CCTV on America's streets

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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:26 am

Red Light Running Cameras: Would Crashes, Injuries and Automobile Insurance Rates Increase If They Are Used in Florida?


I have to admit that I (briefly) thought this was a good idea when I first learn of the concept. Within a short period of time I learned that they were a) run by independent contractors with a decidedly revenue oriented goal and b) the municipalities motivation seemingly run in the same vein.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby jamiebk » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:28 am

Haggis@wk wrote:Red Light Running Cameras: Would Crashes, Injuries and Automobile Insurance Rates Increase If They Are Used in Florida?


I have to admit that I (briefly) thought this was a good idea when I first learn of the concept. Within a short period of time I learned that they were a) run by independent contractors with a decidedly revenue oriented goal and b) the municipalities motivation seemingly run in the same vein.


True on both counts. I used to be involved with these systems. My company "bonded" the contractors installing and maintaining the cameras. This is all about the money and has nothing to do with making intersections safer. The systems are purchased by the municipalities on the basis of proposals put forth by contractors who estimate the dollar revenue to the municipality...of course the highest revenue to the municipality wins. The contractors are also paid a percentage of the "take". Lately, a number of cities are simply installing camera boxes and warning signs with no camera...the logic of that evades me.

Sometimes the systems are sold to the cities etc. and they are responsible for all the servicing. I have heard that these things have a history of diminishing returns. As people learn to deal with them, revenues drop and it costs more to run them, than what they bring in. That could account for why the cities install the decoys.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby piqaboo » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:57 am

SAn Diego had a little problem and scandal around the cameras downtown.
Seems the tapes were being reviewed and speeders identified by an employee of the firm who installed the camera. The firm, as noted above, got $ for each one caught. The contract apparently didnt require them to cover the city's costs for each successfully challenged ticket.
After a while, the city decided it would be better to have a cop read em. And I think the number is down.
They seem to be an effective deterrent. They are highlighted and signposted to be very visible.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:35 pm

piqaboo wrote:They seem to be an effective deterrent. They are highlighted and signposted to be very visible.


I ran into them in LA during the same trip when I visited you guys. It seemed to me that the things were always going off when I went pass them although I wasn't speeding or running a red light. Since they've been installed here in Plano I've noticed the same thing; they flash even though I'm driving perpendicular to the camera and no other car is in the lane with the camera, weird.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:45 am

So much about how those red-light cameras were all about safety:

DALLAS - Dallas has turned off about 15 red-light cameras used to monitor busy intersections. The city said the cameras are failing to generate enough red-light-running fines to justify their costs.

Dallas lawmakers originally estimated a gross yearly revenue of about $15 million for the system. The city is about $4 million below that estimate.


Safety second, revenue first, apparently.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby DavidS » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:09 pm

Dallas lawmakers originally estimated a gross yearly revenue of about $15 million for the system. The city is about $4 million below that estimate.

I don't get that at all - looks like the lawmakers have shot themselves in the foot; what's to prevent them from increasing the fines to make them cover the upkeep of the system, as they do in other countries???
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby barfle » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:43 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:Safety second, revenue first, apparently.

Well, duuuh!
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:49 pm

DavidS wrote: I don't get that at all - looks like the lawmakers have shot themselves in the foot; what's to prevent them from increasing the fines to make them cover the upkeep of the system, as they do in other countries???


Unlike Brussel-crats, most of our Dallas Councilmen and women have to get elected and so have to at least pretend to care what the electorate says. Plus, raising fines in Texas is about as popular as root canal without novacaine and a lot more dangerous.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:12 pm

WHEN POLICE DON'T LIKE SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS:

Last year, New York police officers were seen dancing in the streets just before arresting four men in a city nightclub on charges of selling $100 worth of cocaine. It took six months and the men's life savings, but their names were finally cleared when prosecutors took the unusual step of announcing in court that the men had committed no crime.

That's because club surveillance video shows that the undercover cops had no contact with the accused men in the two hours they were in the club.

Now, club owner Eduardo Espinoza says the police are retaliating against him.


Jeez. They'd better get used to it -- surveillance is a two-way street now, and that phenomenon is only going to increase.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:12 pm

Using red light and speed cameras together with tag-reading OCR software to track drivers nationwide.

Private companies in the US are hoping to use red light cameras and speed cameras as the basis for a nationwide surveillance network similar to one that will be active next year in the UK.


Actually, I thought that the system was already active in the UK but I guess it was only in the larger metro areas.

I really have mixed feelings about this. As a Libertarian I deplore it but as a retired law enforcement type I can see some real benefits. I guess I’ll shelve those plans to start a U.S. wide bank robbery spree and then just deplore it.

Or just act paranoid as OT and believe this was the plan of the nameless neocon conspiracists all along. :rofl:

Anyone else have any strong feelings pro or con?
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:22 pm

I've always argued that government owns the roadways and licenses people to use them. They have the right to set the terms and conditions upon which those roadways are used.

Tollways have been used similarly for years, it's not much of a stretch to apply the same principle to the use of freeways.

It only becomes a violation of rights if they turn the cameras away from the right-of-way.

That's not to say I'm happy about it, I think the government's enough of a busy-body as it is, I'm just saying they have the legal right to do so. It's a price we pay for demanding access to the nation's postal routes.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby jamiebk » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:01 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:Using red light and speed cameras together with tag-reading OCR software to track drivers nationwide.

Private companies in the US are hoping to use red light cameras and speed cameras as the basis for a nationwide surveillance network similar to one that will be active next year in the UK.


Actually, I thought that the system was already active in the UK but I guess it was only in the larger metro areas.

I really have mixed feelings about this. As a Libertarian I deplore it but as a retired law enforcement type I can see some real benefits. I guess I’ll shelve those plans to start a U.S. wide bank robbery spree and then just deplore it.

Or just act paranoid as OT and believe this was the plan of the nameless neocon conspiracists all along. :rofl:

Anyone else have any strong feelings pro or con?


It should be controlled like phone tapping (not that that is much controlled these days). But, if someone is to be spied upon, then a court order (warrant) should be required that shows cause for doing so.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:10 pm

jamiebk wrote:It should be controlled like phone tapping (not that that is much controlled these days). But, if someone is to be spied upon, then a court order (warrant) should be required that shows cause for doing so.


That's kind of hard to do. They just take pictures of the street and see who goes where. I don't think the system lends itself to actually tracking a specific individual. The cameras are on and rolling, all they're doing is compling data from the available pictures.

Also, as I note, they are recording openly recordable activity that takes place on public roadways.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby jamiebk » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:13 pm

Shapley wrote:
jamiebk wrote:It should be controlled like phone tapping (not that that is much controlled these days). But, if someone is to be spied upon, then a court order (warrant) should be required that shows cause for doing so.


That's kind of hard to do. They just take pictures of the street and see who goes where. I don't think the system lends itself to actually tracking a specific individual. The cameras are on and rolling, all they're doing is compling data from the available pictures.

Also, as I note, they are recording openly recordable activity that takes place on public roadways.


What I mean is that private use of the data (to track individuals) should require a warrant. I thought that was what the article was about
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:28 pm

Their selling the idea as means to track amber alerts and find stolen cars, but that is just the means to gain acceptance to the idea. I believe the company's intent is to be able to track all sorts of movement - just as companies use GPS to track the location and movement of their vehicles. I don't think warranted surveillance would justify the cost.

As I've noted, it's no different than the police 'tailing' suspects, except that it's done electronically. Tailing suspects does not require a warrant, since the movement being tracked is conducted in the public eye.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby jamiebk » Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:49 pm

Shapley wrote:Their selling the idea as means to track amber alerts and find stolen cars, but that is just the means to gain acceptance to the idea. I believe the company's intent is to be able to track all sorts of movement - just as companies use GPS to track the location and movement of their vehicles. I don't think warranted surveillance would justify the cost.

As I've noted, it's no different than the police 'tailing' suspects, except that it's done electronically. Tailing suspects does not require a warrant, since the movement being tracked is conducted in the public eye.


I've said my piece. If you don't mind big brother following you around, fine with me. Besides...it's not the police using the data...
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Shapley » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:02 pm

I've said mine as well. I said I'm not happy about it, but I think, legally, there is little that can be done. Public spaces are, well, public, and it's a bit of a stretch to demand privacy for what you do there.

Have a good evening!
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon May 18, 2009 4:47 pm

State of surveillance: Ross Clark’s The Road to Big Brother gets a very positive review in the Wall Street Journal.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:34 pm

Tiburon, CA will photograph and record license plate of every visitor to town

This doesn’t come as a surprise to me. The Texas Tollway Authority now records every license plate on their tolls roads because they did away with all the tollbooths and sends your bill directly to you when your car goes through a toll gate.

This seems to go a little farther than that and appears that the presumption here is that you are guilty until proven innocent.
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Re: CCTV on America's streets

Postby jamiebk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:13 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:Tiburon, CA will photograph and record license plate of every visitor to town

This doesn’t come as a surprise to me. The Texas Tollway Authority now records every license plate on their tolls roads because they did away with all the tollbooths and sends your bill directly to you when your car goes through a toll gate.

This seems to go a little farther than that and appears that the presumption here is that you are guilty until proven innocent.


All the little rich people decided that they want to know who is comin' to town. Frankly I think it's absurd. I used to live there before moving to a more sane Sonoma County
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