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12/1/2004
San Diego Smoking Gun Documents
Documents from San Diego that prove cameras were deliberately placed at short-timed intersections.

These seven pages offer proof that cities and private red light camera operators have exploited the use of photo enforcement at intersections with short yellow signal time.

In 2001, the Red Light Camera Defense Team subpoenaed the documents found at the source link below during their landmark and successful court trial in San Diego, California. The final page in the set is marked at the bottom, "Lockheed Martin IMS: Confidential" to indicate that those involved did not want the material disclosed. Lockheed later sold its photo ticketing division to Affiliated Computer Services (ACS).

The documents first show a list of intersections where red light cameras were placed. Next, they show the intersections with the highest accident rates. Because the lists do not match, it is clear that cameras were not placed at dangerous intersections.

So where were they placed? Page 4 shows the list which includes "high volume", "downhill" and "Amber (yellow) phase less than 4 seconds." Although other criteria such as accident rate are listed, it is clear that the company did not actually use accident history in making its decision.

Pages 6-7 show the actual criteria they used for specific intersections, and it has everything to do with short yellows and volume. In other words, the criteria used were those most likely to produce maximum monetary return, not any safety benefit.

The full set of documents is available in a 530k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File San Diego Documents (City of San Diego, 12/1/2001)

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