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RE: [tips_and_tricks] photo radar addresses

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  • Virgil Cooper
    Hello to those on this list, Photo radar presents some unique constitutional issues. In Phoenix a few years ago, a member of our research group became the
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 26, 2007

      Hello to those on this list,


      Photo radar presents some unique constitutional issues.  In Phoenix a few years ago, a member of our research group

      became the “King of red meter parking tickets and photo radar.”  He became so adept at challenging the elements of the

      “crime” that the judges routinely dismissed his tickets rather than let him “have his day in court” because the city, county, or

      state would lose hands down.  Of course, that took all the fun out of challenging his tickets.  He specialized in red meter tickets

      issued on leased or rented private property off-street parking and photo radar “robo-cop” unattended photo radar “speed traps.”

      The judges complimented him on his thorough preparation, exhaustive research, and presentation skill.  The newspapers always

      called him “Scottsdale man” and the caption almost always was “Scottsdale man wins again.”   At that time, photo radar was being

      introduced as a revenue generator for the town of Paradise Valley, an upscale suburb located on the northeast side of Phoenix next

      door to Scottsdale.  The town of Paradise Valley is a bedroom community with almost no industry in its tax base.  So, the town fathers

      were looking for easy ways to raise revenue.  “Robo-cop” automated photo radar units seemed like a godsend.  Initially, they were parked

      along busy cross-town thoroughfares and left unattended.  “Scottsdale man” challenged the tickets he received from the Town of Paradise

      Valley on the constitutional ground that the PV police dept. unconstitutionally delegated its “police power” to an out-of-state private sector

      third party and on the technicality that the radar triggered system was supposed to merely enhance the “sensate powers” of a live officer

      who actually observed the occurrence of the offense.  Unattended, there could be no “enhancement of sensate powers.”  What was more

      interesting, the PV police dept. sent the photos of offenders to the photo radar equipment manufacturer in Texas where company personnel

      there tried to match the photo to the Arizona driver’s license database of photos.  If the Texas company’s people couldn’t match the photo, a letter was sent by the Texas company to the owner of record on the automobile’s title, asking the owner to “please identify the driver in this

      photograph.”  Needless to say, all too many “owners” actually did identify the driver.  They cooperated with the Texas company and the PV

      police dept. in the scam.  Then the PV police dept. put a blow-up plastic manikin policeman look-alike in the parked radar photo units.  “Scottsdale man” nailed them on that ruse.  Finally, they had to put a live officer in the photo radar unit to observe the “offense” with his own

      eyes and other “sensate powers” and make a note of the “offender’s” vehicle license plate number.  A little later, a second camera was added to the automated photo radar unit to take a photo of the rear license plate immediately after the “offending” car passed.  Not only did the automated photo radar unit have to be “manned” with a live policeman, the PV police dept. had to do the identifying of the driver and stopped sending the photos to the company in Texas.  The Town of Paradise Valley soon found that the photo radar company’s claims of “easy money” wasn’t so profitable after all.  The Town didn’t anticipate the constitutional problems that photo radar would raise or they didn’t expect anyone to actually raise them.


      I had a friend in Glendale, which is a suburb northwest of Phoenix, who’s wife was driving his van one day and crossed through Paradise Valley on her way to Mesa which is southeast of Phoenix.  She was in a hurry and passed one of their “manned” automated dual camera photo radar units.  Flash.  Click.  Since, his, the husband’s name was on the van’s title, he got a letter from the PV police dept. requesting him to come to the police station in the Town of Paradise Valley and identify the driver.  One day he was in the area and stopped by the police station.  A lady laid the photo out in front of him.  Sure enough, there was his wife, big as day, with a smile on her face.  She was talking to two Mormon missionaries that she had volunteered to take to a meeting in Mesa.  So he said to the nice lady police officer,  “Am I required to do your job?”  Long pause.

      Then she answered with a cryptic, “No”, and gathered up the photo and other papers without saying another word.  He left with a grin on his face.

      He said the policewoman had a “rats, foiled again” look on her face as he turned and left.  He never heard from them on the matter again.  This friend of mine is not an attorney.  He is an executive with the Quest telephone company Yellow Pages.  He told of this funny experience with Paradise Valley’s photo radar at church one Sunday, and several attorneys present laughingly said he should have been a lawyer.


      In recent years, photo radar has been expanded to street intersection “red light runners,” but the constitutional issues continue to plague and baffle the “revenue enhancers.”


      Best regards from Virgil






      -----Original Message-----
      From: tips_and_tricks@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tips_and_tricks@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Al Cintra-Leite
      Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:51 PM
      To: tips_and_tricks@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [tips_and_tricks] photo radar addresses


      On Jul 25, 2007, at 1:19 PM, mobinem@... wrote:

      For those doing my photo radar letter, ....<<<<<<<

      I saw online how Redflex has a patent fight over the photo ticket equipment and no tickets can be resolved till that is finished...

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