When they first started showing up, ticket cameras were supposed to be the next big thing.
Local governments wanted more ticket money to fill in holes in their budgets, ticket camera companies wanted to sell their systems, and the only people it would hurt were the "bad" drivers who were "caught" and they deserved their tickets anyway.
But then ticket cameras started to be used in real life (instead of a corporate-sponsored fantasy land) and the number of accidents didn't go down at all – they actually increased. And the "bad" people who got "caught" weren't bad people after all, they were school teachers and grandmas. Regular people who had never been ticketed in their lives before.
And that wouldn't have been a problem, we could have all chalked it up to a learning experience. But there was one nagging issue. Our government officials – the people who were supposed to be looking out for us – refused to turn the cameras off.
The money was just coming in too fast. Both from the cameras themselves and the ticket camera industry lobbyists.
The cities and the camera corporations got so greedy that they started to resort to using dirty tricks to increase the flow of money before people figured out what was happening.
Here are a few of their dirtiest tricks.
- The ticket camera companies have been caught numerous times wining and dining local officials to get them to install ticket cameras. These corporate executives have given local government officials and police free vacations and even flat-out bribed them to install cameras that they know don't work. They put together elaborate presentations that show actual red light crashes filmed by their ticket camera systems and claim to be able to prevent them. The allure of money is so strong that the local authorities don't care that the camera company is showing them proof that their system doesn't stop those accidents!
- They used short yellow light times to generate more tickets even though the drivers were not doing anything unsafe. If a yellow light is too short for the flow of traffic through an intersection, it will create more split-second violations because people won't be able to stop in time. These are not dangerous violations, but they are extremely profitable. Several cities have been caught shortening the yellow light times after installing cameras, but an equally devious trick is when they simply pick an intersection that already has a yellow light time that's too short and put a camera there instead of fixing the actual problem with the intersection.
- They have started sending out tickets for running a red light to vehicles that have simply crossed the stop bar line. These drivers are getting tickets even though they never entered the intersection! Imagine having a ticket for running a red light on your driving record when you actually stopped at the intersection safely. This is particularly deceitful in colder climates where there may be snow and ice covering the road. Drivers are expected to stop behind a line that they can't even see.
None of these tricks make drivers like you more safe, they just make it easier to take your money.
The ticket camera companies have deep pockets and have proven that they can buy access to local politicians. The politicians have the power and incentive to push these systems through. How does the average driver fight back against this powerful combination of forces?
It's simpler than it may seem. We only need to take out one link of this chain for the whole thing to fall apart and the politicians are the easier target of the two – those ticket camera corporate executives have a knack for slithering away from accountability.
To get this done, drivers like you and me simply need to band together and fight back. The sheer numbers we have give us immense power.
You decided to give them the power to represent your interests and you can easily take it away. Believe me, they know this. It won't take thousands of people to do it, just a committed few – especially on the local level.
By bringing their greed to light, you can drive them out of office or shame them into doing the right thing. A few passionate people and some minor press coverage is usually more than enough to bring them down and/or change their greedy ways.
It's already working. Across the country, cities are being forced to give up their money-stealing ticket camera systems thanks to drivers like you who say enough is enough.
The great thing is that you don't have to do it alone. The National Motorists Association has been around for over 30 years and as the cameras started popping up around the country we've been slowly building an army of activists ready to fight back against this immoral scheme.
We need more members like you and that's why we're directly asking you to join today. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Not someday. Today.
You don't have to commit to attend any rallies, you don't have show up at your legislator's front door, and you don't have to promise to make it your life's work.
All we're asking is that you join our organization, filled with other drivers like you, and listen.
Simply staying informed is enough to put you miles ahead of most other drivers who continue to bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away on its own.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead, American Cultural Anthropologist
And who knows, you may even surprise yourself and become one of those few passionate people that this nation's roads really need.
To join the National Motorists Association, please click on the big red button below.
This is what will happen after you click the join button above:
- You'll be taken to a page where you can enter your name, address, and contact information. We only use this information to provide you with relevant information about driving issues. We don't share it with anyone and we would never even consider selling it to anyone.
- After you finalize your membership by submitting the online membership payment form, you'll receive a receipt/welcome email describing some of the resources that have just become available to you.
- You'll immediately start receiving legislative alerts about traffic laws in your area (only when it's important) and you'll get access to our email newsletter as well (sent every Sunday morning).
- In a few weeks, you'll receive a new member packet in the mail along with a member card and more information to help you get the most out of your membership.
- For as long as you're a supporting member, you'll also receive our quarterly print newsletter in the mail (4 times a year).
The sole focus of the NMA is promoting reasonable traffic laws, but we understand that it can be tempting to decide against helping out. We've found that it's all too easy for some people to justify that decision without some kind of direct, personal benefit being offered to them.
That's why we also provide several membership benefits as an incentive to join (and stick with) the organization. One of our most popular benefits is:
Immunity From Future Speeding Tickets
All supporting members of the National Motorists Association are automatically enrolled in our Traffic Justice Program. Under this program, if you get a speeding ticket while you're a member, your ticket will be paid for by us. The only requirement is that you plead not guilty and fight it in court first. To take advantage of the program you simply submit to NMA a readable copy of the original ticket, the receipt from the Clerk of Court for the amount of the ticket and court costs, and the court confirmation of a trial having been conducted with a "guilty" verdict indicated.
The following restrictions apply: this program is restricted to speeding tickets, a plea bargain voids eligibility, one ticket per member will be paid each membership year (max. payment of $300), "Trial by Declaration" does not qualify as a "court trial", and legal fees for attorneys are not eligible for payment under this program. If a lower court decision is appealed and produces a guilty verdict, payment will be made at the conclusion of the appeal.
Why Are We Willing To Offer This Benefit To Our Members?
Our system of traffic laws and enforcement is broken and one way to force change is to make it unprofitable for cities to continue on their current path. The cities are counting on people just paying them the money. They set budgets that rely on that ticket money and it's to their advantage to do everything they can to inconvenience people who want to fight their ticket in court.
The NMA realizes this and we're offering this program to encourage people to stand up for their rights, fight their tickets, and help us change the system so that it focuses on improving safety instead of generating revenue.
Your supporting membership will extend NMA benefits to you, your spouse, and any children under the age of 21 residing in your home.
Can I join over the phone?
Of course! Just call our membership department toll-free at (800) 882-2785.
Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm (Central Time Zone). Evening and weekend inquiries will be answered the following business day and we are closed on typical holidays.