Jon Butcher, ACS and Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Washington DC and elsewhere

Jon Butcher, ACS / ATS and Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Washington D.C and elsewhere

Aug 18 2016 – Kevin Yaworski – WiseUpWinnipeg
Updated Sept 12 2016 – dangerously short 4 sec amber cover up, ACS operating 311, Xerox avoiding fall out and more
http://wp.me/p1fJaD-mW

Summary

Jon Butcher and ACS also behind this attempted scam – Officials push for school bus cameras

Artificially reduced speed in School Zones

Senior officials at the City and Province have and are ignoring proven engineering standards, sections of the HTA and APEGM ACT legislation meant to protect the public from this abuse and improve public safety.

Class Action Lawsuit against Jon Butcher, ACS, CoW, MB Gov and…

Photo radar: Coming  soon to a road near you – Counc Gord Steeves admits Photo Radar is about revenue for City Hall.

Dangerously $short amber time and a professional misconduct complaint to APEGM against City of Winnipeg Transport Dept Mgr Luis Escobar

Where is all the Revenue going?

Seeing red over red-light cameras – corruption and trial with two Edmonton Police and ACS

Buried British government reports show photo enforcement cameras don’t work!


Summary

The following info is important for all Manitobans and others as the impacts of ignoring are much more than most realize and far reaching.

Learn what several senior officials past and present at ACS / Xerox, the City of Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba and elsewhere don’t want you to know, what extent they have gone to cover this up and what the serious impacts are.

Several past and present spin doctors the public is paying directly or indirectly at MPIC, WPS, City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba, ACS / Xerox and elsewhere have been feeding the public $afety meds (propaganda).  They doing this to forward their hidden agenda of unlawful taxation as fines (hundreds of thousands of unfair and unlawful traffic and parking tickets every year).  They doing this in an attempt to make up for wasting hundreds of millions or more of public funds.  They trying to make up for mismanaging public funds and services including out of control spending on salaries, benefits, pensions, mgmt to staff ratios, unnecessary senior positions and expenses.  Similar issue with unlawful taxation in BC proven in court and political action or class action needed in Manitoba to get the refunds the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba refuse to issue.

More here: Unlawful fines as taxes and what you can do about it!

It is overdue for more of the public to demand this documented abuse and allegations of serious criminal behavior be investigated independently by the RCMP.

Jon Butcher is the WPS officer who provided misleading safety improvement and revenue information that helped convince City Council and the Province to implement Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg. Legislation was ammended and implemented without due dilegence.  He was also the main driver in getting the contract awarded to ACS in 2002 even though EDS (Later aquired by HP) had much lower bid but rejected without valid reasons.  EDS consulted lawyers and had a case prepared that they felt they could win but were just entering this industy to felt in was not in their best interest to pursue.

Only pro enforcement information was used when “researching” photo enforcement for Winnipeg. Washington DC was a prime source and is well know for the amount of revenue raised and the complete lack of safety results. It didn’t report the many serious issues with the program including hidden and true costs and impacts to taxpayers and the general public.  Many independent studies from academic instiutions not influenced by outside parties have proven photo enfocement is does not improve safety and in many cases reduces it.  Speed and or Red light cameras have been banned in several states and some provinces.

A City of Winnipeg internal audit in 2005 – 2006 highlighted some of these issues and many other serious issues but the City and Province ignored it and the calls from WiseUpWinnipeg and the public to address the issues.

Shortly after the contract signed in Winnipeg and Photo Enforcement implemented Jon Butcher retired from WPS earlier than most officers do and with full pension.  He started a Lobby Group that promoted red light and speed camera photo enforcement to Cities and municipalities.  It was later found out that the lobby group was funded solely by ACS.  He was also involved with Gatso BV (international photo enforcement equipment vendor used by ACS and other red light and speed camera companies) and then he became head of ACS Western Canada to help them expand photo enforcement in Winnipeg and expand or implement elsewhere.  At his retirement dinner he was asked why he was retiring early as and he said he had a better opportunity lined up.  It looks like that was ACS.

Since than an audit of Winnipeg photo enforcement system in 2005 adn 2006 shows that the monitored intersections, showed a marked increase (of 60% for claims between 0-$5000, and 113% for claims between $10,000 and $15,000) in collision when compared to other intersections in the city.  MPIC data also shows a mere 7%increase city wide increase and only 4% for claims in the $10,000 to $15,000 range!

Jon Butcher also behind this attempted scam:
Officials push for school bus cameras
CBC News – Oct 19, 2010
“There is no cost to the school division to have the cameras installed, according to Jon Butcher of ACS, …”

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/manitoba/officials-push-for-school-bus-cameras-1.920031

Artificially reduced speed in School Zones

Jon Butcher or someone else at ACS likely behind the strong push from Mayor Sam Katz and public officials in Edmonton to implement 30k or 40k School Zones with out any engineering safety studies and even ignored one available from 2005 by City of Edmonton that said they not needed and stopped using them over 40 years ago because it proven drivers slow down when School Zones properly sign posted. It also said these reduced speed zones give a false sense of safety to pedestrians.  The Engineers and CAA recommend flashing lights only when kids present for reduced speed as the safest method to protect children.

All these reduced zones have done is allow more abusive enforcement by ACS and WPS with unmarked vehicles parking unlawfully and unsafely in School Zones and enforcing the last few meters in the zone, ignoring missing signs and other documented abuse all in the name of $afety.  More info here:

Senior officials at the City and Province have and are ignoring proven engineering standards, sections of the HTA and APEGM ACT legislation meant to protect the public from this abuse and improve public safety.

The Conditions of Authority agreement between the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba that allows Photo Enforcement to operate requires WPS and the City to report safety improvement stats to the Province but they Not reporting this at all for ACS mobile $afety photo enforcement and not using accurate or complete data and ignoring some of the data for ACS fixed intersection $afety cameras. The data is still available to the public but in several locations and forms including MPIC collision and claims info, traffic counts and violations . When you look at this data as a whole and present it properly every intersection camera and mobile unit is not improving safety and in most cases reducing it.

Even one safety improvement report  WPS / CoW (tax payers) paid for identified a large increase in rear end collisions and suggested that the cause needed to be investigated but senior officials at WPS, the City and Province ignored.  The above report has false and misleading info and was used to justify expanding photo enforcement in Winnipeg.  It was prepared by a company that is supposed to be independent but is funded by MPIC and other insurance providers who benefit from increased premiums and license fees when more tickets with demerits are issued.  More info here: MPIC diverting Millions to Police for $afety initiatives most of which are a waste and actually putting the public at risk

The senior officials at the City and Province know the answer to why there is more rear end collisions and other accidents and some City Engineers, WiseUpWinnipeg and others have repeatedly told them it is the city wide dangerously short amber time of 4 sec especially bad at high speed intersections. The lack of advance warning flashers (AWF) at these high speed intersections also required by engineering standards also making the 4 sec amber even more dangerous. They ignoring because it leads to a 800% increase in violations at several cameras including up to 4000 or more at Bishop and River the location of a serious 3 car pile up and roll over in June or July and others.

ACS has been on the wrong side of the law on many occasions, both in Canada and the US. Recently two Edmonton officers were charged with accepting bribes from ACS for helping land a no bid contract to run Edmonton’s photo enforcement program (more info below). In November (2006), the CEO and CFO of ACS stepped down after admitting to $51 million in stock options fraud.

Dangerously $short amber time and a professional misconduct complaint to APEGM against City of Winnipeg Transport Dept Mgr Luis Escobar

It sure looks like Jon Butcher was bribed by ACS and I would not be surprised if City Traffic Department Manager and engineer Luis Escobar who lied to City council about 4 sec amber times before red lights being safe including at high speed intersections even though it proven to increase rear end collisions by 50% or more and be the leading cause of other accidents including with pedestrians. It against enginneering standards required by law in Ontario and elsewhere but ignored in Winnipeg by Escobar and City Council. The Province follows these standards in Manitoba outside Winnipeg.

This complaint involved Escobar’s city wide 4.0 sec amber time policy found he had mislead City Council and was putting the public at risk but the engineers on the panel that voted against were replaced during an appeal and new report released with all green for Escobar. This is a breach of the APEGEM Act.

One of the engineers saw this scam including public endangerment so blew the whistle and leaked the original report. We have a copy and the Metro covered this story but the Province, City and WPS still ignoring as they getting 50%, 25% and 25% of ticket revenue after paying millions to ACS every year.  More info here:

Dangerously Inadequate Yellow Light / Amber time issues in Winnipeg and cover up.

Where is all the Revenue going?

Revenue getting eaten up by much higher than average Police staff levels, OT, salaries, pensions, benefits and much higher court costs than expected due to 25% contesting rate from the majority of the up to 200k tickets issued every year being unfair or illegal due to engineering deficiencies. MPIC then adds demerits and insurance and license penalties for officer issued tickets even if unfair or illegal. There is other hidden costs. The only winners are ACS, high paid MPIC and WPS staff and officers.

These is more info and more that needs to be done regarding all this abuse of the public and public funds.

It is possible others at WPS, MPIC, the City and Province now and or at the time we’re bribed or offered bribes or they relied on false or misleading information provided by Jon Butcher and ACS. All the more reason for a formal RCMP investigation.

US Justice Department has charged or convicted several public officials and photo enforcement company executives and staff with bribery and other serious crimes and the national probe is expanding.

ACS was accused of tampering with yellow light timing in California to increase the number of tickets generated. ACS received a portion of each ticket issued.

In many photo enforcement contracts it has been stipulated that changes to the intersection that would impact the ticket volume were not allowed. So things like a lengthening of a yellow light cycle or other physical changes to improve safety were strictly forbidden. The City of Winnipeg and Edmonton an others refuse to make public its contracts with ACS. Even FIPPA requests redacted or rejected with claims along the lines of it would affect 3rd party for profit ACS’s competative advantage. Current FIPPA and Ombudsman legislation needs to be strengthened to better protect the public.

The average speed over the limit has not changed in Edmonton in many years despite the millions of dollars collected by photo enforcement. Winnipeg police promoted Edmonton’s photo enforcement by claiming a large drop in tickets and revenue to prove the system works. In the the past 12+ years the number of tickets has increased every year except the one quoted and that due to 1000’s of tickets thrown out due to a legal challenge.

Based on a study done by the state of Michigan and AAA, for less then the estimated fifty one million dollar cost of the program for five years, all six hundred and ninety signaled intersections in Winnipeg could be redesigned for better safety and all the signal lights could be computerized and synchronized for better safety and traffic flow.

Class Action Against ACS, Lockheed Martin, Gatsometer BV, WPS Chief, Jon Butcher, City of Winnipeg, Gord Steeves, Auditor General of Manitoba, Government of Manitoba

There was a Class Action lawsuit in 2009 against ACS, Lockheed Martin (previous parent company for ACS, since acquired by Xerox), Jon Butcher,  Gord Steves, City of Winnipeg, Province of MB, WPS Chief,  Manitoba’s attorney general, but it doesn’t name Police Chief Keith McCaskill or Attorney General Dave Chomiak specifically.

The information and accusations listed in the detailed statement of claim even if only some verified is very disturbing.  It appears it was not allowed to proceed due to apparent abuse of court and … I tried searching MB Justice courts registry to confirm reasons but only some related info and the statement of claim.  Not even an investigation into the verified facts or allegations.

Toss photo-radar suit: officials
Will argue action an abuse of court
By: Bruce Owen
Posted: 08/18/2009
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/toss-photo-radar-suit-officials-53548292.html

More info:

Class Action Against ACS, Lockheed Martin, Gatsometer BV, WPS Chief, Jon Butcher, City of Winnipeg, Gord Steeves, Auditor General of Manitoba, Government of Manitoba

Photo radar: Coming  soon to a road near you – Counc Gord Steeves admits Photo Radar is about revenue for City Hall.

February 15th 2007 Councilor Gord Steeves admitted while in office that Winnipeg’s photo enforcement program is about money after all.  Steeves told the Winnipeg Sun he’s tired of saying otherwise: “We’ve spent a lot of time over the last five years trying to spin this like [photo radar cameras and revenues for city hall] aren’t related. They certainly are related.”  For more details read Photo radar: Coming soon to a road near you an article by David Maclean of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
http://www.scamera.org/Documents/Photo%20Radar%20Tax%20(CTF).pdf

 

Seeing red over red-light cameras – corruption and trial with two Edmonton Police and ACS

Below is an related archived story about ACS / ATS photo enforcement in Washington DC and Edmonton and lengthy RCMP investigation in Edmonton that resulted in ACS and two Edmonton police officers being charged with corruption related crimes.

Below that is the results of the trial.

———
Edmonton Sun
Wed, March 14, 2007
Seeing red over red-light cameras

By DOUG BEAZLEY, SUN MEDIA
City councilors are calling for an audit of maintenance logs for the city’s red- light cameras following a U.S.
report suggesting half the cameras in Washington D.C. don’t work.
A story in the Washington Post this week says roughly half of the 50 red-light cameras in the District of
Columbia have been out of service for months.
The cameras were, until this week, operated by Texas-based Affiliated Computer Systems, the same company
that runs Edmonton’s and Winnipeg’s cameras.
“Every (paralegal) and everyone who’s got one of these tickets is going to be all over us when this gets out,”
said Coun. Kim Krushell.
She’s calling on the Edmonton Police Commission to order an immediate audit of ACS’s maintenance
operations.
“Our problem is liability. Obviously there’s a risk that some tickets will turn out to be worthless.”
“We’ll have to do some sort of audit now, won’t we?” said Coun. Terry Cavanagh. “We expect these cameras to
prevent accidents. We have to know they’re working.”
The maintenance glitch in D.C. is just the latest black mark on ACS’s corporate record.
The company faces charges of bribing two city cops after a lengthy RCMP investigation into the 20-year, $90-
million photo enforcement contract in Edmonton. The officers also face charges of accepting bribes.
In D.C., ACS’s corporate rival, American Traffic Solutions, officially took over management of the red light
cameras yesterday.
ATS reported in a memo to D.C. council members that 23 of the cameras were not working – some for as long
as six months. The maintenance gap means lost revenue and a potential liability gap as motorists come forward
to challenge fines.
Look for the same thing to happen in Edmonton, said Randy Semeniuk, a paralegal who runs a service for
motorists fighting red-light and photo radar tickets.
“Of course you could bring the (D.C. situation) into an Edmonton court,” he said.
“You could make the argument that all of Edmonton’s cameras have to be reviewed before any more fines could
be assessed.
“It brings the reliability of the whole red-light camera system into question.”
——-

Summary of charges and investigation
http://injusticebusters.org/06/Edmonton_06.shtml

Details from the trial involving ACS and two Edmonton Police Officers mentioned above. I only read part of this huge case law document but it looks like ACS had much better lawyers than the Crown:
Was ACS also helping in some way with legal costs for the officers?

http://caselaw.canada.globe24h.com/0/0/alberta/provincial-court/2007/11/13/r-v-acs-public-sector-solutions-inc-2007-abpc-315.shtml

 

Buried British government reports show photo enforcement cameras don’t work!
The motorway road works figures in the report associate:
– Gatso type speed cameras with a 55% increase in injury crashes
– SPECS type speed cameras with a 4.5% increase in injury crashes
– speed cameras with a 32% increase in the proportion of serious crashes

http://www.scamera.org/Documents/SS%20Motorway%20Roadworks%20Camera%20Fines%20and%20Speed%20-May07.pdf

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin all have enacted a ban on photo ticketing and more since.  Many others including Ontario and B.C. (photo radar, only) have partial bans in place. US Justice Department has charged or convicted several public officials and photo enforcement company executives and staff with bribery and other serious crimes and the national probe is expanding.

Xerox is now splitting off from ACS for financial reasons but the real answer is they don’t want to be caught in the fall out.

 

More info including a lot about Winnipeg’s Photo Enforcement
http://www.scamera.org/Did%20You%20Know.htm

ACS operating 311 and is being used as a buffer to that often leading to delays in the public accessing front line services or complaints and deters many from even bothering.  It it truly worth the cost and if so can it be improved.  Should it be operated by a company with the track record and serious issues like ACS?

For more info on these mattets and what the true cost and impacts are, how to contest unfair or illegal tickets and what you can do to help stop this abuse of the public, public funds and traffic enginneering deficiencies in the name of $afety visit www.wiseupwinnipeg.com or email info@wiseupwinnipeg.com

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things I find interesting or that I think others should know about.
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One Response to Jon Butcher, ACS and Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Washington DC and elsewhere

  1. Jim Garrity says:

    Photo Radar was all about the money. Red Light cameras are a cash grab. Several studies have show merely lengthening the yellow light by 1 second was more effective at reducing accidents than cameras have ever been. But where’s the money in that?

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