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Overnight Camover Attacks in Oakland After Council Approves Continuation of DAC
At some point late in the night after the Oakland City Council voted to continue with the Domain Awareness Center -- albeit a significantly scaled-down Port-only version of the surveillance center -- a group calling themselves the Technophobic Women's Action Team (or T.W.A.T.) staged camover actions against stoplight cameras at two intersections in West Oakland.
(stoplight cameras at Northgate Avenue and 27th Street, photo by T.W.A.T.)
Some wondered aloud whether camover actions would happen in Oakland after similar anti-surveillance vandalism has been reported in Berlin, Greece, Santa Cruz, the Puget Sound, and other cities across the globe. The Technophobic Women's Action Team has answered that question with claims to two strikes against surveillance cameras in Oakland since late last year.
In December, T.W.A.T. targeted a portable private security company surveillance trailer on 36th and Adeline Streets in West Oakland, and now have hit one traffic camera at the intersection of 36th and Market Streets and two more at the intersection of Northgate Avenue and 27th Street.
The red light cameras at Northgate Avenue and 27th Street are reported to be the largest revenue generating cameras in the city of Oakland:
"In 2010, the most recent year for which city figures were available, 9,273 tickets were issued there through violation pictures - worth a gross of $4.2 million, based on the 2010 red-light ticket fine of $450. Figures available for much of 2011 put the gross worth at more than $3 million."
That averages out to around one red light ticket every hour of every day, generating revenue in the neighborhood of $11,000 daily. And those are the tickets that are paid and not contested. Local residents have reported mis-firings of the stoplight cameras when no red light has been run — requiring those cited to lose a day of work and fight the ticket in court — so the total number of tickets issued via these cameras is greater than one per hour.
The revenue figures are so high for just this one intersection because California has the steepest fines for red light violations in the country, by far. From the same SF Chronicle report:
"Anyone in California snapped violating a red light pays a fine of $480, and according to the traffic-watch site TheNewspaper.com, no other jurisdiction anywhere has a tab that high. The second-highest fine in the United States is $250, and it is usually more like $100."
And so Caltrans wasted little time in cleaning the lens coverings for the cameras today.
TWAT attack on the DAC
March 5th, 2014
T.W.A.T. Action Report
December 6th, 2013
From Berlin to Greece to Santa Cruz to the Puget Sound, Camover Actions Coming to Oakland?
November 21, 2013
Red Light Cameras in Oakland
Photo courtesy of Joshua Shepherd, http://instagram.com/p/lLIqrZE06E/. Note the Caltrans truck in the photo.
Two of four camera poles in the intersection were targeted. The cameras hit were the one in the median here and another to the far left behind the street light in this photo.
Camera lens cover and licence plate light in the median at Northgate Avenue and 27th Street scraped clean by nightfall