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Palm Coast’s Red-Light Cameras: How the City Council Locked In a Fraud on Taxpayers Through 2019

| March 7, 2014

palm coast red light cameras

Here until at least 2019, absent a change in Florida law. (© FlaglerLive)

Three years ago the city of St. Petersburg gave in to local governments’ favorite narcotic of the day: red-light cameras. Last night by a 6-2 vote, the St. Petersburg City Council voted to get out of the camera business, making St. Petersburg the largest Florida city so far to end its addiction to one of the great frauds perpetrated by and on local governments.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive St. Petersburg did it for the wrong reason. The city claimed the program wasn’t profitable enough. Maybe that was just a pretext by council members who just wanted to get out of the dirty business regardless, having realized that the ire they earn with every ticket isn’t worth the blight on the city’s image. Of course the program wasn’t profitable over there. St. Petersburg only had 22 cameras at 10 intersections. For this scheme to work, you need volume. You need saturation. You need Palm Coast.

Here, a city with less than a third of St. Petersburg’s population, we have more than twice as many cameras. To be precise, Palm Coast’s 47 cameras represent 5 percent of the state’s total of 922 cameras.  And the city council appears as high as ever on its flashing zaps, because they’re generating almost $400,000 a year for the city.

Click On:

But the problem with red-light cameras, one of them anyway, is not that they’re not profitable enough. It’s that they’re too profitable, and that most of the money is siphoned out of the local economy. Based on last September’s numbers, Palm Coast’s cameras are generating roughly $3 million a year. But the state takes more than half of that, and American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona-based snake-oil-selling company that dominates the Florida market with its cameras, takes another million dollars, leaving Palm Coast with roughly 13 percent of the take. So the cameras are sucking more than $2.5 million a year from the local economy, in a town where the city council claims to be all for economic development. Those council members must have beach-front property in Arizona.

ATS just launched a high-profile campaign to burnish its cameras’ lousy image. It had Palm Coast send out a tendentious video making the cameras look like god’s gift to the city, though the video was full of half truths and omissions. You’d never know that ATS was skimming off that million dollars from the local take, for example, or that a legislative report released last month, whose image actually appears at the end of the video, found that rear-end crashes increased by 12 percent overall where cameras were installed, and that every independent report under the sun concludes that absent minor ticks one way or the other, the jury is still out on whether cameras actually improve safety. What’s clearer is that they trade one sort of crash for another.

Just as clear are the lies politicians fall for and end up repeating in defense of the cameras, just like any addict justifying his addiction. Even in Palm Coast we’re told the cameras are “working,” that they’re making intersections safer, that they’re changing driver behavior. Really? Based on whose facts? Whose studies? There are no such studies, because there’s never been a comprehensive and independent analysis of the cameras’ consequences in Palm Coast. The best we have is an unscientific and of course prejudiced cobbling together by the city of crash numbers in the general vicinity of intersections to reach pre-determined conclusions that can then be bandied about at council meetings with the certainty of fact.

But if you ask for an actual study, you’ll get nada, because it doesn’t exist. An actual, independent study—not one produced either by ATS’s PR hacks or by the city’s half-baked Crayola PowerPoints—would cost a lot of money and, if existing evidence is any guide, show the same inconclusive results that would make it untenable for council members to keep lying to us. So don’t expect any study soon.

Yet we’ve been enduring this multi-million dollar heist on Palm Coast’s pocketbooks for seven years. There’s an attempt yet again in Tallahassee to do away with red-light cameras. Sen. Jeff Brandes, the St. Petersburg Republican, is leading the legislative drive, and now has behind him his own city’s enlightened decision to stop what he justly calls a backdoor tax on residents. Collier County turned off its cameras last year. Both governments had contracted with ATS. They could do so contractually because they were not dumb enough to do what Palm Coast did.

Palm Coast should follow St. Petersburg’s example. But the city administration, in one of its most irresponsible abrogation of taxpayer protection, made a key change to the contract with ATS in 2012: it eliminated a clause that would have enabled Palm Coast to end the contract without cause. And it extended the contract to 2019.

Did you get that? The contract, in other words, was extended and locked in well past every single one of the mayor’s and council members’ terms. This council has enabled its share of indefensible decisions. This one ranks near the top. And it reeks of the sort of knavish deals red-light camera companies are becoming famous for, though they could never get away with it without the complicity of local governments signing their name to the heist.

Mayor Jon Netts and council members Bill McGuire and Bill Lewis voted for the deal in July 2012, as did then-council member Frank Meeker, now a county commissioner. Jason DeLorenzo was the only dissenter. The day of the vote, the addition of more than three dozen cameras was never brought up. That would take place a few weeks later, when the seven-year extension was secure. Heaven forbid there should be a camera trained on the Oz-inspired wizardry of our council.

Absent a change in law, it’s not clear what the financial consequences would be for Palm Coast to end its contract with ATS. Chances are it would still end up costing the local economy far less than letting it run five more years. The fraud has lasted long enough.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here. A version of this piece was broadcast on WNZF.

Palm Coast ATS Contract for Red-Light Cameras

62 Responses for “Palm Coast’s Red-Light Cameras: How the City Council Locked In a Fraud on Taxpayers Through 2019”

  1. Payback Pete says:

    Look at the signature on that order..JIM LANDON…remember that name come election day !!!

  2. Ella says:

    OK people, it’s election time. Find out what our Palm Coast City Council members intend to do to end red light cameras in our city. I know for a fact there are two candidates running that will do away with them. Time to do your homework.

  3. Florida Native. says:

    It looks like we’ve been duped again. Fool me once,shame on me. Fool me twice,shame on you. Remember to vote the greedy blood sucking city commissioners out of office come election day folks. Hopefully the new Mayor will fire Jim Landon who loves these red light cameras.

  4. Paco Yan says:

    This really stinks, bunch of dirty m%$@#!*&%^$%@

  5. m&m says:

    I think the cameras have saved a lot accidents and maybe deaths..

  6. Ben says:

    The cameras are nothing more than a tax. The timing on the lights are shortened to catch people. This alone should be considered criminal. Its not Landon that makes all this happen, its the city council that is responsible.

    • The Truth says:

      This is exactly the problem I have with the cameras. The timing of the yellow lights are very questionable. With a police officer, an officer can make a judgement call based on weather conditions, wet roads, etc. There are times where you just can’t slam on your brakes. These cameras take the normal thought process out of going through an intersection where you now have to think of the camera’s and if they will catch you slightly running through an intersection but not taking into consideration the other factors.

  7. rst says:

    There is a reasonable compromise here: Keep the cameras but don’t issue citations. The benefits are clear, fatality rates are way down even though fender benders are up slightly. I think we all could live with a few more fender benders with the knowledge that lives are being saved. Remember, cameras capture everything, from hit and run drivers to murderers, bank robbers, and other criminals fleeing the popo. I have no idea what it would cost to lease them, but I’m certain that one life saved would cover the cost. Any thoughts?

  8. PJ says:

    They don’t work it is just a scam, good job reporting the truth Flagler Live.

  9. ptop says:

    if I ran a red light today and an officer stops me, I get the ticket right then and I tell myself to drive more carefully..but if I ran a red light today and was caught on a camera, I may not be aware of it for days or weeks.. during which time I might get more tickets. does anyone know if people are getting multiple tickets? if they can sent an instant message or email right away saying, you might have been caught running a red makes sense..

    • The Truth says:

      This comment makes no sense. While I don’t support the camera’s, your comments don’t justify getting rid of them. If you got one ticket that doesn’t excuse you from future tickets. You can be pulled over by an officer multiple times in a day if you continue to break the law.

    • biker says:

      If you are getting that many red light tickets I would rather you would not drive on the same road as me.

  10. Davis says:

    Hey Landon, doesn’t Bulldog Drive need a camera? You should be proud.

  11. Common sense says:

    Simple… Stop on red equals no citation. I’m here since the first camera went in guess what I haven’t received a citation. Amazingly I stop for right on red also.

    The cameras are perfect for Law Enforcement for crashes with injury and fatalities! Also helps our insurance rates. You can bet all the folks that blame the crash on the other person is 99% wrong/lying, you can’t deny the video!

    I think they are here to stay as Long as people keep running the red.

    • The Truth says:

      It sounds easy, but there are many factors that come into play with these cameras. The yellow light timing is questionable and the cameras do not take road conditions into play.

  12. confidential says:

    I totally agree that McGuire and Lewis need the boot for their vote to sign that contract extension without taxpayers approval…Now when they get booted coming August-November, also we all need to hold those council members, mayor and manager that voted and approved the contract extension and cameras ridiculous proliferation, liable whether to arrange to end the contract with no penalties, or pay the penalties out of their own pockets…for illegally tying the City of Palm Coast tax payers to this financial abuse until 2019. Lets take them to court! One thing was to have few cameras in just the major intersections, another is to have them in every other corner of the major roads. Those 3 millions in fines to our residents are a waste of funds not spend locally. Then the come up with more of our taxes financing their BAC as an excuse economic development cartel.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Red Light Camera (RLC) cause accidents and “Road Rage” everyday!

    I was hoping that the RLC folks would come to their senses, and realize how much Flagler County Citizens are suffering from this punishment. I never had a ticket, and still have stress and anxiety caused by these RLCs. I had to pull my kids out of youth sports due to the nineteen RLCs that I had to drive thru round trip to the Sports Complex from where I live.

    Please write or email your Florida State Representative and let them know that you are in favor of Senate Bill 144 (SB144) to remove Red Light Cameras state wide.
    Web Link for Senate Bill 144 (SB144):

    Web Link to write/email your State Representative:

  14. Diana L says:

    I was always coming from the thought that if you don’t want a ticket for running through a red light, don’t run it. But the more I hear, the more questions that I have. Why would the council members extend their contract with no recourse to get out of it?

  15. Enough says:

    Please write/email your Florida State Representative and let them know that you are in favor of Senate Bill 144 (SB144) to remove Red Light Cameras state wide.

    Web Link for Senate Bill 144 (SB144):

    Web Link to write/email your State Representative:

  16. blondee says:

    I don’t really care how much revenue they generate for anyone. If the presence of the cameras causes even one person to drive safer, I’m for them! I know I do.

    • Moe Syzlak says:

      The fact that the company who is making all the money off of this has control and maintains these cameras is ridiculous. Who sets the standards and regulates this company? That same company is the one telling you that it is for safety and you actually believe it. It’s all about money and that’s all there is too it. How many crashes have those cameras caused by someone slamming on their brakes and someone slamming into the back of them? How does it keep anybody safe to write me a ticket for running a red light when I’m sitting on my couch and my brother is out driving around in my car? That’s what police are for. Most of them are human and can use their discretion on when to write a ticket or not. Let the police handle the traffic enforcement.
      This city needs to trash those cameras and focus on bringin in big business. We need factories and industry that will send some tax money back into the area. It would also bring jobs and raise the population. Stop running off the businesses. We need them all, even the tire places. Palm coast is so bad half of the county annexed into the city of Bunnell to avoid being part of Palm Coast.

      P.S. you might as well just take you license plates off so the cameras can’t see who you are.
      Citation for Improper display of tag is a non moving violation and cost $116.00
      A BS red light violation from Palm Coast cost $158.00
      I’ll take my chances with no tag. Come and get me PC

    • yearight says:

      People aren’t blatantly running red lights, they are getting caught 3 inches from the white line before the light changes to red. You want safety, increase the yellow time.

    • Anonymous says:

      They do NOT drive safer, that’s the whole scam! My vote is to boot out EVERYONE at the next election except for DeLorenzo, the only one willing to stand up for the regular citizen who runs a yellow light (totally legal) and gets his picture taken!

    • Mike says:

      You believe they cause people to drive safer? what at an intersection only? people do not drive safer due to a camera at an intersection. The majority of people will become nervous drivers at intersections causing even more accidents, because they are only focusing on the light and camera, not what is going on around them. People have taken driving for granted instead of a privilege, cell phones, being in a hurry, and total disregard for ones one safety (never mind those around you) have destroyed the act of operating a motor vehicle. This is nothing more than a money maker for the City on PC and the City Manager and council all know it, they have no idea how to generate new business here so they went with this. If you believe anyone will drive safer because of this than you may want to run for political office in over paid under achieving government of Palm Coast.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      “Angle crashes (the crashes most commonly associated with red light running) increased by 22 percent at red light camera intersections,” the study found. “In addition, rear-end crashes (the crashes most commonly associated with the presence of red light cameras) increased statewide by 35 percent at red light camera intersections during the study period. Total crashes at these intersections also increased by 12 percent.” Florida Legislative Report Pans Red Light Camera Safety

      Blondee darlin’, just because they tell you they are doing it to protect you don’t necessarily make it so. In fact, that’s when you should pick up you ears and pay attention, because they are gonna’ pull one over on you. Because don’t ever forget, they really don’t care about you, me or any of us. At all.

  17. James says:

    Maybe some one should explain to the city council that we need industry in this town with jobs which would create revenue for the city instead of bleeding their citizens dry.

    • Pavel Volkov says:

      Agree with this 100%. Yet we all know that several industries have tried to come here, and were denied. Now nobody wants to come here, and the city has to come up with unique ways to create revenue.

  18. Steve Wolfe says:

    Pierre! OMG!!!

    Your scathing editorial here pales in comparison to the audacity of the Palm Coast City Council. There must be another route to tossing the cameras. If ATS uses the same MO to entice cities into contracts, and cities are as evasive as ours has been regarding acceptance of these contracts, then perhaps the way to go is to sue ATS out of existence. Perhaps the ACLU could look into this. I think their MO at ATS involves revealing as little as possible to citizens, with the cooperation of city management, but they do push a bunch of self-serving data and presentations. Anyone can cook data. Anyone can produce sappy videos. But when millions of dollars are at stake, the quality of the fleecing can rise along with the prize.

    As for those who think the cameras have produced better drivers, you may have been taken by the dazzling presentations that were meant solely to sell the system to municipalities for PROFIT. Don’t be ashamed, though. Marketing is evil genius. And one of the most profitable tools is emotion. ATS and the city have done a masterful job (or maybe just good enough) to trick the populace into believing that the intersections are safer. Are they? Based on what? Why do you believe it? Can I also sell you some ocean front property in Arizona if I produce a video that shows breakers in front of a lot with your children playing in them?

    Another conclusion I have reached is that the “take” in the state capital, equaling 50%, is simply buying the silence to opposition that ATS and the City both know will accompany their enslavement of the citizens. Our first recourse is the state. But what will they do? Do you expect them to say, “Oh, OK, you’re right. We’ll let you stop the cameras and we’ll roll over and give up the millions of dollars we are reaping from your own city’s illicit contracting, which cost us NOTHING.” How many more things can we stand for our government(s) to just TAKE and TAKE from us? Geez, Landon was constantly busting the chops of a property owner over regulations for property he didn’t even legally control. In New York and Chicago in the 1920’s, they called that a shakedown.

    This city council keeps revealing one fraud after another. Expect great things from them. Can we expect great things from ourselves? We have great things to do. Let’s roll.

  19. Steve Wolfe says:

    Maybe we should call them, “Wreck Light Cameras.” I know I have to spike my brakes almost every time I get a caution when I approach an intersection. My wife cringes and braces for rear impact. I can’t blame her. Maybe we should get an unattractive sign for the rear of our car that says, “Please stay back 500 feet. We live in Palm Coast.”

  20. Joseph says:

    Pierre you are the man, this article encapsulates everything bit of hemorrhaging our city suffers every year. These red light cameras do not promote safe driving by any means, they promote anxiety and and premature brake wear on our vehicles speeding or not. I can’t even tow my trailer around town without having to slam on the brakes to stop at one of these extortionists because they each have a mind of their own and change from green to red like the wind. Remove these money pits and put in a horse track at the town center, at least we might get something back other than a severe case of heartburn and diarrhea.

  21. djsii says:

    I don’t often agree with Pierre but, on this one he is right on the money (no pun intended).

    For those of you who believe that this is either all about preventing people from running red lights or increasing safety – you couldn’t be more mistaken. This is ALL about the money……’s always been about the money……….and nothing more.

    I’m convinced that there is a certain amount of entrapment that is occurring due to the way the cameras have been implemented. The Florida law mandates minimum yellow light time of 3.4 seconds but there is an engineering equation that is to be used to determine the actual timing for each individual intersection. Based upon what I’ve seen, Palm Coast uses the 3.4 seconds for every intersection and totally disregards the engineering rules for setting the times.

    IT IS A FACT that as the timing of the yellow light increase, the instances of red light violations go down significantly and the number of accidents go down. You can find this information yourself with a simple Google search. By the way, there is no Florida MAXIMUM mandated yellow light time.

    The town could make red light tickets virtually disappear by increasing all yellow light times to 6 seconds. That’s an additional 2.6 seconds of wait time at the light folks (count out it for yourselves). The end results would certainly satisfy all who are worried about the red light runners, it would reduce “intersection stress” caused by the short yellow light times, and reduce rear end accidents that seem to be on the rise.

    The real losers in increasing the yellow light times are those with their hands in your pockets: the state, ATS, and the city council.

    How do we get a referendum on the ballot to increase the yellow light times to 6 seconds? Any takers?

    • w.ryan says:

      Yellow lights may be a problem in itself. There is a period of all stop which may be the answer to all safety concerns. The yellow is just a prepare to stop. The duration of the yellow causes the anxiety or anticipation of the impending red light. Should I stop or should I go? I’ve stopped at the risk of a rear end too many times because I guest wrong. I’ve prayed so many times that I’m not slammed in the rear.

  22. Rob says:

    This is the link to the petition to place removable of the red light cameras on the upcoming election ballot.

    Do you believe that the people who have been elected to run this town actually gives a flying f bomb what the citizens think or want?

    Look at their past performances, both this council and the previous council. I don’t have to list all of the blunders and the my way or highway attitude regarding the policies and directions that the city has undertaken. If it was not for the aggressive reporting of this news organization there are many duplicitous actions that would never have seen the light of day.

    Don’t blame anyone but ourselves because all of us have voted for at least one of these councilors. I voted for one, and should not have voted for a lobbyist who cannot serve two masters.

    Let’s get the petition signed, and be sure to sign it correctly, and get this issue on the ballot.
    Go to the supervisor of elections web site and look up your voter registration card. The information on the petition should mirror the information on the card.

    This city will not change for the better unless the citizens make the change.

  23. Life in the Big City says:

    The news is reporting people are watching Putin’s facial expressions and body language. What about Landon, Netts, and the council?

    Look at Landon’s the last time he talked about the camera’s in the council meeting. He had a smart-alec smirk on it. He gets a sense of satisfaction from the abuse. These guys get their kicks thumbing it in the public’s face but it’s really not the public, it’s the latest person they are showing who’s boss. They lack the character to lead without letting their feelings get in the way of sound judgment at times.

    Did anyone also notice Manfre in that same meeting kissing all their backsides? Netts might as well have gotten up and turned around to, well, leave it to the imagination wander. They are all in bed together and dirty little deals are going on behind the scenes they fool themselves into thinking no one knows about. When you have the local law enforcement being used to threaten the personal and financial well-being of residents on behalf of corrupt city employees and the council, it’s obvious they are all watching each other’s backs for ulterior motives. Why did Mark Carmen get the power and attention he did in the $2.6 million law enforcement deal? What was that about?

    When public servants begin usurping power, the signs of corruption have emerged. These boys running the city let observant concerned citizens like Dennis McDonald and others get into their heads and decisions end up being made out of spite and pay-back rather than the common good at times. They have become weak minded men who have lost their focus and now lack the integrity to serve. When you see a public servant begin to “rule” rather than “serve”, corruption is afoot. They have intentionally been tested in this area to see how they would respond and they did exactly what corrupt minded politicians do – strike back and abuse the public in the process. Want proof, look at the Gus Ajram case just for starters.

    And by the way Gus, state law requires municipalities to pay **ALL** legal fees for eminent domain cases because they have the distinct advantage of using public funds being used against you. You are entitled to it.

  24. karma says:

    The then evil Republican Charlie Christ signed this law into effect. I am sure the new Charlie is 100% against the law today because he was mislead about the effects it would cause on people. Just Sayin

  25. Yellowstone says:

    We need a sign on I-95, “Keep Palm Coast Green – Remember to Stop – Bring Money”

  26. biker says:

    Don’t run red lights and you need not worry about them.

  27. Roy Ostapko says:

    Imagine this:

    $2,400,000 in fines leaving Palm Coast EVERY year
    = 48,000 couples not spending $50 at dinner at a local restaurant….

    Please picture it…imagine 48,000 couples (96,000 people) LINED up at the restaurants

    THIS is what the government has done to Palm Coast business.

    Imagine 47 cops at 47 lights…
    not so offensive as 47 cameras…
    BUT THAT IS WHAT YOU HAVE…47 cops! 24 hours
    (oh, and I admire and respect cops…but not all over my doings and goings.

    I must admit one of the three main reasons I felt I had to leave Palm Coast was the cameras…no vision or CARE of it’s leaders.

  28. Life in the Big City says:

    And by the way, anyone who lost their land or feels they were abused by the city on Bull Dog Drive,

    1.) They never had a right to pull the eminent domain stunt they did. They never owned the land to begin with. You may ALL be entitled to MAJOR COMPENSATION as a result of Ray Tyner, Nestor Abreau, Jim Landon’s or other city employee’s alleged illegal behavior during the process.

    2.) “Notably, Florida is one of the few states that require a condemning authority to pay a property owner’s attorneys’ fees and costs at the conclusion of the case. The public policy behind this is to “level the playing field” to ensure that the government does not have the upper hand in taking an owner’s property.” To clarify and verify, click:

    3.) The Sheriff’s office serves in the unique capacity under federal “Separation of Powers” laws to investigate all alleged fraud and abuse committed by municipal employees. Manfre is required by law to investigate it thoroughly, not blow you off with an opinion or say it’s a civil matter, and if he refuses, you have a right to ask the Governor’s office to step in and do it for him.

  29. Jill S. says:

    I agree with anonymous, I have never received a ticket either but the lights are still stressful and the cautions to short for the large intersections. The comments who say just stop should check their rear view mirror that is the first thing I do before hitting the brake sometimes you can’t , because there is someone riding your bumper. But the worst thing about these cameras is something that has come to light in this article is the astronomical amount of money leaving our town!! You should also consider the people like me who go in shop in Daytona or St. Augustine just to get away from the stress.

  30. General Elector says:

    Do you want to get rid of the Red Light Cameras?
    Join us in the effort to remove them at the link below:

  31. truth monitor says:

    You can’t fix stupid or greed from any government. They don’t have any worries. When they make stupid mistakes that cost thousands of tax money it was an oversight. If they were in private industry they would be fired and be given a less than glowing recommendation. So what,the governments have been deceiving the tax payer’s and have been given campaign money or free renovations to their homes. You are a sucker to trust these red neck bloodsuckers.

  32. To understand the devastating damage that idiot local governments do to their communities with red light cameras, consider the “velocity of money” calculation by the Federal Reserve at 6.5. This means $1 spent in a local store will tend to circulate 6.5 times in a year, generating $6.50 in total economic activity.

    So 6.5 x $2.5 million = $16.5 lost economic activity in the area when $2.5 million is shipped to enrich the state budget and the economy of Arizona where ATS is located.

    City council people with honor and common sense would refuse to that much devastating damage to their local economies. Palm Coast voters will have to vote out the offending council members.

    Florida residents that have had enough of the vicious money grab cameras that have raised the total crash rates by 12% need to call their state Representatives and Senators to insist they enthusiastically and PUBLICLY support House Bill 4009 and Senate Bill 144 to ban the money grab cameras statewide.

    ACTION can end this madness of the money grab cameras. Inaction just gets your pocket picked.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

    • Al Holland says:

      I think you are only tipping the iceberg. How many others avoid Palm Coast roads as much as possible, and shop elsewhere to avoid the instant decision of flooring it or a sudden stop, when close and that light goes yellow.

      • For Al Holland: People can and do change their shopping habits to avoid camera areas. It is a LOT more effective if they go to the shops they used to patronize and talk to the owners/managers to tell them WHY they lost their business. Then talk to the owners/managers of shops in the non-camera areas to tell them how they gained their business.

        James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  33. Charles "Bub" Robson says:

    Take the ILLEGAL cameras down It is simple, you can not confront a camera in court. Our Constitution states everyone has the right to confront their accuser. A camera can’t confront anything. Take the money sucking cameras down. The sooner its done the less money Palm Coast will have to pay back when the court finally rule them UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

  34. Steve Wolfe says:

    What about violation of due process, since you can’t cross-examine a camera, and the cameras do not prove who is driving the car. Has that approach been tried? You have the right to face your accuser.

    It sure is odd how the rules accompanying the cameras are so harsh. Even challenging the ticket cost money, and it seems to me the cameras are NOT above reproach. The motives behind these camera installations are very questionable since there are no studies proving their efficacy, but plenty of drama and wreck videos. Seems like they have made camera laws apart from the existing traffic laws, which protect them from scrutiny.

  35. NortonSmitty says:

    I was wondering when we’d get to this. It’s great that we are waking up and getting angry about how every strata of our governance takes us average proles for granted and milks us like Holsteins to enrich themselves and their friends. So I was not going to piss on the parade of the fine and admirable citizens fighting to get them removed in this blog and all over town. And we still should, but know that after we vote to remove the damn things, our fine Council members insured that Traffic Solutions would get rich for being gracious enough to invest in the cameras and infrastructure in the first place. In other words, they earned their de facto bribes! This is Crony Capitalism at its finest. This ruse was last seen when Jeb Bush allowed Clear Channel and other Billboard Blighters to put up thousands of the ugly cash cows overnight a while back. The Tallahassee Trollop Brigade wrote into the law stipulation that any local ordinance that ordered them removed must pay the owners TWENTY YEARS PROFITS in compensation! Around $720,000.00 for each of the thousands of the cheap I-95 eyesores and others!

    If we try to break the contract, we can look forward to how ATS handled a similar referendum on Houston, Texas:
    “ATS signed a contract with the city of Houston in 2006 that had been responsible for the collection of $44 million in fines until 2010. A ballot initiative was launched in 2010 to try to end the program, which was successfully adopted in November 2010. However, following legal challenges initiated by ATS, a federal judge ruled that the ballot initiative was invalid. The city was compelled to restart the program because it could not afford to pay the $18 million that ATS demanded for the city to buy out of the contract. After the city council once again opted to end the program, ATS increased its demand to $25 million. The dispute between Houston and ATS is ongoing.”

    The law legalizing this theft was promoted and written nationwide by ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), a right-wing project of the Koch brothers that pays for Fed, State and Local Politicians to go to an exclusive retreat (Aspen this year) to be wined and dined and go home and push pre-written laws given to them by Big Business’ lobby whores for election support and speaking fees for their dimwitted brothers. And I’m sure you wont be surprised to hear it is financed by the Great Vampire Squid itself, Goldman/Sachs.

    All quotes in this article come from SourceWatch, /index.php?title=American_Traffic_Solutions . I encourage you to read the article for more of the slimy facts on their lobbying, strong-arming and front groups. Such as the National Coalition for Safer Roads.

    Oh, yea. There is the fact it actually increases accidents wherever it goes: “A University of South Florida from 2008 similarly found that “Comprehensive studies conclude cameras actually increase crashes and injuries.” It suggests that a possible reason for this result is that “increased rear-end crashes…may occur as drivers attempt to stop abruptly in order to avoid a ticket.”

    So I encourage you to sign the petitions and organize to fight this. I will join you when you allow me to buy the rails, tar and feathers.

  36. Paul Henry says:

    Well said.

  37. Kevin says:

    ….what about fluoridation of the water…look into removing that as well for Flagler residents..

  38. Nancy says:

    1. Don’t run read lights. Problem solved.
    2. Saving lives a tad larger incentive than
    3. ‘they’re getting more money than we are’…waa, waa, waa
    p.s. at least the tin foil hat ‘spying on us’ brigade has subsided.

  39. Teddy says:

    Please write Sen. Thrasher and demand that he vote in favor of Senate Bill 144 which will make red light cameras illegal in Florida. The bill will also make this contract extension NULL and VOID and save Palm Coast citizens millions in the process. Follow the link below to email Sen. Thrasher. And pass it on to friends.

  40. Seminole Pride says:

    I have a bad feeling, that if the city doesn’t follow suit and do away with those cameras. The city will go bankrupt with all the lawsuits they will lose to private citizens, special interest groups, and the State of Florida, once they are ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Courts. What is our city waiting for, St. Petersburg is pulling theirs.

  41. says:

    Tallahassee should keep their noses out of our money. they do nothing and yet reap most of the money, there is where your real crooks and scum are.

  42. confidential says:

    This news just up, makes me wonder is allover just Florida style.

  43. Don't Tax Me, Bro. says:

    Pierre, I don’t agree with you on much of anything, but on this issue we stand united. After the bursting of the real estate bubble, “safety” was an easier sell to voters than higher millage rates.

  44. Stephen says:

    Read more on the RLC Fraud:
    camerafraud on Facebook

    • It’s not only red light cameras that is a farce! The greatest blunder in the history of our city is being perpretrated at this very moment! The “fourth” lane on Palm Coast Pkwy! I say; Palm,Coast Pkwy, dosen’t need another lane; Palm coast Pkwy, needs relief! I asked an official; why are there so many “crooked’ roads in Palm Coast? I asked; Why are all of the schools built on the busy streets? Why is Bulldog drive being remodeled? Why is the High School on Rt. 100, still in operation?
      Why does Central Ave.; full of “bumps’, and why so Crooked? The answer; It was the plan!
      The City Manager, AND the City Planner are not doing their jobs!

  45. Diana L says:

    It is easy to sit back and complain. If you really want these cameras removed, why not organize and educate the residents and take action?

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