Red Light Camera Company Says It's Dying Of Coronavirus

from the putting-it-out-of-our-misery dept

Things change. And the stuff that used to work just doesn’t anymore. We’ve covered a lot of this over the years, mainly focusing on how the rise of the internet was greeted with rent-seeking and protectionist policies meant to extend the upper hand that incumbent industries had enjoyed for years.

But things are changing elsewhere, outside of industries reliant on intellectual property protection and Congressionally-approved monopolies. Marijuana is being legalized (or at least decriminalized) all over the nation, resulting in an upheaval of sorts in the drug dog industry. According to a few law enforcement officials, drug dogs can’t live full lives without sniffing drugs and marijuana legalization is probably just going to result in some mercy killings. A life that doesn’t involve being run around a car during an illegally-extended pretextual stop apparently isn’t worth living.

We are again being asked to shed a tear for a law enforcement-adjacent industry. Social distancing and sheltering-in-place in response to the coronavirus has led to a downturn in driving. And if there’s fewer drivers on the road, proxy cops are seeing their revenue streams dry up.

Redflex, an Australian company that operates “traffic safety programs” in roughly 100 US and Canadian cities, warned that less traffic and suspended construction amid the pandemic will be a stress on its balance sheet.

“Approximately 15% of group revenue is dependent on volume-based contracts,” the company said in a regulatory filing Monday first spotted by The Wall Street Journal, hinting at its business line that includes enforcement cameras. “We anticipate our revenue from these contracts will be impacted broadly in line with the reduction in traffic volumes as well as the duration of the disruption.”

Yeah, that’s a real shame. It’s too bad a company that engaged in bribery to grab market share won’t be able to weather this unexpected downturn in questionably-obtained income. There are several competitors in the crowded “worst traffic cam ever” field, but Redflex did everything it could to stay ahead of the pack. This behavior resulted in other unexpected downturns, like refunding millions of dollars of tickets in multiple locations due to the tech’s inability to do the little things… like accurately judge vehicle speed.

Hope springs eternal at Redflex, even with COVID-19’s wet blanket dampening the company’s enthusiasm.

On a call with investors Monday, Redflex CEO Mark Talbot warned that further travel restrictions could delay new installations and therefore impact revenues.

Let’s hope there are no more installations ever, even if drivers return to the roads to undo the environmental damage reduction they inadvertently contributed to by staying home. Redflex is a terrible company with terrible ethics and terrible products. Its tech remains unproven, years after deployment. If the virus manages to take out Redflex, we’ll at least have one thing to thank the pandemic for.

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Companies: redflex

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Comments on “Red Light Camera Company Says It's Dying Of Coronavirus”

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Market forces?

When a really good restaurant collapses, or a sweet dispensary goes under or some innovator can’t sustain his company after the first run, our business news media is happy to celebrate the dog-eat-dog system of capitalism.

When there are more unoccupied homes than homeless during a housing crisis, and medicines needed to live are inflated to inhumane prices, we hear about the sacrifices some have to make in order to sustain the glory of capitalism.

So when industries go under that mostly help law enforcement work as racketeers, why aren’t we lamenting their poor choice of business model and exalting the virtues of capitalism?

Oh wait, the federal government subsidizes huge corporations while leaving children to starve and COVID-19 victims without tests. I see how it is.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m loving the fact that there aren’t as many cars on the road. The traffic on my commute to work is finally 10 over the speed limit. I see cops on the side of the road but they’re only looking for people weaving in and out of traffic like a highway slalom course. I only wish the people stuck at home would be able to see how easy traffic goes when everyone isn’t on each other’s bumper.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: The hurdles are social, not technological.

As we digitize our records we can move all our clerical work into the information age, leaving roads for nothing but freight and leisure. Amusingly, the big next step after autonomous vehicles is taking the manpower out of freight. Everything from mass shipping to the end mail courier will be robots.

On the other hand, bosses still want their armies of workers gathered into a giant labyrinth of cubicles where they can be tightly monitored and subjected to sloped toilets. And so yeah, in the twenty-first century, our aristocracy still decides how culture gets developed.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The hurdles are social, not technological.

While there are a great many "social hurdles" obstructing the concept too, the idea that if clerical work could be completely digitized it would leave the roads empty except for freight and leisure is extremely short-sighted considering the wide variety of jobs that necessarily require a physical presence to perform. There are still real technological hurdles to jump before that becomes a reality.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Eliminating the clerical vehicle traffic

You’re right, there are still plenty of jobs that require on-site presence. I think my point was that clerical work (including resell check-out) seem to be a huge part of our labor force.

And yes, it wouldn’t reduce traffic to nothing, but it might reduce morning and evening rush-hours by half or more.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: AI in autonomous vehicles

We already have a good amount of the AI we need for autonomous vehicles. Not fully shared thanks to multiple efforts to make them intentionally not comparing notes.

But yes, sometimes we talk about AI more conceptually (or sarcastically) because Artificial Intelligence is a term used for a lot of different things.

What the AI in autonomous cars is not is Artificial General Intelligence which is the stuff that can build your flat-packed furniture from the instructions or finalize your divorce, or (according to some) start a robot uprising.

Eldakka (profile) says:

I am ashamed to say that in my darkest moments I fleetingly wish that some of these arseholes who have downplayed if not outright denied the coronavirus pandemic, and actively interefered with measures to deal with it, would get COVID-19 and have to be put in ICU – sometimes even worse.

But I quickly suppress that thinking as inhumane and not worthy of myself, or anyone, with deep shame, as it is not something I would wish on anyone when thinking rationally.

However, I feel no shame at all in wishing that businesses such as these metaphorically ‘catch’ coronavirus and die a grisly, painful, death.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"However, I feel no shame at all in wishing that businesses such as these metaphorically ‘catch’ coronavirus and die a grisly, painful, death."

You don’t have to be mercenary about it, this goes back to the buggy whip conversation, as well as the "socialism" one. An industry that depends on a specific market reality cannot be expected to survive when that reality changes, no matter how useful they were before that change. Similarly, how far is the public meant to go to protect a company that cannot withstand a couple of months of disruption? I’d rather money go to the people who suddenly can’t afford the meds to keep them alive than support a fundamentally predatory industry.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"U.S. government should have just given 1 million to every adult in America and 0 to businesses."

Then have years of fun with the resulting inflation and devaluation of currency?

It’s true that handing money to ordinary people is a better fix than bailing out the same businesses every time there’s a financial crisis, but there’s other problems associated with that. Although, in some countries this whole thing is leading to serious talk of implementing UBI.

ROGS says:

Re: Re: Re:

Look! Listen!, you moron.

I have infinite supplies of most COVI-19 gear.

I have less of Trumps "miracle drug, " but its possible.

What part of "you are jus an obstacle dont you understand?

Market reality ( not even a real or viable term,compared to market approach BTW, which is far more proactive, with results) blahblahblah…

Honestly, whats your big plan, PaulT useless mouthpiece? Or, STFU.

I have thousands of Chinese products right now, lookin for an in.

But of course, you there in Thpain. have NOTHING to offer this dialogue, as predicted by the PaulT useful idiot model of free markey capitalism, and its useless idiot pundits.

You are just blather, with no bluster.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh so now are you only making claims that are impossible, you’re doing so in answer to something said a week ago. What a sad, lonely existence you must lead.

"But of course, you there in Thpain. have NOTHING to offer this dialogue,"

Because no matter how much you try and mock me with an accent that neither I nor my neighbours possess, I have not claimed to be in a position of government influence to use anything you claim to have.

But, what does that say about you, able to help the whole of humanity with your "infinite" levels of supplies, yet you choose to mock people on random message boards instead?

FOB/CIF says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

This is just stupid, petty, and reveals your true character:

"government influence, blahblahblah, ….able to help the whole of humanity with your "infinite" levels of supplies, ramble rambo"

Your deep flaw is that you see competition where there is none; you imagine adversarial motives in others, when only you have them.

Worse, you lie about what I said, rendering you in your true light. Any rational, objective person would see it as such.

Then, there’s the fact that I talk around you-did it ever occur to you that there might be a third party in this conversation?

Like, maybe using a forum board to talk AROUND an idiot is a good way to talk to others, who merely read in her, (for example).

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