Italian Officials Charged For Corruption In Red Light Camera Deal

from the all-done-to-bump-up-revenue dept

Over and over again we’ve seen cases where cities clearly put in red light cameras not for safety purposes (despite that being the “official” reason), but to increase revenue. For example, many cities have been caught decreasing the time of the yellow light before it turns red — a move that definitely increases accidents and puts people at risk, against the law. However, since it increases the number of cars that run red lights, it means more revenue. If this all seems very corrupt, it appears that in at least some places, that corruption might be explicit. Reader Murdock points us to the news that 38 public officials in Italy may face charges for accepting kickbacks and bribes in association with a redlight camera company, to install such cameras, decrease the timing on yellow lights, and then collect money. Oh, and it worked. Lots of money was made, but it’s not clear that anyone was any safer.

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Comments on “Italian Officials Charged For Corruption In Red Light Camera Deal”

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:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: T n T!

Also, tautology is tautology…

it isnt(sic) about the technology, it is about criminal acts. too bad you cant see the real story, and instead you focus only on your own agenda.

Yes, a tech news blog that reports news about tech abused! How transparent can their agenda be?! I suggest you find a wall and chide it for being too wall-like.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“too bad you cant see the real story, and instead you focus only on your own agenda.”

His agenda is to have all red light cameras removed leading to massive widespread car accidents causing a gigantic economic crisis and in the midst of this crises he will invest money in the stork market and become wealthy off of the recovery. Cynical, I know.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why do that when it’s easier to just steal as many albums from iTunes as possible and sell them on the black market to the likes of Pirate Bay? I hear they’ve got plenty of money for it…

Wow, I don’t know who told you that but you should quit listening to them. They’re just trying to fill you full of crap (as if though you could be any fuller of it).

Freedom says:

Re: AZ not renewing cameras

When I heard Jan Brewer’s announcement that the Red Flex Contract in Arizona (yes, the evil racist state – argggg!) was dead, it was truly one of the happiest days I’ve had.

The first thing I wondered was if this was a political move to stop the gross root movement for the ballot initiative. Effectively those for the cameras willing to take a short term loss to avoid a ballot initiative that would effectively ban them forever sort of thing. I am personally VERY happy to see the ballot initiative is moving forward – just hope it hasn’t lost steam for those to vote for it with the freeway cameras being pulled now.

The second thing was – WOW – Jan Brewer has done a complete 180 and the Governor’s race is now her’s to lose. She went from OMG, really type candidate to a rock star over night. Despite national press, she has around 70% support according to the polls for the new immigration bill, killing the camera contract is another hit out of the park, and she has stuck to her guns on trying to get funding for the schools via the Prop 100 tax increase. While I personally think Prop 100 is the wrong move (I’m a smaller government guy), politically is the right one as publicly it has conveyed an image that she fought other Republicans for the children, but yet has shown an refreshingly strong conservative tone with immigration reform and the cameras.


Hephaestus (profile) says:

Just a thinking outside the box a little ... Murder or Depraved Indifference

The reduction in the duration of yellow lights around the US has more than likely lead to accidents. I was wondering if any of you legal wizards could answer a question.

If an individual or group reduces the time of a yellow light, below that required under local or state law, in order to profit the town or themselves. Then someone dies. Would this be Depraved Indifference or murder?

To me it seems like it could fit both definitions.

Has anyone yet been charged for this?

Might be a simple way to get red light cameras removed once and for all. What politician would want them if he knew he could be held accountable. Anyway thats my outside the box thinking for today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Just a thinking outside the box a little ... Murder or Depraved Indifference

We all too often get caught up discussing the fate of the jerk behind a desk who signed the order to reduce the yellow light length, but what about the technician?

Here’s a person who is doing something he knows will hurt people and does so without question or complaint. I think it would be depraved indifference because he knows people will get hurt when he changes the settings, but he’s not there with a remote control pushing the “all lights go green” button when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.

I’ve always wondered about the thought process of the technician who is knowingly following orders he knows will cause undue harm. Maybe “Well sure somebody could die but I got a wife and kids and a mortgage, so I can’t blow the whistle on my boss!”

Tip: If you’re boss is asking you to put people in harm’s way just so he can line his pockets, it’s time to get a new job. Anyone who carries out an unethical order is going to have blood on their hands eventually.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Just a thinking outside the box a little ... Murder or Depraved Indifference

“I think it would be depraved indifference because he knows people will get hurt when he changes the settings, but he’s not there with a remote control pushing the “all lights go green” button when there are pedestrians in the crosswalk.”

Depraved indifference is actually what I was leaning towards. You also have the monetary factor to consider. While this isnt for direct personal financial gain it does lead the possibility another term in what ever position the person authorizing it holds.

Maybe I should bring the question to a legal blog. Anyone know of any good ones?

Stephen says:


This article just proves the fact that RLC were only installed for one purpose MONEY. The scamera side can parade all the victims of RLR accidents they like. IT WON’T CHANGE THE FACT THAT MOST OF THOSE CRASHES WERE PLUS 5 SECONDS INTO RED! Many involved themes like DUI, fleeing police, not paying attention THAT A CAMERA WILL NOT STOP!

The fact is that RLC REQUIRE a SET NUMBER OF VIOLATIONS PER DAY. The only way to generate it is to go after techincal fouls.

1. non dangerous right turns on red
2. stopping over the stop line
3. split second mistakes that have more to do with Amber times being too short (IN ATLANTA the TV station just BUSTED a number of towns underseting their AMBER TIMES TODAY!

The scamera side had the GAUL to say the longer ambers wouldn’t make a difference when asked by the reporter.


Longer yellows work, the scamera side knows it too!

In San Carlos CA, they dumped RLC because the increase in amber made the cameras UNPROFITABLE!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In L.A. most of the red-light cam tickets given aren’t even for running a red light. They are for not coming to a compete stop when you make a right on red.

Not stopping for a red light is known as “running” it. Slowing down doesn’t count as stopping.

That reminds me of a joke. A highway patrol trooper once pulled a guy over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign. The guy had a bad attitude and began arguing with the trooper and telling him how slowing down was good enough instead of completely stopping and insulting the trooper as being stupid if he didn’t agree. This went on and on until the trooper finally had enough and took his nightstick out and began working the guy over with it. After a while the trooper asked the guy “Now, do you want me to stop, or would just slowing down be good enough?”.

another mike (profile) says:

solution for safety

If it was really about safety they’d replace the cameras with airhorns. A 140 dB blast to warn everyone around that you are fail on wheels. I honk my car horn at vehicles still in the intersection when my light turns green. An automated system which can do that at more noticeable volume would be a better solution.
No one even pays attention to the camera anymore because there’s no consequence. “Ooh, I’m late going through the intersection and I saw the flash in my mirrors. I’ll just mail in the fine and keep driving.”
But with airhorns going off all around them it becomes, “Oh carp I’m late going through the intersection and now I’m going to be squashed by a tractor-trailer.”
We need a feasibility study! Pay me what you would’ve spent on a camera as a research grant and I’ll put in an airhorn instead.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: solution for safety

I honk my car horn at vehicles still in the intersection when my light turns green.

Why? You do realize that they probably still have the right-of-way, don’t you? On the other hand, your use of your horn horn in that manner would be illegal in my state.

Henry (profile) says:

Police in Calif. send out fake camera tickets

Drivers who live in California or are visiting need to know about Snitch Tickets, which are fake/phishing red light camera tickets sent out by some CA police departments to bluff the registered owner into ID’ing the actual driver of the car. (Local cities using them are Daly City, Elk Grove, Emeryville, Fairfield, Marysville, Millbrae, Modesto, Newark, Redding, Rocklin, San Leandro, San Mateo, Stockton and Union City.) Snitch Tickets haven’t been filed with the court so they don’t say “Notice to Appear,” don’t have the court’s address, and say (on the back, in small letters), “Do not contact the court.” Since they have NOT been filed with the court, they have no legal weight. You can ignore a Snitch Ticket. But if you reply, the police will use the info you provide to issue a real ticket, for approx. $500! If in doubt about Snitch Tickets, Google the term.

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