Hayward Hearing on New Red Light Camera Contract

Red Light Cameras are much more about revenue than safety. In fact, cities are highly motivated to NOT reduce red light running since revenue from camera tickets must exceed the cost of the cameras.

Hayward Hearing on Red Light Camera Proposal

The Hayward Police Dept. is now scheduled to present a new contract proposal for photo enforcement of red light violations to the City Council on Tuesday, March 5th at 7:00 pm at City Hall. Critics of the ticketing program wonder if the Hayward Police and Engineering Departments will disclose that a vast majority of violations occur within a fraction of a second after a light turns red.

An analysis of the data provided by the City shows that 71% of violations from the straight through lanes of traffic occur within the first 7/10's of a second of the red light. One signal light in Fremont had 7/10's added to its yellow and there was an immediate and lasting 75% reduction in violations of the straight through type. Newark which already employs yellow lights 7/10's of a second longer than the legal minimum report that fewer than 10% of all violations occur in the straight through lanes of traffic. Oakland reported in one study period a 48% reduction from all lanes of traffic when one second was added to most of its yellow lights.

Camera critics contend this simple and inexpensive solution to any red light running problems is not more widely used because it severely impacts revenue. When Caltrans lengthened that one yellow light in Fremont, income fell by over $100K annually. On March 5th Hayward may reveal how it chooses to balance safety needs vs. revenue requirements.

Send your comments to Hayward City Council in care of the city clerk    cityclerk@hayward-ca.gov     or attend the meeting.  I would appreciate a copy of your comment.

Roger Jones, Organizer   rlouisj@aol.com


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Jack Turner February 26, 2013 at 09:44 PM
I think it would be important to mention the charges of Redflex's corruption coming out of Chicago. There is strong evidence that they bribed city officials for the rights to install cameras. They have now been banned from any future contracts with the city (which makes up 13% of their annual profits). I think Newark, Fremont, and Hayward need to consider these allegations seriously and question their business relationship with Redflex. San Diego just dumped them and I think it is only a matter of time before they go bankrupt as trading of their stocks has been suspended in Australia.
cliff logan February 27, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I live outside of Kansas City Mo, and there has been the controversy of Red light cameras here. I like them, the reason is, if there was a red light camera at the light this guy ran and I t-boned him, the accident would've been labeled as his fault. If you find it necessary to gas it to make it through the light, then you deserve a ticket. (Yes I am very much guilty of doing this). It's like speeding you're only remorseful when you get caught.
Roger February 27, 2013 at 04:52 AM
Jack and others: It should be a matter for Cities to weigh and consider. "Should we continue our relationship with this company amid these serious allegations of corruption?" Especially Hayward which is negotiating with Redflex at this very moment. Oakland is preparing a presentation to its Public Safety Committee in April of this also. Will that question be asked in Oakland?
Roger February 27, 2013 at 07:27 PM
There are many readers of Newark Patch who think this Hayward camera issue does not affect them. The process is similar from camera town to camera town. Stopping camera programs in one city should help influence other cities to do the same. Here is a 3-minute youtube video which might be a good indication of how Newark tickets some offenders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrddF-QaJxI
Jack Turner March 01, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Looks like Redwood City could be next to drop the cameras. Could be the beginning of the end for this industry in California. Newark should pull out while they still can to save the taxpayer's money. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/peninsula&id=9008636
Nick March 01, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Good stuff, waste of money and time. My neighbor and I were talking about how the cameras work....not traffic safety. I love it where Lawyer Sydney Hall is suing because it's arbitrary, half of all violators are charged. Come on, you got 90MPH speeders driving down 101 and one policeman, only one out of those 5 will be caught and if you're Sydney Hall, you hope you're not that one....ain't that arbitrary as well? Isn't that unfair for the 1 while the other 4 got away?
Tim March 01, 2013 at 08:08 PM
I am outright against these damn things. It has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with generating revenue. Fortunately, the locations are posted with "photo enforced" signs and in your home areas you learn where they are. I just slam on the breaks when I see a yellow light. How's that for safety? In AZ they used to have photo enforcement of speed limits on the freeways. I got nailed on I-17 north of Phoenix where the speed limit dropped from 75 to 55 in a one mile stretch. Anything over 10mph over the limit triggered a violation. Fortunately, once the fat slob Napolitano who implemented the program left for the Obama admin, the new Governor Jan Brewer pulled the plug on the program. Democrat tax and spend politicians see these cameras as a way to shake us down to keep funding bloated salaries and pensions of public employees.
Jack Turner March 07, 2013 at 04:13 PM
The cameras are coming down in Hayward with a 6-1 decision by their city council. Redflex share price has been cut in half due to the Chicago scandal and now two other cities are being investigated for similar corruption. I still find it odd that it has been 1.5 months since Officer Hernandez took the Redlight Camera FAQ page down. Is the Newark City Council considering ending their contract early like Hayward? Let's hope so.
Roger March 08, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Jack: Officer Hernandez is not a sworn officer. She is a community service officer who does nothing else (as far as I know) except issue 7,000 camera tickets per year and attend court trials and testify as the witness to the "crime." She has never pulled out a ticket book and pen and written a citation. She has no authority (as I could possibly imagine) to take downa FAQ page. Will Newark be considering exiting photo enforcement?? Why? They have the most PROFITABLE program in the area. Roughly 1,800 tickets per camera. Fremont is profitable at 900 tickets per camera. Newark issues 88% of tickets to right turners. 88%. Some cameras issue as much as 98%. Let's do something. Write to City Council. How many right on red accidents have their been in 10 years. Was there such violence that fines in the neighborhood of $15,000,000 in fines were necessary. By the way, the number of violations is NOT COMING DOWN. Wasn't MASSIVE ticketing supposed to teach everyone a lesson and thereby reduce the number of violations. Why aren't there more than a handful of people upset enough to a darn thing.
Tim March 08, 2013 at 05:06 AM
You bring up an interesting point about these cameras. How can "community officer Hernandez" testify against you in court on a violation resulting from a photo ticket when she didn't even witness the violation? We supposedly have "the right to confront our accusers" in a court. I would argue that if the camera isn't in court to testify that the case should be dismissed. Now, I know a traffic court judge wouldn't give that defense more than a minute before finding you guilty but I would think that if someone had the resources to run one of these citations up the flag pole that it would be ripe for a Constitutional challenge.
Roger March 08, 2013 at 09:22 PM
About the right to confront your accuser. This matter has been addressed in front of many levels of Courts - Supreme Court on down. Eventually, every court dismisses the argument. Still, there are a few cases pending but don't expect much. At best a very, very few "offenders" may put in the hours and money to appeal a verdict, but it probably never happen that any defendant representing themselves, will be able to "object as to hearsay or foundation" and gain an easy dismissal. At best, this remedy will only be available to those who hire an attorney and appear before certain magistrates.
Roger March 08, 2013 at 09:27 PM
The Public Safety Committee of Oakland will be the next Bay Area venue to take up the issue of whether to get in or get out of the camera business. Right now the matter is scheduled for public hearing on April 9 in Oakland. The most interesting thing about Oakland is that the engineers actually added about 1 second to their camera enforced yellow lights and violations went down immediately. When the police found out some wrangling ensued and 4 months later the yellow lights were shortened back to their original settings. It is obvious to any observer that when camera enforcement is used, the incentive is keep red light running HIGH. The revenue is absolutely necessary to pay Redflex and hopefully have some $$$ left over for the city (after the County and State received their cut). Everything I say is true and well documented. Time to protest, you thinK?


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