Consider yourself warned. You've probably heard of traffic cameras that capture photo evidence of cheeky drivers blowing through red lights at intersections. You may have been one of the hundreds of thousands of people who received such a ticket in the mail each year.
But you may not realize that Redflex, the company that helped pioneer the photo cop industry, has also expanded into stop sign cameras.
In California's Santa Monica Mountains parks are are seven stop sign cameras that the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) use to help it govern the roadways of its 60,0000 acres. Over 18 months these cameras have generated 35,000 citations and yielded $2 million in fines.
Before you get upset over the expansion of sentinel police cams watching your every move, the cameras in the Santa Monica Mountain parks appear to be Redflex's only installation of the technology. But what you may have to start watching out for are Redflex's mobile vans units. Also in Redflex's contract with the MRCA is the specification for a mobile unit similar to the photo speed enforcement product that was being used in Arizona (the state decided to end its contract with Redflex in July due to strong public opposition). Redflex's mobile units have cameras that can be mounted in or outside of a van, and can monitor up to four lanes of traffic with vehicle detection accuracy of +/- 1 mph.
Though there's no mention of the stop sign cameras in Redflex's investor briefing for the first half of 2010, it states that 40 percent of Redflex's new contracts--including ones in Arizona, Ohio, New Jersey, and Tennessee--included a speed enforcement component as part of the solution.
So beware, the hills really do have eyes.