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

Jon-John-Butcher
Photo of Jon (John) Butcher provided by anonymous source and confirmed by others that knew him.
Aug 18 2016 – WiseUpWinnipeg
Updated Aug 26 2017 – added photo of Jon / John Butcher, details of Xerox spinning off Photo Enforcement division into Conduent to avoid fallout from prosecutions and widening probes, and warning to women about allegations against Jon Butcher.
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

Here is a summary and more details on each section below.

There is several things in common with Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Washington DC, Saskatchewan and elsewhere. Many are related to unfair and unlawful practices to allow ever increasing amounts of $afety revenue to be generated at the expense of true public safety, interest, society and the economies. There is overwhelming amounts of info and evidence that former WPS Patrol Sgt. Jon (John) Butcher was involved with ACS (Formerly acquired by Lockheed Martin, then Xerox and now spun off to Conduent) in unfair if not unlawful behavior to implement Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg and implement or expand it in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Saskatchewan and elsewhere. More details in these allegations below.

Jon Butcher (who it is alleged now goes by John) and ACS also behind lobbying to implement these questionable photo enforcement programs.

  • Officials push for school bus cameras with false and misleading information
  • Artificially reduced speed limits in School Zones against certified engineers, studies and CAA recommendations

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, Lockhead Martin, City Councillor 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!

Several people have alleged Jon or John Butcher has had an affair with them or their partner and were lied to about his current relationship or had concerns he was lying to a wife or partner.

What protections are offered to those that speak on behalf of the public to expose corruption or other wrong doing and to warn them.

Related information including this and more on Jon (John) Butcher and ACS

The International Safety Scamera industry is imploding

Summary and Impacts

The following info is important for all Manitobans and others as the impacts of ignoring are much more than most realize and are 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 former WPS officer who was promoting Photo Enforcement and ACS provided false and misleading safety improvement and revenue forecast information that helped convince City Council and the Province to implement Photo Enforcement in Winnipeg. Legislation was amended and implemented without due diligence. He was also the main driver in getting the contract awarded to ACS in 2002 even though EDS (Later acquired by HP) had much lower bid but rejected without valid reasons. We spoke to the former CEO at EDS who said they consulted a lawyer and had a case prepared that they felt they could win but were just entering this industry so felt it 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 institutions not influenced by outside parties have proven photo enforcement 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 of Photo Enforcement in 2005 – 2006 is available that highlights some of these serious 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 and he said he had a better opportunity lined up. It looks like that was ACS.

Since than the above mentioned audit 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 involved in lobbying for this questionable photo enforcement program
‘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, …” It is alleged once again that false and misleading safety improvement information provided. There is several verified studies that prove that these cameras on buses do not improve safety, that bus driver error the most common cause of injuries to children on school buses and better education for bus drivers, vehicle drives and parents and their children is the most effective and inexpensive method of improving safety.

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

Artificially reduced speed limits in School Zones against certified engineers, studies and CAA recommendations

It is alleged that Jon Butcher and or someone else at ACS were 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 certified and regulated Engineers and CAA recommend flashing lights only when kids present for reduced speed as the safest method to protect children. At least the MB HTA already has sections that required drivers to drive for the conditions and watch for children (which failure to do is an offence and fine that police can issue) .

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

There is allegations against ACS of bribing former WPS Jon (John) Butcher before he retired from ACS as he had inside knowledge of where the most tickets were being issued by officers (most deficient in signage, artificial speed limits etc…._ and where the cameras should be setup to maximise revenue vs. where there was a real safety need even after correcting these deficiencies. It has been exposed via FIPPA, investigations or trials that Photo enforcement corporations use this same strategy when they trying to get pilots, contracts awarded and programs implemented. It exposed they often look for an inside person in a City or municipality that is involved in traffic engineering to lower amber time (yellow light), artificially lowering speed limits or ignoring recommendations by engineers to increase them and other unfair if not unlawful practices to allow maximising violations even at the expense of higher rear end collisions and related accidents, slower traffic.

It also has been exposed these Corporations often include a clause in contracts that prevents City Public Works from modifying any infrastructure at locations with their Cameras. They kept these secret using privacy legislation with claims exposing would affect competitive advantage. Ombudsman complaints agreed but they can only compel not order. It needs to be taken to Court to get Justice to interpret the legislation as intended to get it ordered.

It is alleged that City Traffic Department Manager and engineer Luis Escobar was influenced by ACS. It proven he lied to City Council about a City wide 4 sec amber times policy regardless of 85th percentile speed and other factors. He claiming this is 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 national engineering 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 competitive 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. have partial bans in place. Court decision in Quebec recently found at least all stationary Photo Radar relied on hearsay evidence, breached several charter rights and the Crown could not stay to avoid a unfavourable decision. The Crown never appealed and Class Action has started. More info here:

Quebec, Canada Court Strikes Down Speed Camera Ticket – Should Shutdown Program

Class Action against Photo Enforcement and Crown knew tickets unlawful

Court decisions may be lost in translation – Requesting English Translation of Quebec Court Decision only rendered in French

US and State Justice Departments cracking down on corruption in Photo Radar / Enforcement industry and public sector.

US Justice Department has charged or convicted several public officials and photo enforcement company executives and staff with bribery and other serious crimes in City of Chicago, in several places in Ohio and elsewhere. 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. It has become Conduent.

Several people have alleged Jon (John) Butcher has had an affair with them or their partner and were lied to about his current relationship or had concerns he was lying to a wife or partner.

Why have we included this. We have been contacted by women or partners of women who have had affairs with Jon asking if he was married or with a partner. Each time they felt the other women should know and were trying to reach them. They have been asked to post this and agree it is important to warn other women or their partners of the harmful behavior that Jon has been alleged to repeat with no remorse. In some cases they were very careful what they said as they were actually afraid of what he may do to them if he found out.

Here is a pattern of this harmful behavior that if true should be very concerning. Only meets in person a few times a year. Rarely makes time to talk on the phone. Not allowed to take any pictures together. Sends gifts of appreciation including from up to five different addresses. Has said they are divorced or not involved with anyone else.

——–

What protections are offered to those that speak on behalf of the public to expose corruption or other wrong doing and to warn them.
Canadian Charter of Rights – Freedom of Speech protects those that speak or write about allegations if they are a matter of public interest (more info below).
Much of what I post related to WiseUpWinnipeg is a collection of information collected from different members from 1st hand accounts, FIPPA request records, Ombudsman Complaints, APEGM Complaints, Court Decisions and Transcripts and many other public records, media coverage and realted.
We think we have done our home work on any of the information or allegations we have posted about Jon Butcher, ACS or others and am confident there is enough evidence and information that this is a matter of public interest (allegation of bribery and …).
They have been stated as allegations only unless we have information to say otherwise. I am betting they would not want to risk exposing this more in a lawsuit as it would hurt them more than us. We have a proven track record including court decisions and transcripts that I speak on behalf of the public.
From what we have have heard first hand, what former EDS / HP CEO heard 1st hand and what else we know from public records there is plenty of weight with these allegations against Jon Butcher. These recent allegations against him heard 1st hand independently from several women or their partners adds weight to this.
A few recent defamation lawsuits in Canada and the US were decided in favor of those speaking on behalf of the public to help expose corruption and wrong doing.
One involving BP and the Deep Water Horizon and related and another against an ex city councillor in AB who was exposing breach of trust with fraudulent OT then got terminated or forced out. Then used social media to continue exposing. The Crown was trying to use an old law that a previous unreported decision found was unconstitutional. The Justice found in favor of the accused speaking on behalf of the public.
We have tried to contact John Butcher and ACS / Xerox but could not find contact info for them or they would not return our communications.
DEFAMATION: LIBEL AND SLANDER

Exert:

Responsible communication on matters of public interest

In a December 2009 case, the Supreme Court of Canada established this new defence to a libel claim. The court said that journalists should be able to report statements and allegations—even if not true—if there’s a public interest in distributing the information to a wide audience. This defence, which looks at the whole context of a situation, can apply if:

  • the news was urgent, serious, and of public importance, and
  • the journalist used reliable sources, and tried to get and report the other side of the story.

The court defined journalist widely to include bloggers and anyone else publishing material of public interest in any medium.


Related info:

ACS / ATS in Washington DC involved in more corruption – how it relates to Winnipeg and elsewhere

The International Safety Scamera industry is imploding

311 public service in Winnipeg

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 matters 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 engineering deficiencies in the name of $afety visit www.wiseupwinnipeg.com or email info@wiseupwinnipeg.com


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

This domain was not active anymore when I last checked but it used to be. Here is the google cache of it and an archive created of at least one page.

Other sources of site archives is available here: https://archive.org/web/

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:oboqwkhKSYUJ:www.scamera.org/Did%2520You%2520Know.htm+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

A recent study by the PORT ST. LUCIE police shows that complaints of speeding are often over stated by the public. This once again shows that the police surveys reflect opinion only and in many case do not reflect the reality on the streets. Lets base our traffic policies on facts and good engineering not on a biased police poll.

In attempt to further hide its operations ACS decided to close its books to the public after being stung by the US security exchange commission. ASC consistently has run afoul of the law: Two top executives stepped down after accusations of 51 million (us) in stock fraud and questionable accounting practices, ACS is accused of sabotaging equipment in Washing to DC after loosing a bit to a rival, the city lost over 8 million (us) in a parking meter service contract with ACS, ACS was charged with bribing 2 Edmonton police officers, the RCMP investigation is on going. The Edmonton police chief narrowly avoid a charge of accepting hockey tickets from ACS. Yet the the city sees no reason to look in to our contract with ACS despite the former Winnipeg police officer in charge of the project is now head of sales in Canada.

City councilors in Edmonton 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. In its attempts to retain the DC contract ACS tried to buy influence/officials including a $10,000us trip to Africa. ACS is the vendor that supplies services to Edmonton, Washington D.C, and Winnipeg.

Lubbock Texas Feb, 2007 on implementing red light cameras; City Councilman John Leonard explained to KCBD. “From the first week in office between the new mayor and myself discussions were initiated on how much revenue would red light cams bring. It wasn’t until we tried to sell the idea to the public that we started talking about public safety.”

Premier of Ontario, CBC Jan. 14 2004“I have long been a supporter of photo radar,” the premier told reporters on his way into a cabinet meeting. “It’s a revenue generator, absolutely.”

Elizabeth Yard San Diego Police Department, San Diego Union-Tribune (Car and Driver Dec, 2002)“ I would have to say the cameras themselves have not reduced the number of {injuries} collisions that have happened at these intersections”

“ You can watch them speed by and then slow down when they go past a camera” Then they speed up again when they’ve gone by . We knew this would happen.” Winnipeg Police officer, Winnipeg, Free Press, June 05, 2003. As many people all ready know Intersection cameras do not impact drivers except for the actual intersection. The myth of the “spill over effect ” where people all of a sudden drive properly elsewhere is just that… a myth.

“Adjusting Amber lights would ruin the photo enforcement program” (Patrol Sgt. Jon Butcher. Winnipeg Free Press Oct 2001). “We absolutely do not play with ambers” (Bob Chochinov Superintendent of Traffic signals. Winnipeg Free Press Oct 2001). “Winnipeg will not follow the lead of some cities where controversial red-light cameras have caused officials to length or shorten amber lights. Bob Chochinov, superintendaent of traffic signals said yesterday traffic light engineers will not lengthen for to six second timing of amber lights as has been tried in some US cities. Adjusting yellow lights timing has proven to permanently reduce red light running by 40-90%. This is is what should be done first not jump to cameras.

“The purpose of photo enforcement is to increase safety on our roads, not to generate revenues for local municipalities or the province” Highways Minister Steve Ashton (Winnipeg Free Press May 22, 2002) “Without it, the city would face a two percent tax increase next year and similar increases in the next five years.” Mayor Glen Murray, Winnipeg Free Press, May 23, 2002. Even back in 2002 it was already becoming clear that it is all about the money.

“It is a big mistake—borderline unethical—to operate a safety system, a so-called safety system strictly for revenue generation,” Butcher says. (January 19, 2004 CBC news). Butcher a past member of the Winnipeg police force over saw the startup of Winnipeg’s program and now is head of sales for ACS the company that got the contract! Councilor Gord Steves is on record indicating it is about revenue. Fines have been increased by an average of 44% to pay for other police programs. More photo radar vans have been add as “they bring in more revenue then intersection cameras”, And in case you have not noticed all the markings that used to be on photo radar vehicles has now been removed to make them harder to spot.

February 22ed 2007. New Studies in Modesto, California ( http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/16/1616.asp )and Cleveland Ohio ( http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/16/1614.asp ) show increase in accidents and accident severity at red light camera intersections. Just like the recent audit of Winnipeg’s photo enforcement program

February 15th, 2007 Canada: Winnipeg Hides Contract Data
Winnipeg, Canada is charging $10,000 for access to information on its public safety program.

The city of Winnipeg, Canada is hiding embarrassing data about its photo radar and red light camera program using the province’s Freedom of Information laws. The city is charging a price of CAD $9,626.79 for anyone who wishes to receive full documentation on the controversial contract that established this public safety program. Even after paying this price, the information provided would be substantially redacted. See full details athttp://www.thenewspaper.com/news/11/1179.asp

February 15th 2007. City councilor Gord Steves has admitted 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.

Feb 22ed 2007. 1.8 million drivers sign petition against “road pricing” A system where by all vehicales are equipped with GPS technology in order tax the driver based on where, when and how they drive.

January 19th 2007. Charlotte North Carolina has canceled its red light and speed photo enforcement program and will pay a $490,000us penalty to cancel its contract, when the courts decided that according to state law all ticket revenues where to go to the school divisions and not the police. Take away the money incentive and the camera’s will follow.

A recent audit of Winnipeg photo enforcement system 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!

Sergeant Butcher, the officer in charge of bringing photo enforcement to Winnipeg, has been well compensated for his work. Shortly after the city signed the contract with ACS, he left the police for a well paid job with a camera lobby group funded by ACS and then went on to be head of sales in western Canada. ACS is the vendor that was chosen by Sergeant Butcher for the Winnipeg photo enforcement contract despite EDS’s lower bid.

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. In November (2006), the CEO and CFO of ACS stepped down after admitting to $51 million in stock options fraud.

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 refuses to make public its contract with ACS.

The average speed over the limit has not changed in Edmonton in many years despite the millions of dollars collected by their photo radar system. Winnipeg police promoted Edmonton’s photo radar 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.

There is no red light running craze. Red light running related crashes are exceeding rare. The city collision stats do not even have separate entry for red light running.

Over 80% of red light violations occur in the first second of the red light cycle. While technically an offence most intersections have a two second all red period to clear the intersection. So most of the violations are not dangerous and could likely be cured by lengthening the yellow light cycle which the city has said it will not adjust.

In a study in Fairfax county Virginia the yellow light cycle was lengthened 1.5 seconds at a busy intersections and violations dropped over 96%. Three years later the numbers have barely changed despite a leap in the area population.

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 money raised and the complete lack of safety results.

Based on a study done by the state of Michigan and AAA, for the 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.

Photo enforcement systems have never been approved when put to a free vote by the public.

Several years ago the Manitoba Provincial government rejected a private members bill to lower speed limits in school zones (for safety) because there was no evidence that there was a risk. In fact the previous five years showed no accidents involving children in school zones. Yet for some reason this is now a big issues that needs heavy enforcement.

Some 44,000 people die in collisions in the US every year.. Less then 2% are the results of running a red light. These numbers also include drunk drives criminals evading police and other primary causes.

Most traffic cameras located at intersections have show a propensity to often dramatically increase rear end collisions. Camera proponents claim that it is a trade off and that the accidents are less severe. This may be true but it is also a fact that two to three times as many people are killed each year in rear enders then in red light running collisions

You are twice as likely to be killed falling down stairs, four times as likely to be killed choking on an object , twenty three times more likely to be murdered and over 1600 times more likely to die of heart disease or cancer, then being killed in a red light running collision. Lets get the priorities straight if we want to save the most lives.

Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin all have enacted a ban on photo ticketing. Many others including Ontario and B.C. (photo radar, only) have partial bans in place.

The police say the tickets are not an invasion of privacy and are like a parking ticket. If you receive a parking ticket you may deal with it with out any one knowing about it, it is not sent to the registered owner, and it does not reference your exact time and location. A photo enforcement ticket is mailed to the vehicle owner and the driver has no chance to deal with it on their own. You can not even agree to take responsibility for the ticket with out approval of the vehicle owner!

When the US Congress allowed states to increase their maximum speed limits in December 1995, the insurance/safety lobby protested that these moves would result in horrific carnage — 6,400 more fatalities each year (a 15% increase). Actual fatalities and injuries fell, despite significant increases in total miles traveled and small increases in average speeds! (Source: NHTSA-NCSA)

Winnipeg police installed a camera on Disreali freeway despite knowing it was under posted at 50kmh. It had been marked for an increase six months prior. Yet they ticketed hundreds of people before the city had a chance to put up the new sings. Then they claimed on their web site that the speed limit increase was do to the data collect by photo enforcement camera!

For the real “scoff laws” that the city is out to get, evading the system of cameras is simple and most defensive measures like GPS base warning devices are completely legal.

The safest speed to drive is slightly faster then the traffic average. You are more likely to be involved in a collision going 10km slower then the traffic flow then if you are going 10km faster! This trend continues to be true for larger deviations from the average speed… Driving 30km over the average is safer then driver then 30km under! However the consequences of a collision are more sever at higher speeds.

The police say the system targets the scofflaws and drivers “that just don’t get it”. Then our city is jammed packed with reckless drivers some 300,000 and counting. Since 96% of drivers were exceeding the Disreali speed limit (when the camera was first installed). May be we should suspend the licenses of everyone in East Kildonan as this menace to society must be stopped!….. Just targeting the “Scofflaw” eh!

The city/police claim it is not about money and want you to slow down not write tickets. In the spring of 2006 the city asked for and got a speeding fine increase to make up for short fall in photo enforcement revenue. At the same time they add several more photo radar vehicles (they are more profitable then intersection cameras) including a mini van, an old Ford Taurus wagon, and more recently a pickup truck. They have also now removed all indemnification on the vehicles. Previously the the standard SUV’s could be easily identified by the large Police emblem on the side of the vehicle.

According to the City’s audit of photo enforcement (page 23, see documents section) over all red light violation increased 19% between 2003 and 2004. And speeding went down but notes that the photo radar deployments were fewer. But once again there is no note of improved safety, after all is that not what this whole thing is about?

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things I find interesting or that I think are matter of public interest.
This entry was posted in justice, News and politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses 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?

  2. Pingback: ACS / ATS in Washington DC involved in more corruption – how it relates to Winnipeg and elsewhere | Whats Up

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s