National Campaign To Stop Red Light Running
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The National Campaign To Stop Red Light Running is an organization that has spearheaded the push for red light cameras across the country and functions as a front group and lobbying arm for ticket camera corporations. As of 2010, The National Campaign admits on its website that it has received funds from the "photo enforcement industry" and that the organization itself is a creation of the PR firm Blakey & Agnew.
The National Motorists Association reports that "the National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running positions itself as a public safety organization when in fact it’s funded by ticket camera corporations and run by a public relations firm in their employ" and warns that the organization "stands side-by-side with legislators at their press conferences" and is "frequently quoted as an unbiased source by the media."
The corporate hosts of a recent campaign symposium were ACS, Redflex and Nestor Traffic Systems, "three of the biggest red-light ticket camera corporations in the country." The NMA also notes that by masquerading as a public interest organization, "the ticket camera merchants attend trade shows and put on 'dog and pony' events complete with victims...and local officials who tout the wonders of red light ticket cameras," while "on the public podium its all about safety [but] in the backrooms the name of the game is how much revenue can be generate."
The group offers a variety of promotional materials including posters, bumper stickers, and a screensaver to push their cause.
Red Light Camera Companies Exploit Victims to Push Florida Law
thenewspaper.com writes, "Corporations that stand to gain millions if the Florida legislature legalizes red light cameras have created a network of victim advocacy groups to promote their cause. Central to this effort is Melissa Wandall, founder of the Stop Red Light Running Coalition of Florida. Wandall became involved in the issue after a tragic red light running accident took the life of her husband Mark in 2003. Wandall now uses her status as a victim to travel the state and to lobby the legislature on behalf of red light cameras. Sympathetic newspapers frequently run her opinion pieces on the eve of important committee votes.
"Far from being a grassroots effort, however, Wandall's group is part of a slick marketing campaign funded in large measure by the traffic camera industry. Five of the top manufacturers of automated ticketing machines -- Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), CMA Consulting, Gatso, Lasercraft and Redflex -- hired a public relations firm to create the National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running. Using this group helps the camera corporations disguise the self-interested nature of their lobbying activity."
The group has put together a team from law enforcement, transportation engineering, healthcare and emergency medicine, and traffic safety. Members include: 
- Andy Clarke, Executive Director, League of American Bicyclists
- Allen Fields, Retired Chief Justice, Republic of the Marshall Islands
- Peter Harkness, Editor and Publisher, Governing Magazine
- Barbara Harsha, Executive Director, Governors Highway Safety Association
- Anthony Kane, Ph.D, Director of Engineering and Technical Services, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
- Ricardo Martinez, M.D., Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine, Emory University; Former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- John McGinness, Sheriff, Sacramento County, CA
Leslie Blakey, executive director
Email: lblakey AT blakey-agnew.com
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Sponsors, National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running, accessed October 2010.
- Home page, Blakey & Agnew, accessed October 2010.
- "National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running is a Sham Organization," National Motorists Association, January 10, 2008.
- "Stop Red Light Running Exposed as Corporate Lobbying Group," National Motorists Association, October 19, 2007.
- Promotional materials, National Campaign To Stop Red Light Running, accessed October 2010.
- "Red Light Camera Companies Exploit Victims to Push Florida Law", thenewspaper.com, April 24, 2009.
- Advisory Board, National Campaign To Stop Red Light Running, accessed October 2010.
- Larry Copeland, "Red-light cameras bring backlash", USA Today, February 15, 2007.
- Charles Elmore, "Crist signs red-light camera bill, but most of fines will go to state", TCPalm, May 13, 2010.