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Florida Shortened Yellow Lights to Gain Revenue

14 May

Red light camera system at the Springfield, Oh...

Red light camera system (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Florida reduces the time on yellow lights by only a fraction of a second and gains $50 million in traffic light revenue.

Traffic light revenues are important because they’re ultimately based on the presumption that we can be charged for an offense that no one actually witnessed.  Yes, some cop may later “witness” the video tape, but that strikes me a kind of hearsay since the cop didn’t witness the actual event.  If the government is allowed to impose fines based on the “testimony” of machines and without eye-witnesses, it won’t be long before you’re issued a ticket for using too much toilet paper based on a computer that monitors your bathroom.

On the one hand, the use of machines (like computers and video recorders) to penalize offenses may be a good thing since such mechanical monitors may help reduce the incidence of offenses and crimes.  On the other hand, the use of machines like computers and video recorders to penalize offenses may be a bad thing since they allow government to grow more efficient and ever-larger without the cost of adding additional personnel.  Mechanical and electronic enforcement devices are conducive to a police state.

It might be a good idea to stop traffic light tickets as an exercise in rejecting the police state.  If the traffic light schemes could be defeated today, we might thereby preempt a number of other mechanical devices headed our way that are intended to monitor and control us without the cost of a living cop.  In the end, the police state is a business.  If you can devise ways to restrict its income, you can also restrict its growth.

In the video below, it’s interesting to see how many government officials, private contractors and politicians insist that the yellow light intervals were shortened for “safety” reasons rather than to increase revenue for government and political  campaign contributions (bribes) for politicians.  They implicitly insist that government is here to help us–not help itself.  They’re lying.

By shortening the duration of yellow lights, the government “encourages” some drivers to panic when they see the yellow light and make split-second decisions to stop or go.  If they go, they may get a ticket.  If they stop, they may get a rear-end collision. An increase in rear-end collisions is inconsistent with government claims of acting to increase “public safety”.  But gov-co doesn’t care if there are more rear-end collisions.  They only care if there are more tickets and more revenue.

If you challenge your red light traffic ticket, Florida courts may be able to double the fine from $184 (by mail) to over $400 (in court).  Someone needs to devise an effective counter-suit against red light video traffic tickets. If the government lost a few $100,000 lawsuits while trying to make $184 on traffic tickets, those tickets would diminish dramatically.

•  It occurs to me that if the red light camera can record both your car and your license plate, they should also be able to record any signs or symbols that appear on your car in the vicinity of your license plate.

If so, what if you added a bumper sticker that reads “Not In Commerce” next to your license plate?  If the officer who later views the video tape sees evidence that the vehicle both 1) ran the red light; but 2) was not in commerce, could the officer issue a traffic ticket?  Would the ticket be enforceable?

What if you glued an image of the true, American flag, hanging vertically and “at peace” on the bumper near the front and rear license plates?  Would that be enough to signal that the vehicle was within a State of the Union and not operating in a territory or “state of emergency”?  Could the officer who viewed the recording of the alleged offense still issue a ticket?

What if you affixed a true image of the flag of your State of the Union to your bumper?  Assuming the “The State vs. this state” hypothesis is true, the license plate would indicate the vehicle was in or property of “this state”.  But the flag of the State of the Union would indicate that vehicle was within The State.  Displaying the flag of the State of the Union might not win your case, but it might provide sufficient evidence to raise a “conflict of law” (did the alleged event take place within the jurisdiction of “this state” or “The State”?).  By merely introducing evidence of a conflict of law into the record, would you inhibit the police from proceeding?

What if you painted the cites for critical court cases on your bumper, or trunk or tailgate on your pickup?

What if you painted the terms of your consent to be stopped by a police officer who was de facto rather than de jure?  I.e., what if you painted a notice near your license plate that you agreed to be stopped and ticketed by any de facto officer of “this state” for $100,000 per ticket.  I wouldn’t necessarily expect such strategy to work . . . but what if . . . ?

You can think of scores of other messages and/or notices that you might want to post close enough to your license plate that they could be read and recorded by both traffic light cameras and the video cameras on the dash of police cruisers.  If your choice of “bumper notices” was astute, you might be able to introduce evidence into the record of some of your courtroom defense to traffic tickets by means of the police recording of your traffic stop.

What the cameras giveth, the cameras can also taketh away.  The same photos or videos that could be used against you in court, might also be used to introduce evidence on your behalf.  Interesting possibility, no?

video   00:07:56

http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=316418

 
 

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13 responses to “Florida Shortened Yellow Lights to Gain Revenue

  1. Muddy Water

    May 14, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    I drove through a muddy puddle once, and mud splashed on the license plates. Someday I’ll have to take it in to the carwash.

     
    • Forster

      May 14, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      In addition to reacting to the creeping police state with stickers, disclaimers, and mud on your car, try to proactively get the right people elected to local office so nonsense like this doesn’t happen in the first place.

      If we’re to believe that the creeping police state is really a serious concern, let us work against it with all available means.

       
  2. Gary

    May 14, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Hi Al:

    A bit of investigation (at least in Texas) proves that the company producing the red light cameras is required under state law to possess an “investigator’s license” issued by the state in which they are “doing business”. The company does not hold the license, and is therefore disqualified to provide evidence of any alleged crime or infraction committed. Additionally, the accused is guaranteed the right to face their accuser. The cop witnessing the video is providing only hearsay testimony as he/she did not witness the live event. Hearsay testimony is inadmissible. The “red light camera” makes a terribly inefficient witness for the state. The witness summoned to the hearing, (the witness being the red light camera) failed to show and present testimony. Case dismissed.

     
  3. Harry

    May 14, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    I fought one of these tickets and won on appeal, I believe I some good arguments for err in procedural law but in the end I think the appellate court just used a published case that I cited requesting dismissal at the original trial to justify reversal. There were some issues concerning the private company “RedFlex” personnel viewing confidential documents. The prosecution witness (Viewing officer) testifying as an expert witness and case histories that presented wherein it is legal to run a red light for the “sake of safety” Here is the opening brief that I presented to the appelate court.

    ORANGE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT, COUNTY OF ORANGE

    JUSTICE CENTER: Central
    Civil Operations — Appellate Division
    700 Civic Center Dr. West
    Santa Ana, CA 92701

    APPELLANT: Harry XXXXX– pro per
    XXXX XXXXXX Way
    Buena Park, CA 90620
    (XXX) XXX-XXXX

    RESPONDANT: People of the State of California
    Anthony Rackaukas –O.C. District Attorney
    P.O. Box 808, Santa Ana, CA 92702

    Appellate Case Number: 30-2010-00400115

    Trial Case Number: GG049582PE

    Appeal From a Judgment [or Order] Of The Superior Court, County of
    Orange, West Justice Center Hon. Beatriz M G Gordon (W4) , Judge
    Relief sought: Overturn of conviction
    Appealed from: conviction 7/29/2010 VC 21453(a)
    This judgment is final.

    APPELLANT’S OPENING BRIEF

    SUMMARY OF FACTS
    A review of the record combined with filed documents will reveal that the court made several errors in procedural law.

    1. DISCOVERY REQUEST ERROR

    Docket report pg. 2 6/29/10 (9 MTOBY), (10 MOTION)
    I believe that the trial court committed error in not granting motion for dismissal, grounds prosecution failure to comply with discovery, in light of the fact that the prosecution had been properly served discovery request documents [FILED] which in part indicated that failure to comply would be deemed a failure to prosecute. The very same attorney whom is representing the people in this appeal case, and therefore there was no justifiable cause to order the prosecution wittiness to comply with discovery whom fell short in this endeavor.

    2. DISCOVERY COMPLIANCE ERROR

    Docket report pg. 3 7/27/10 (7 MOTBY) (8 MOTION) (9 TRTXT)
    (10 TRXT)
    At trial I motioned for dismissal, grounds insufficient evidence and cited People vs Khaled case number 30-2009-00304893. The Judge denied this motion and said “that is why I am going to conduct a 402 evidence hearing”. This was clearly designed to circumvent the Khaled ruling wherein the Judge admitted and marked as exhibit A, a written summary of Officer Holders Foundational testimony. I was not given a copy of this crucial document which adversely affected the outcome of my trial.

    3. UNWARRANTED INTERUPTION OF DEFENCE ARGUMENT

    During trial I was attempting to cite a portion of VC 21455.5 in order to lay a foundation for argument when the trial judge committed an error by abruptly interrupting me stating “I Know The Law” which effectively stopped me from presenting my argument. Considering the fact that I had already been in this court room on several occasions and had witnessed other cases handled by this Judge. The demeanor of this court left me with the impression that a defendant was considered guilty until proven innocent.

    SUMMARY

    The record shows that the court was well aware of discovery requests in this matter and still the court either intentionally or unintentionally chose to disregard the defendants rights in this area. I was met with resistance when I tried to follow the law as my research indicated and therefore was never given the opportunity to present arguments and case histories up to and including those that would have been generated by discovery that was never provided. There other facts concerning the traffic infraction case while not necessarily relevant to the disposition I feel that the appellate court should be made aware. The citation was generated on 8/9/2009 with an address of 300 N. Rampart St. Orange Ca., I had recently moved to 6348 Arnold Way Buena Park Ca. A DMV records search would reveal that I lawfully submitted a change of address within the 10 day period as well as to the U.S Post Office. I never received the original citation until trial (Docket Report pg. 2 6/29/2010 12/13 CPGTO). I first became aware of the citation on or about 5/16/2010 through a Notice of Intent to Suspend letter from DMV which showed violations 21453AVC (red light) and 405095VC (FTA) which meant that a bench warrant had been issued and I was subject to arrest. This action by the court was a clear violation of my constitutional right to due process notice of hearing enacted by the 14th amendment. I came to court (Docket Report pg1 5/20/2010 1 CLADD / 2 HHELD) before Judge Beatriz M G Gordon for arraignment, motioned for dismissal grounds constitutional rights violation. She denied the motion and rationalized by stating “The FTA has already been dismissed”. Prior to coming before I had heard her say that there were very rare conditions in which an FTA could be dismissed such as out of the country on active military duty. I was surprised that she would dismiss my FTA automatically without argument. While I understand that V C Section 40518 allows for a certificate of mailing to be obtained as evidence of service, this situation shows a hole in the judicial system where a U.S. citizen’s constitutional rights can be violated which is exactly what Thomas Jefferson was trying to avoid. There is information available pertaining to the National Motorist Association investigation and subsequent position concerning Photo enforcement equipment and application at —- http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras

    Sincerely,
    Harry B. Tapp II

     
  4. gary lee, [Russell], sui juris

    May 14, 2013 at 9:10 PM

    Alfred, where my license plate used to be is placed “No contract with CA DMV”
    “NOT COMMERCIAL per CVC 260”
    and immediately above that is “PRIVATE CAR NOT FOR HIRE”, as it is on all four sides of my car, so their dash camera sees it and it is all they have to call in to identify my car. I also record and stream live to my Facebook any stop with QIK app on my I phone, so even if they get my phone, it is already posting on Facebook, where about 90 “friends” turn around and repost it, so the cop has no where to hide. I tell the stopping cop he is being recorded and streaming live from both the I phone on my dash and a mounted GOPRO that streams live to my You Tube account at the same time.

    it would be interesting to come up with a way to “define” the venue you are travelling in as you are in your car……now you got me thinking…. : )

     
  5. D. Majewski

    May 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    All red light camera tickets are unconstitutional. They are a bill of pains and penalties. Take a look at the definition of Bill of Attainder from Black’s Law, Sixth Edition:

    Bill of attainder. Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial. United States v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 449-49, 85 s.Ct. 1707, 1715, 14 l.Ed. 484, 492; United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303, 315, 66 S.Ct. 1073, 1079, 90 L.Ed. 1252. An act is a “bill of attainder” when the punishment is death and a “bill of pains and penalties” when the punishment is less severe; both kinds of punishment fall within the scope of the constitutional prohibition. U.S.Const Art. I, Sec. 9, Cl. 3 (as to Congress); Art. I, Sec. 10 (as to state legislatures).

     
    • Adask

      May 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      American Jurisprudence 2 includes an article on “administrative law”. According to that article, under administrative law, all three fundamental powers of government (legislative, executive and judicial) are combined under a single authority or jurisdiction. For example, when you go to a traffic court, the cop, prosecutor, judge and even the city council are working for the same corporate employer and all have a common interest in collecting a fine from you that can be used to pay their salaries. Thus, under administrative law, there is no constitutionally-required “separation of powers” and whatever court you attend is not a “judicial” court.

      In the absence of “separation of powers,” administrative courts are not “judicial” courts. Thus, an administrative court or tribunal is at least partially similar to the definition of “bill of attainder” that you provided in that they provide “punishment . . . without a judicial trial”.

      As I understand “bill of attainder,” the essential feature is that a law is passed that specifically names a particular individual or group for punishment and expressly denies them a judicial trial. That doesn’t seem to be happening under administrative process in traffic law–unless it could be argued that a traffic ticket is kind of “legislative act” that names the particular driver as the person to be “punished without a judicial trial”. I doubt that a traffic ticket can be successfully described and challenged as a “legislative act”.

      Still, your definition of “bill of attainder” is so similar to the definition of “administrative law” that it might yet be possible to argue that all administrative process constitutes a “bill of attainder”. I can’t say that that argument would prevail, but it might. I suspect it would at least cause our adversaries to roll their eyes, stop and think–maybe even dismiss a case rather than confront that argument.

       
    • Doug

      May 16, 2013 at 6:14 AM

      After witnessing 1,000,000 blatant violations of the not so meaningful Con-sti-stupid one might consider that maybe there ain’t none. The ability for “this state” to prosecute rests upon contracts and agreements … like the LICENSE (permission to do what would otherwise be illegal, a trespass, or a tort) you applied (begged) for and now must present to the (TRAFFIC) revenue officer.

       
  6. Yartap

    May 15, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Here in Georgia, a traffic camera violation or traffic light violation is placed upon the “owner” of the car and not upon the actual violator or driver of the auto. So, the guilty party is “collectively” adhered to the owner party. I find this to be unconstitutional. But the state justifies the policy of placing the blame upon the owner by saying that the owner must control those who use the auto and the auto was used in a violation of statue.

    Remember: It’s all about the money or revenue, so make it cost them.

    A friend of mine was charged for a traffic light camera violation when his wife went through a light’s yellow then red. He paid the fine of $250 dollars. Later, she thought she had done it again. So, he hide the car and reported it stolen that same day. Police took a report from him. The next day he called police to come take finger prints on his discovered stolen car, he had found on the side of the road. More police time and money spent. Later on, sure enough, he got a citation for the traffic violation which showed the car, but could not make out the driver. He presented this to the police and his fine was dropped.

    I would not have done what my friend did, but this is what happens when a person is completely had enough of the system. It’s the subversion of the Common Law, which leads men to do these things.

     
  7. Michael

    May 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Bottom line, in Florida the red light cameras are easily defeated. These type tickets are being defeated in other areas where these cameras have been istalled as well. You cannot make the owner of these purported red light camera offenses liable. This is just a money making scheme and has no basis even in their “law”. “Drivers” that run red lights must be witnessed as doing such, not the “vehicle” running a red light. Photographing the plate o the car does not cut it.

     

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