What the city doesn’t want you to know…

Let’s begin with the core of the scam – red light cameras. That’s how these programs gain initial public support. Who can argue against fining dangerous “red-light runners”? Nobody. Not even WiseUpWinnipeg. Society should double the fines for red-light runners. Real red-light runners, that is. Most everyone who has received one knows that they did not “run” a red light – the amber light was simply inadequate. The program knows very well that more than 90% of their “red-light runners” are trapped within the first second of the change to red – with 80% trapped within the first 3 tenths of that second. Those are not red-light runners. This contrived scheme is called the Dilemma Zone and it’s the foundation of any camera program. Drivers face the challenge of braking unreasonably hard or, hesitate before proceeding through, resulting in a red light violation and/or a speeding ticket. Besides producing nearly all of the programs “red-light runners” – the profitable short-amber scheme is also responsible for the increased collisions. That is due to sudden braking and general panic around intersections as drivers adjust to this unnecessary intersection crisis.

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The City of Winnipeg program data will reflect this fact however they have refused to make it publicly available – stating that the data is in the control and possession of their private partner ACS Public Sector Solutions, contrary to the documented fact that the city owns the violation data and images. Through legislation and public pressure stemming from exposed program data, many cities and municipalities have increased amber times in consideration of driver fairness and true safety – with the result being the immediate disappearance of the vast majority of “red-light runners”. As well, with the elimination of the crisis created by profitable short ambers, accidents of all types decrease permanently, by as much as 72% (2 yr compilation of intersection accident data available, Department of Transportation, State of Georgia).

The City of Mesa, Arizona, for stated reasons of safety, extended amber times by one second. The above expected results were immediate however it was not good news to all – their contractor, ACS, took a legal position against the city for tampering with profits, which was prohibited under their contract. WiseUpWinnipeg has requested the Winnipeg/ACS contract be made public however it was refused. Again more obstruction.

Senator Barry Loudermilk (Rep. Georgia), the author of the legislation that exposed this unfair, dangerous and profitable scheme in his state, was in Winnipeg on March 29th, 2010 to present to local officials the remarkable safety-success story of his increased amber legislation. Among others, the Mayor, Premier and ACS were invited to attend. None came including the Premier, who stated in response to WiseUpWinnipeg’s invitation on CJOB radio, that the city program certainly had to be about safety, that he was interested in the Georgia precedent of extending amber times and that he or a colleague would attend.

The City of Winnipeg photo enforcement program operates under Provincial government “Conditions of Authority” which dictates requirements of the program including the primary requirement of achieving safety gains, which are to be reported to the province annually. Failing to meet requirements is grounds for termination of the program. The City has not met most of the required conditions since inception. Quite some time ago now, the city commissioned an independent study of the now multi-year safety results of their program. The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) report was due last October however has been delayed for unstated reasons. It has been in the possession of the City of Winnipeg since March 7th 2011 and has been circulated internally as “confidential”. Why?

The resistance by the City to make amber times adequate is simple. The “red-light running epidemic” is more like a “red herring” to justify the program’s operations and obscene profits. Public attention must focus on the predatory abuse of the rest of the programs violations – with the vast majority being generated from locations targeted for reasons of inadequate speed zones and signage.

It’s time to take action and let our government know that we will no longer tolerate this abuse of power.

MUST READ

Is Red-Light Running Crisis Intentional? (PDF, 237KB)
2006 Program Review Audit (PDF, 529KB)
Provincial Conditions Of Authority (PDF, 191KB)

Todd Dube
WiseUpWinnipeg

7 Responses to “Scam Exposed”

  1. I received a parking ticket and a subsequent tow. I fought the ticked and the charge was stayed. I asked the Crown and the judge for my money as to respect to the tow, the storage and administration fees. They instructed me to go to the Parking Authority. I was told by the Parking Authority to contact 311. I did over the next few months and endless conversations with 311 operators I was told that a stayed charge is not an admission of guilt by the City of Winnipeg. They will not refund my tow, the ticket however will not be charged as the charge was stayed. I proceeded to small claims, we will be in court on October the 26th 2012. After reading some of the comment above I at least feel better knowing that I am not the only one fighting this corrupt city government. Mayor Katz should be ashamed allowing such nonsense to continue.

    You can not control the Crowns actions to stay the charge but apparently if a charge is stayed you are responsible for the ticket irregardless. Imagine going to court to recover your monies having the charged stayed and still being out money. I guess the presumption of guilt is on the citizen.

    Imagine a thousand stayed tickets where a tow was enforced and no recourse. Someone is making a lot of money! Besides after five court appearances who has the time to fight the city. Horrible nightmare I do not wish on anybody.

    All the City of Winnipeg has done is legalize theft. Unethical and other commenters have valid points, the city is corrupt to the core and it shows.

  2. Unethical says:

    Winnipeg police are a Jew activated phalanx of low brow non thinking degenerative disconnected gun toting psychopaths who seek self esteem by targeting innocent citizens for financial termination. Their death mobiles say “building relationships” Sure….with your bank account. The police are not here to help you. They don’t care at all whether you are safe. They just want your money. They want you to freak out during traffic stops so they can use terrorism as an excuse to remove your rights. I respect the Winnipeg police like a 1938 Austrian Jew respects a member of the Nazi party. It isn’t respect. Its a justifiable fear of oppression and murder.
    Don’t help police. Don’t talk to police. Don’t look at police. They will wield a power against your life that they ought not have. Craven cowards the lot.

  3. Craig Clow says:

    I have noticed the lights at the red light camera locations are not working properly. On a normal light if you watch the pedestrian light the flashing hand is supposed to go solid for at least 3 seconds before the light changes to yellow. This is to give drivers time to brake. I drive all over the city and not one of the red light camera lights work properly. At Bishop and River the pedestrian hand continues to flash and the light changes to yellow the second the hand goes solid. At Route 90 and Silver the hand is solid the whole time. All of the lights are not set up properly and to me this seems like entrapment if you are not given a chance to stop. I have not got one of these invitations to donate any money but if I did I would sure tell them where they can stick it. The City should have to return all the revenue from these places if the light is set up to catch you. Of course the house always wins so fat chance of that happening.

    • Chris Sweryda says:

      I’m very well aware of that issue. Autopac and the city tell drivers to watch the pedestrian display because if the hand is flashing, the light is “stale” and you should prepare to stop. They are very unpredictable. I’ve timed some that flash for 50 sec right down to 10 sec. There’s also cases where the hand will flash and then go back to the walk phase without the light having changed. In reality, the pedestrian display means nothing towards what the light is going to do.

  4. Jesse says:

    I’m sorry but the police do not have any say over when a trial date is set. The accused comes to 373 Broadway and tells the clerk at the front counter that they wish to plead guilty or not guilty. If they plead guilty then they can enter their plea on that day. If they plead not guilty then a trial date is set. Trial dates are set by the court clerks and are set based on the the availability of the courtrooms. As one might expect only so many matter can appear on each trial date. Trial dates are usually set for a few months in advance so that the Crown Prosecutors will have time to inform the officer that they will be required to appear in court. Officers are paid to come to court because this is part of their job and all people have the right to be paid to do their job. They get paid extra if they go to court on their days off because like everyone else when you work overtime you deserve to be paid for it. Labour Laws require that there be a certain amount of time off between each shift and that all people get time off from work.

    The only other option would be to require that trials not be set unless the Police Officer is on shift on that date and time and is therefore on duty. This is unlikely to happen because it would significantly slow down an already slow system. The rules for trials are the same whether you are charged with speeding or murder and to try and schedule any trial around the availability of the Crown Prosecutor, the Defence Attorney, the Accused, the Judge, the Court Clerk and the courtroom is hard enough. If we had to schedule around the availability of the Police Officers (in some cases there may be many of them) would most likely break our justice system.

    In the end, I have to say that Police Officers are no different than you and me, if my boss told me I had to come in at 10:00 AM on my only day off in a week after I had just come off the midnight to 8 AM shift I would want overtime pay as well. People spend all of their time saying that it’s not fair, but rarely care if it is fair for anyone else.

    Also, for less serious matters (i.e. not a murder) if the Police Officer is not available because they are on their annual vacation (not their one day off a week) then the Crown will either drop the charges or will ask the court to set up a new trial date for when the officer is not on vacation. The Crown, the Courts and the police are working to make sure that the cost of all matters is kept as low as possible.

  5. Yes, this is common. They call it something like a “golden day”. It’s when they have a day off, and are required to appear in court for representation, and they make very good money for appearing an hour or so in court per day.

    If they appear in court on a normal working day, they are paid straight time. If they appear on, let’s just say vacation time(and you know the right magistrate to set up your court dates during said vacation time-nudge nudge, wink wink), that’s the big money for them, as it’s time and a half, on top of vacation pay, and paid for the whole day.

    So, what side of the law are we, the cattle, on? The losing side, of course.

  6. Ron says:

    Knowing two policeman personally, I was disgusted to learn they rapidly sign up to work a well paid overtime in St. Norbert. They rake in a ton of cash..were their exact words.

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