Tag Archives: compliance

REAL ID Fright Fest 2015, Oklahoma Edition

Headlines 2015

Kaye Beach | Oct. 6, 2015

The headlines are scary.

Vaguely worded policies issued by the federal Department of Homeland Security and sensational headlines have allowed misconceptions about the actual consequences of not having a REAL ID to grow.

The very worst possible consequences of not having not having a REAL ID card are actually quite minimal.

To refresh your memory- the REAL ID Act was passed with little to no debate in Congress in 2005 as a rider to a ‘must pass’ military and disaster relief funding bill.  The most controversial portion of the law imposes federal standards upon state driver’s licenses and ID documents.  And contrary to media reports, the REAL ID Act does require the collection and digital retention of every driver license applicants’ biometric facial image.  This fact is acknowledged by the National Conference of State Legislatures as well as other policy professionals so you don’t have to take my word for it.

nscl

The biometric and other personal information is required to be shared among the states and is accessible to the federal government.
The consequences for having a REAL ID are far more disturbing than the consequences for not having a REAL ID  which can be summed up like this; Someday, if you do not have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or one of the umpteen acceptable alternatives, the TSA will look you up in their database to make sure that you are really you and you may be subject to a secondary screening which generally means you will be asked to either go through the naked scanner or get a pat down and they will look in your bags. That’s about it so why are we being treated to this over the top fright fest?
Because fear is one of the only tools DHS has to get the states to comply

Jim Harper at Cato explains:

Right now, the Department of Homeland Security is sending out emissaries to tell state leaders that their residents might soon feel the TSA’s wrath. State motor vehicle bureaucrats and pro-national ID groups are joining them in the effort to herd state leaders over the national ID cliff.
But the threat of TSA enforcement is an empty one. REAL ID “deadlines” have come and gone many times. No state has ever come into compliance with REAL ID. No state will be in compliance in 2016. And the TSA will not begin a program to prevent Americans from traveling by air.

The adoption of the REAL ID standards is (by law) is voluntary for the states. This is not a mandate so implementation can only be accomplished gradually by persuading (or intimidating) the states into compliance. Since the law is so controversial (not to mention convoluted and costly!) states have little incentive to adopt the REAL ID standards.
No one really seems to want a REAL ID — unless they think that the consequences for not having one might be dire.

“. . .by requiring Real ID-compliant licenses to board commercial aircraft, the law could put a lot of public pressure on states to issue licenses that meet its standards.”
Source: USA Today, Real ID is slowly changing state drivers’ licenses, Jan. 22, 2014

Oklahoma has been granted an extension by the Dept. of Homeland Security. An extension means that the state’s driver’s license and ID cards will be accepted just as if the ID was fully REAL ID compliant.
From the Dept. of Homeland Security, REAL ID Enforcement in Brief:
“Individuals holding driver’s licenses or identification cards from these jurisdiction may continue to use them as before.”
The jurisdiction referred to are states where their licenses have been “(1) determined to meet the Act’s standards; or (2) that have received extensions.”

This means that Oklahoma ID’s are acceptable for flying, entering specified federal buildings and entering a nuclear facility, 3 of the four “official purposes” that will require a REAL ID.  There are FOUR official purposes that require a REAL ID but I have yet to hear the media cover the fourth purpose even once.

The REAL ID final rules require a REAL ID complaint driver’s license or ID card for certain specified “official purposes” (defined in Sec 201 of the Act.)
#1 Entering Federal facilities
#2 boarding a Federally-regulated commercial aircraft
#3 Entering a nuclear power plant
and
#4 Any other purpose established by the Secretary of Homeland Security
(Real ID Final Rules http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2008-01-29/pdf/08-140.pdf)

The fourth official purpose is what a good friend of mine refers to as the “dictator clause”  It means just what it says.  The Secretary of Homeland Security can add any other purpose he or she wisher.  No congressional review – no nothing.  Would it bother you if you were required to present your biometric national ID for say….ammo?

That fourth purpose could come in handy for just about anything that needs to be monitored, rationed or controlled.  Ask Oklahoma media to cover THAT!

The DHS will be reviewing the progress of states that have received extensions this month. I predict that Oklahoma will be granted another extension.

On Dec. 29, 2014, the Dept. Of Homeland Security extended the deadline for enforcement upon states that have an extension or are deemed compliant with REAL ID until Oct. 1, 2020. Oklahoma appears to exempt from enforcement until 2020.

In the worst-case-scenario, one where the DHS refuses to grant our state and extension and we become subject to enforcement in order to board a plane “no sooner than 2016,”  it’s still not going to be a big deal for Okies.

Not once has it been publicly asserted by the Department of Homeland Security or the TSA that not having a REAL ID compliant license would ever be a basis for denying a person the ability to board a commercial aircraft or that a U.S. Passport is the only accepted alternative to REAL ID
Clarifying statements have been made by DHS officials though, they just aren’t the ones that make the headlines.
For example, Darrell Williams, former Senior Director, Office of State Issued ID Support, Department of Homeland Security, testified before a Congressional subcommittee that there are a variety of identification alternatives to a REAL ID and that not having a REAL ID compliant license will not prevent a person from boarding a plane. He went on to say to say that even individuals with NO FORM OF ID at all can still be permitted to fly.

Williams TSA REAL ID

Mr. Williams as the former Director of the REAL ID program for the Department of Homeland Security with (which directs the Transportation Security Administration) is very familiar with the policies of both agencies. No publicly available official statement on the matter of REAL ID and boarding a federally regulated commercial aircraft refutes Mr. Williams’ testimony.

Here is the TSA’s list of preferred ID documents:
• Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
• U.S. passport
• U.S. passport card
• DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
• U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
• Permanent resident card
• Border crossing card
• DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
• Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
• Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
• HSPD-12 PIV card
• Foreign government-issued passport
• Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
• Transportation worker identification credential
http://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Here the TSA goes into a bit more detail regarding its identity verification procedures:

“TSA prefers that passengers use an acceptable ID at the checkpoint and only publishes the acceptable forms of primary ID, such as a driver’s license and passport on its website. However, we understand that, due to extenuating circumstances a passenger may not have an acceptable form of ID when attempting to travel on a commercial aircraft. Therefore, TSA has alternate means to verify identity in order to allow a passenger to travel and may rely on a variety of government-issued documents, commercial databases, and other agencies to verify passenger identity. The alternative means to establish identity are not published on the website in part because TSA prefers that passengers use acceptable ID.

The TSA website informs passengers that, if they do not have acceptable ID, they can alternatively provide additional information and undergo additional screening in order to be cleared. Specifically, the website informs the public that: “If you are willing to provide additional information, we have other ways to confirm your identity, like using publicly available databases, so you can reach your flight.”
(TSA response to congressional inquiry Aug. 7, 2014
https://www.scribd.com/doc/237497624/TSA-Doc)

No one is going to have to get a passport or be barred from flying due to the REAL ID Act.

Sparks Real ID

This press released today by the Oklahoma Senate certainly sounds dire.

Can you imagine if people were unable to enter the Social Security office?  What if you were asked to appear in Federal Court and you don’t have a REAL ID?  What would happen?

Apparently nothing.

REAL ID Act of 2005 Implementation: An Interagency Security Committee Guide
Aug 2015, Interagency Security Committee
“…there is no requirement to produce a REAL ID Act compliant ID to enter a Federal facility for accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement (including participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations), participating in constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s or spectator’s access to court proceedings, access by jurors or potential jurors), voting or registering to vote, or applying for or receiving Federal benefits…”
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/isc-real-id-guide-august-2015-508_0.pdf

According to the Department of Homeland Security
REAL ID does NOT apply to the following:
• Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
• Voting or registering to vote
• Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
• Being licensed by a state to drive
• Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
• Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

There is too much fear, uncertainty and doubt being pumped out by the media and state officials for me to address in just one post so expect more posts soon.  Until then – don’t let them scare you!

REAL ID-Great for Gun Control and a whole lot more!

Kaye Beach

Oct. 16, 2012

Prescient words from 2008;

The long-term plan for REAL ID is to force its biometric ID functions on federal, state, local and private entities for all transactions. Thus, ID confirmation by a distant bureaucracy becomes permission for essential daily activities including banking, doctor visits, transit, school attendance and purchases — including guns.

. . .By participating in REAL ID, Pennsylvanians will be subjected to scrutiny by a host of federal agencies with every swipe of a REAL ID card. This is de facto gun registration, only worse. Once a gun buyer is identified, other information such as military service, purchases, rentals, travel, and medical history will be easily cross-referenced and subjected to interpretation. It’s inevitable that politicized standards will emerge that can be used to deny Pennsylvanians the right to keep and bear arms — everyone except violent criminals and politicians’ bodyguards.

Read more

Yesterday was the deadline for states to notify the Dept. of Homeland Security as to whether or not they will be in material compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

The deadline for compliance with the REAL ID Act has been moved up three times since the law was passed.  Now we have almost reached the final deadline.

DHS expressed confidence at the end of August this year that all states would be in significant compliance with the law by Jan. 15 2013, the final deadline for state compliance for REAL ID.

“All 56 states have submitted some documentation of their status with respect to the material compliance benchmarks or “elements” of REAL ID to DHS since 2009. On the basis of the total dataset of states reporting, all states meet or commit to meet 83 percent of the material compliance benchmarks, which DHS believes may understate state progress.”

Americans have taken note of the fact that demands for ID and even the swiping of their driver’s license has exploded.  Now that resistance by the states to the national/international ID card has been largely overcome – watch out!  REAL ID will be increasingly required for just about every thing you need, including guns.

This is what REAL ID was made for.

Remember 25 states passed either a law or resolution prohibiting the implementation of REAL ID, including the great state of Oklahoma.  But they have just about pulled it off anyways.  Oklahoma is a mere 1 benchmark away from material compliance.  And other states are seeing “stars”

Back in 2009, Mayors Against Illegal Guns were already smacking their lips at the prospect of using REAL ID for gun control.

Recommendation 3: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should require REAL ID-compliant identification for all gun purchases after December 1, 2014.  read more

One little known fact about REAL ID is that there is no statutory limit on “official purposes” that the REAL ID can be required for. (There are currently three official purposes; boarding a commercial airliner, entering a federal building and nuclear facility)  What this means is that the Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security has unfettered authority to add anything she likes to official purposes that require a REAL ID.  That could be guns, ammo, prescriptions . . . anything.

Read more about REAL ID

REAL ID- MORE Than Just Drivers License Control and Expanding Rapidly

Michigan Rep. Raps Real ID Cheerleader

Kaye Beach

March 2, 2012

Janice Kephart, Director of National Security Policy with the Center for Immigration Studies put out her yearly progress report on Real ID.  Real ID opponents fairly bristled at the glowing portrayal she gives of the highly unpopular biometric identification card scheme.

We know that 25 states passed either a law or resolution against implementing the Real ID Act but if you read Ms. Kephart’s report, you might wonder just what all the fuss was about since she claims that,

“Overall the report finds that there is substantial compliance sought across the board by all states and territories. . .”

Michigan Representative, Paul Opsommer, answers back,

“We do not see ‘tremendous value’ in pursuing ‘REAL ID standards’ as this report attempts to assert,” said Opsommer. “These are state policy positions we are pursuing on our own, irrespective of REAL ID.”

Janice Kephart is so dedicated to the Real ID cause that she even dropped by my little blog recently to reassure readers that

“There is no national ID here. Not even close.”

What a relief!  After years of study and worry about Real ID being a national, no!  An international ID,  to be precise, I can finally rest easy because I have it on good authority that Real ID is no such thing by Ms. Kephart.

Sarcasm aside, at least Kephart is not trying to hide the hated Real ID behind the cute little star that is gracing the face of state driver’s licenses that meet the federal standards imposed by Real ID which would indicate to most that their Real ID or  “STAR ID” card, is indeed a national ID. Some of  these same astute Americans will tell you that the national standards imposed by Real ID  on state driver’s licenses and ID cards, are also international standards leading them to the conclusion that not only is Real ID a national ID, it is also qualifies as an international ID as noted by a knowledgeable reader of AxXiom For Liberty in his response to Ms. Kephart,

International standards, international organizations and an international organization named a “hub” and “backbone” in the Final Rules issued by DHS in January 2008, HMMM!

Janice Kephart’s progress report on Real ID, while it is a very helpful guide for loyal opponents to the Real ID Act in helping to flush out the state’s that have either followed the will of the people or betrayed them by forging ahead with the Act that was formally opposed in 25 states, also does a grave disservice by claiming achievements for Real ID that it doesn’t deserve as Rep. Opsommer illustrates in his response to Kephart’s REAL ID Implementation Annual Report

Opsommer: Real ID implementation report shows major portions of law no longer needed.

Michigan State Representative and House Transportation Chair Paul Opsommer (R-DeWitt) said that a recent report put out by the Center for Immigration Studies, titled the ‘REAL ID Implementation Annual Report’, misrepresents the notion of ‘compliance’ and actually makes the case that the federal law that would turn driver’s licenses into national ID cards is not needed.

“We do not see ‘tremendous value’ in pursuing ‘REAL ID standards’ as this report attempts to assert,” said Opsommer. “These are state policy positions we are pursuing on our own, irrespective of REAL ID.”

Before REAL ID was passed in Washington by dubious methods, there was already a negotiated rule making process going on with the states to make sure they were not giving driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and that licenses were made out of tamper-resistant materials from secure card production facilities.

“REAL ID not only repealed that process, but did so in a way that creates a national ID card that puts unelected federal bureaucrats permanently in charge of wireless computer chip, facial recognition technology, fingerprint, and foreign data sharing decisions,” said Opsommer.  “For cheerleaders of this national ID card campaign to highlight that states continue to pursue secure standards on their own, even in those states that have not authorized REAL ID or have passed laws opposing it, as somehow indicative of mass acceptance or compliance is nothing more than a public relations gambit.”

read more

DHS Ordered to Obtain Public Input on Naked Body Scanners, Refuses to Comply

Kaye Beach

Dec 23, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security was court ordered to gain public comment on the body scanners five months ago but to date, has not complied.  EPIC, the Electronic Privacy Foundation filed papers today, for the second time, seeking compliance from the DHS.

The DHS in this matter as well as others, seems to think that the agency is above the  laws of this country.

 

From the Electronic Privacy Coalition newsletter;

=======================================================================
[1] EPIC to Court: Force DHS Compliance with Public Comment Mandate
=======================================================================

EPIC has filed papers [on Dec 32, 2011] in federal court, seeking, for the second time this year, to enforce an order that requires the Department of Homeland
Security to begin a rule making on the controversial airport body
scanner program.

As a result of EPIC’s ongoing lawsuit against DHS,

  • the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the agency violated federal law by installing body scanners as primary screening devices without first soliciting public comment.
  • The Court also held that travelers had a right to opt-out of the airport body scanners.

More than two years ago EPIC and a coalition of civil liberties and
civil rights organizations petitioned Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano to provide the public the opportunity to comment on
the program.

Through Freedom of Information Act litigation, EPIC had already obtained
hundreds of traveler complaints, including instances when travelers
said that TSA officials retaliated against them for choosing not to go
through the body scanners. Privacy and traveler advocates, health
and security experts, as well as airline pilots have also raised questions
about the screening procedures.

In July 2011, the Court ordered Homeland Security to “promptly” seek
public comment, but the agency has failed to respond. The Court’s
decision held that “the TSA has not justified its failure to initiate
notice-and-comment rulemaking before announcing it would use AIT
scanners for primary screening.”

The appeals court’s decision states that “None of the exceptions urged
by the TSA justifies its failure to give notice of and receive comment
upon such a rule, which is legislative and not merely interpretive,
procedural, or a general statement of policy”, adding that “Few, if any
regulatory procedures impose directly and significantly upon so manymembers of the public.”

In the motion to enforce, EPIC highlighted a recent report by
ProPublica, which described the DHS’s failure to take account of
radiation risks posed by body scanners. EPIC also noted the European
Commission’s recent decision to limit body scanner use within the EU.
The European Commission specifically banned the use of backscatter
x-ray devices in the European airports because of public health
concerns. Meanwhile, DHS is lobbying Congress to increase the use of
these devices in the United States.

EPIC:  Motion to Enforce Order on DHS (Dec. 23, 2011)
http://epic.org/redirect/122311-epicvdhs-motion-to-enforce.html

EPIC v. DHS:  Full Body Scanner Radiation Risks
http://epic.org/redirect/110911-epicvdhs-radiation.html

DC Circuit Court:  Opinion on EPIC v. DHS (July 15, 2011)
http://epic.org/redirect/071911_circuit_opinion_epicvdhs.html

ProPublica:  Series on Body Scanner Radiation
http://www.propublica.org/series/body-scanners

European Commission:  Press Release on EU Scanners (Nov. 14, 2011)
http://epic.org/redirect/112911-eu-scanner-release.html

EPIC:  EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanners)
http://www.epic.org/redirect/031111EPICvDHS.html

Real ID Follies Continue with PASS ID Waiting in the Wings

The Electronic Frontier Foundation Reports;

December 11th, 2009

News Update by Richard Esguerra

As 2009 draws to a close, we’re inching ever deeper into the corner that Congress painted us into by passing Real ID under the table in 2005. (Recall that Real ID is the failed, Bush-era attempt to turn state drivers licenses into national ID cards by forcing states to collect and store licensee data in databases, and refusing to accept non-compliant IDs for federal purposes, like boarding a plane or entering a federal building.)

The official deadline for states to comply with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) final Real ID rule is December 31, 2009, and an estimated 36 states will not be in compliance by then, leading to some ambiguity for many citizens. For example, will residents of Montana be able to board planes in January 2010 with only a driver’s license (a state-supplied, technically non-compliant document) and without a passport (an identity document issued by the federal government)?

Past history strongly suggests that DHS will issue last-minute waivers to states that have not amped up their drivers licenses to adhere to Real ID. Early in 2008, states that actively opposed Real ID received waivers from DHS, nominally marking the states as “compliant” despite strongly-stated opposition to ever implementing Real ID.

But waiting in the wings is PASS ID, a bill that attempts to grease the wheels by offering money to the states to implement ID changes. Despite having the appearances of reform, PASS ID essentially echoes Real ID in threatening citizens’ personal privacy without actually justifying its impact on improving security. For this reason, PASS ID is not popular — privacy advocates refuse to support the bill because it still creates a national ID system. It still mandates the scanning and storage of applicants’ critical identity documents (birth certificates, visas, etc.), which will be stored in databases that will become leaky honeypots of sensitive personal data — prime targets for malicious identity thieves or otherwise accessible by individuals authorized to obtain documents from the database. And on the other side, short-sighted surveillance hawks are unhappy with the bill because they support the privacy violations architected into the provisions of the original Real ID Act.

As such, advocates of PASS ID are publicly wringing their hands over the deadline in order to encourage Congress to approve the PASS ID Act before the end of the year. But the fracas over health reform is suffocating any chance for meaningful debate about the merits of PASS ID before the Dec. 31st deadline.

A pragmatic analysis should show that Real ID is dead. To date, 24 states have enacted resolutions or binding legislation prohibiting participation in Real ID, and the varied, desperate efforts to reanimate it are misguided. Whether the states or the federal government signs the invoice, the cost ultimately falls to taxpayers, who should be troubled that neither Real ID nor PASS ID is likely to fulfill the stated goal of stopping terrorists from obtaining identity documents. (Just this week, noted security expert Bruce Schneier linked to a report about government investigators successfully using fake identity documents to obtain high-tech “e-passports,” which were then used to buy plane tickets, and board flights — the point being that a fancy, “secure” identity document doesn’t stop individuals from exploiting a weak bureaucracy.)

On the other hand, the resulting databases filled with scanned identity documents will create tantalizing targets for identity thieves and headaches for people whose digital documents are pilfered; and a national ID system will invite mission creep from the government as well as private entities like credit reporting agencies and advertisers. It’s high time for reason to replace the reflexive defense of a failed scheme. Congress should repeal Real ID for real and seek more inspired, protective solutions to identity document security.

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/12/real-id-follies-continue-pass-id-waiting-wings

Stop Making Sense! Real Red Light Running Solutions

Kaye Beach

June 6, 2009

Have You Hugged an Engineer Today?

Public Safety Perspective vs. Revenue Enhancement Schemes

Photo enforcement is a scam.  If you say otherwise, then you;

A) don’t have the facts

B) Benefit from RED’s (Revenue Enhancement Devices)

or

C) Have Stockholm Syndrome

Exerpts from testimony by Chad Dornsife of the National Motorists Association
in August 28, 2001 before the CA Senate

“What has been lost in the public uproar and debate is the basic fact that for a red light camera or a photo radar speed enforcement system to be viable, there must be an underlying traffic safety engineering deficiency. At every location that we have examined to date, without exception, this has been the case. ”

The compliance situation was summarized in a Highway Research Board paper presented by Burton Marsh in 1930

“The status of traffic law observance in any community is definitely related to a number of … factors. Important among these factors are:2. Effective and sensible signs, signals and markings, wisely used.

Burton Marsh in 1930 lays out these fundamentals in relation to compliance, speaking in DC “Law Observance and Enforcement methods” at the Highway Research Board Proceedings.

1. Reasonableness of traffic rules and regulations. It is well known that good observance can only be expected for regulations which are generally deemed sensible, necessary and reasonable. They should also be as simple and as few in number as possible. The Uniform Vehicle Code and the Model Traffic Ordinance constitute valuable guides to states and municipalities in setting up reasonable regulations.

3. Adequate public understanding and appreciation of traffic regulations, of the reasons for them, of the results to be accomplished, and of methods of proper observance.

4. Uniform, impartial and business-like enforcement.

He further states;

” To enforce traffic laws is to compel obedience of them.”

And

“The fact that so much compulsion seems necessary is a clear indication of serious deficiency in one or more of the first three factors presented above. Thus, although enforcement should only be necessary for a small perverse minority, it is all too much invoked for large proportions … The really needed steps to reduce violations are the effective promulgation of reasonable regulations and the education of the public as to the saneness, necessity and value of them and as to how the individual is expected to act in compliance with the said laws.”

According to engineers the golden rule of traffic control is what they call  the 85% rule-it is rule of thumb derived from observation of human behavior in traffic/roadway situations;

Since most citizens can be relied upon to behave in a reasonable manner as they go about their daily activities, many of our laws reflect observations of the way reasonable people behave under most circumstances. “

I believe that at least 85% of motorists do Not, in fact, want to die.  These engineers are sharp!

“Traffic regulations are invariably based upon observations of the behavior of groups of travelers under various conditions.”

Invariably-until $$ enters the picture.   to quote the brilliant Cindy Lauper- “Money. Money changes everything”

“Generally speaking, traffic laws that reflect the behavior of the majority of vehicle operators are found to be successful, while laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority of drivers encourage wholesale violations, lack public support, and usually fail to bring about desirable changes in driving behavior.” Source “Establishing Speed Limits – A Case of “Majority Rule”

. . . And also bring Cha Ching! to the coffers of the cities and photo enforcement companies.

Simple, Sane and SAFE. This is the wisdom that has guided traffic engineering from the start.  

Do we really think that the “peverse minority”  has all of a sudden increased?  If so, we are really in trouble! 

That means that the number of people who are too stupid to live has increased which does not bode well for the future of mankind.  In recent years these principles have been subject to some questionable “engineering” that places profit over safety. If you really want to know if Photo Enforcement is a sham-just ask a traffic engineer-an OLD traffic engineer.

Read this; California Senate Hearing Testimony

Chad Dornsife sums up the problem;

Rather than championing best practices and staying true to their charter that only vetted best practice be applied, the FHWA HOTO office routinely allows and or adopts unsafe engineering practices to placate political agendas. In regards to signalized intersections, the situation is further exacerbated by the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ (ITE) adoption of deviant “guidance” for signal timings. Red light cameras are a manifestation of this failure, both the FHWA and the ITE have abandoned best practice to facilitate special interest, those whom profit or derive power and or jobs from these related enterprises, to the clear detriment of safety.

Dick Armey commissioned a study in 2001 that reveals the truth about the situation;

The Red-Light Running Crisis: Is It Intentional?
Office of the Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives

Study quotes;

“And one should ask the question, if there’s a problem with an intersection, why don’t safety engineers in the field just go out and fix the timing?

In fact, before red light cameras arrived in the United States, that’s exactly what our regulations instructed them to do. If too many people enter on red at an intersection, engineers were supposed to lengthen its yellow time. But in the year that red light cameras first started collecting millions in revenue on our shores, those entrusted with developing our traffic safety regulations dropped the requirement to fix signal timing, instructing engineers to “use enforcement” instead. (Emphasis mine)

[. . .]Every study claiming red light cameras increase safety is written by the same man. Before joining the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), he was a top transportation official in New York City at the time the city began looking into becoming the first jurisdiction in the country to install red light cameras. In other words, the father of the red light camera in America is the same individual offering the “objective” testimony that they are effective.

[. . . ]A similar conflict of interest affects those entrusted with writing safety regulations for our traffic lights. The Institute of Transportation Engineers is actively involved in lobbying for, and even drafting legislation to implement, red light cameras. They are closely tied to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which in turn is funded by companies that stand to profit handsomely any time points are assessed to a driver’s license.

In short, the only documented benefit to red light cameras is to the pocketbook of local governments who use the devices to collect millions in revenue.”

PDF of Dick Armey’s requested study

Also, take a look at this site-http://www.hwysafety.com/hwy_intro_redlight.htm

NOTE: I am not an engineer, nor do I have any special expertise on this subject matter.  I can only read what the experts write and compare it to my personal observations.  If I am drawing the wrong conclusion and you can provide some facts to prove it, please do! But, if you just want to drop in to inform me that I am wrong but cannot be bothered to provide any sort of factual correction or if you critique and you haven’t read the material provided -I won’t bother to post or respond to your comments.  I put too much time into doing my research to be sidetracked by kamikaze criticizers.

AxXiom

Relevant posts-  Campaign Funding from Scameras https://axiomamuse.wordpress.com/2009/05/21/scameras-fund-…ampaigns-in-az/