believe its my inherant right to break the law by speeding and running red lights!