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New York Man Arrested for Cutting Wires to Red Light Cameras After Exposing Government Revenue Generating Scheme

Stephen-Ruth2

So often these days it seems that the worlds of what is right and lawful and what is criminal and damaging, to we the people, gets flipped completely backwards. In the following article, we see this has happened yet again. Here we have a man from New York, who has found the the powers that be have been shortening the timing the of yellow traffic lights (from 5 to 3 seconds) where there is a ticket camera because it increases revenue. The dirty little secret they also don’t want getting out is that it absolutely has increased the death toll at the same lights. When this man participated in our great national tradition of civil disobedience and used a painters pole to turn the cameras up he was first arrested. He then went further and cut the wires. His action has been applauded by his fellow citizens. Even a local member of law enforcement offered to pay his bail. Please take the time to read the following account that was written by BEN KELLER and originally published at phototgraphyisnotacrime.com. Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

A New York man known as the Red Light Robin Hood was arrested again this month after cutting wires to red light cameras where yellow light duration times were shortened by the city in order to generate more citations and revenue.

The shortened durations at the traffic lights generate $32 million for Suffolk County, which is why the county allows the practice to continue despite their own study showing they lead to an increase in accidents with injuries.

PINAC’s Theresa Richard reported about Stephen Ruth back in February after seeing videos he posted on Facebook that prove the lights near the cameras trick drivers into citations.

At that point, Ruth had already been arrested in August for using a painter’s extension rod to point the cameras towards the sky.

On April 11, he went a little further and cut wires to 18 cameras.

“I cut the cable wires, making it useless. I’ve made it dysfunctional, just like the whole red-light camera program,” said Ruth during a local interview.

 

“I did it in order to save lives.”

 

And after he cut the wires, he called the news to cover his act of civil disobedience, which resulted in his arrest after police received pressure from politicians. Ruth said police and sheriff deputies support him, because they’re aware of the shortened yellow lights.

Some may even testify on his behalf if his case goes to trial. When he was in jail for his most recent arrest, a sheriff’s deputy even offered to bail him out.

But after receiving attention from local residents and media, Ruth discovered a government entity mounted a camera outside of his home on a telephone pole just like the one LaVoy Finicum took down during the standoff with the government at a National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

 

 

“The only reason the government is so concerned about me is because I proved that they shortened the yellow lights to generate revenue and killed a lot of innocent people,” said Stephen Ruth just before he painted over the camera with a painter’s extension pole.

Ruth currently faces 22 years in prison for tampering of public property and obstructing government administration, but relies on his faith and stated he’s on a mission from God to save lives.

Ruth said that a car tried to hit him head-on and narrowly missed his vehicle. Upon talking to neighbors, they described a similar vehicle with similar occupants staking out his house and lurking around his neighborhood.

He said someone could be trying to kill him, although he said he could be wrong.

“The only way they can keep this from gaining national attention is to get rid of me,” he said.

If you think Ruth may be paranoid, consider the case of John Lang, a traffic-light scam whistleblower in Fresno, California who posted on Facebook that police were trying to kill him just days before he was found stabbed to death in his burned down house.

Police ruled his death a suicide.

If Suffolk County’s contract with Xerox is any indication of what other cities’ contracts with Xerox look like, the problem extends much farther than Suffolk County. So Ruth’s “paranoia” might not be paranoia at all. In Suffolk County, yellow lights at 50 intersections with cameras were shortened in 2011 after state legislators approved the cameras to be installed in 2010. In 2012, 50 more cameras were installed at intersections, which increased revenue by $17 million.

The video below, shot by Ruth, shows the duration of a yellow light at an intersection with no cameras to be five seconds compared to the duration of a yellow light at an intersection with a camera to be three seconds.

That two-second reduction has netted millions of extra dollars for the county and Xerox, the publicly-owned company that contracts the cameras.

 

Ruth pointed out some cameras that were put up have been taken down after they fell short of daily contract-quota with Xerox to produce 25 citations, per camera, between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., which costs Suffolk County $2,132 per day, according to the Xerox contract with the county.

Xerox collects $13 from Suffolk County for each ticket, which increases to $33 per ticket when a camera generates more than 90 tickets in a month.

 

Ruth pointed out that the vast majority of cameras were placed in lower to middle class neighborhoods.

“I’m on 25A and Setauket and you can see that there’s no cameras to be found. Lower class neighborhoods are loaded with cameras. But if you drive through Setauket, you won’t see any cameras. Why are they all over the lower and middle class neighborhoods? That’s what we want to know,” he stated in a video seen below.

 

Another vexing problem for Ruth is the coverage the issue has gotten from local news, specifically News12, which is owned by CableVision who provides the internet service to the cameras at the lights.

 

When victims of the lights went to News12 about the deaths of their family members due to the shortened lights, News12 interviewed them, but never ran the story. And while other local media outlets report from Ruth’s point of view and most of the public’s, News12 has painted Ruth a criminal.

 

When the news failed to investigate some of the deaths at intersections with shortened lights, Ruth took his own camera to document the light-duration times at the scene of the deaths. When he arrived, he recorded a light-duration of three seconds at an intersection where it was previously five seconds.

 

“I saw the crosses and thought I was in the right place.”

However, when he determined he was actually at the wrong location, he went to the correct location the following day and found the same thing, again – a light shortened from five seconds to three where a person was killed.

 

Ruth’s energy and persistence on social media and news media have gained the yellow light issue local support and he’s spoken on behalf of victim’s families to representatives urging them to discontinue the program. His supporters consist of a variety of groups from judges to cops to just about everyone in Suffolk County.

 

Meanwhile, Ruth’s support seems to be growing everywhere but the U.S., where it has remained mostly specific to Suffolk County.  He posted a screen shot on his Facebook page of folks from England calling him a “hero” and saying they “idolize” him.

“I’m even getting messages from Australia,” Ruth told PINAC.

When asked if he was afraid of the possibility of jail he said, “I’m willing to go to jail for doing what’s right.”

 

Ruth said one of his hero’s is MLK, who he shares a birthday with on January 15.

“You gotta love a guy like that. He was willing to go to jail to do what’s right.”

“I’m just trying to save lives. I spend Christmases delivering flowers to the cemetery, because nobody wants to work on Christmas. I get orders from all around the world from people ordering flowers to put on graves. I take my son and tell him to note the ages of the people who died fighting for our country. And they come back to this?”

 

So we asked what he’d like to see come from risking his own life and freedom to save the lives of others and expose the traffic light scandal.

“I want people to go to jail.”

 

Ironically, at this point in time, Stephen Ruth is the only person facing jail time for “crimes” related to the Suffolk County yellow light scandal.

 

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1

Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.

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24 comments

  1. Fresno doesn’t have Red Light Cameras. Fresno has “Video Policing”. John Lang had some SERIOUS mental illness issues (paranoia for one), and had his own cameras all over his house. It was ruled a suicide because there was not a single piece of evidence that pointed to anyone else’s involvement in the fire that killed him.

    1. “It was ruled a suicide because there was not a single piece of evidence that pointed to anyone else’s involvement in the fire that killed him.”

      Man that guy Lang must have been doing some years of serious yoga to have stabbed himself multiple times in the back – “it wasn’t clear whether his death was caused by the fire or by the multiple stab wounds to his back and abdomen.” Plus he must have desperately wanted to kill himself a lot or it is like that cop that blew the whistle and shot himself with two separate weapons in the head type suicide.

      When those who serve within our in governments at any level “police” themselves there is always a question as to the legitimacy of their discoveries.

  2. Sad that our government has come to this . For me the words for the love of money is the root of all evil says it all.May God help us and thanks for people like Ruth

  3. We have a good sheriff here in Suffolk, I hope he stands by and can help you out. I’ve been meaning to write him and when I do very soon I will ask him to do just that. All who read this story say a little prayer for Ruth. It does a lot of good

    1. Can’t agree with your assessment of Sheriff DiMarco – he is one of the few sheriffs in NY state who still has NOT refused to enforce the NYS “assault weapons” ban. Until he does that…he is still in the enemy’s camp. I’m also a Suffolk resident – compared to upstate or the midwest – this place is a liberal progressive’s wet dream. Please pay closer attention. DiMarco needs to go.

  4. If police know the lights were shortened, they should stop writing tickets. Politicans needs to get the boot out of their office, and I mean literally. Arrested. They put peoples lives at risk, people they’re paid to PROTECT. They are responsible and should be imprisoned.

    1. I could be mistaken, but from the story, it appears the tickets are automatically generated; the cameras record the car’ license plate info & the ticket is sent to the car owner in the mail.

    2. Police have nothing to do with the ticketing process…it’s automatically generated. You don’t (really) even have a chance to appeal….circuit court judges have tried to appeal and it gets denied. This is all about revenue…for the county and for Xerox. The lives of Suffolk County residents are clearly expendable when there’s millions on the table. The police are from what I’m told mostly against these things…as they are contributing to MORE accidents.

  5. This reminds me of a story that came out of Germany a while back. Seems that a bunch of young people were fed up with the surveillance cameras everywhere. So, they had a campaign to spray paint / disable all the cameras that they could.
    Apparently FREEDOM and COURAGE are catching on !!

    Also, could someone please post the names of the people responsible ?? We can’t hold them responsible if we do not know who they are !!!

    Seems like the local District Attorney should be investigating !!!

  6. Good Hereo. That shows how corrupt the system. Politicians just care about money. And the people. I this Hereo awesome through the. Good luck buddy.

  7. I’m not familiar with the systems in Suffolk county but as a traffic signal electrician for the city of L.A. for 15 years I can tell you this, there are a great deal of factors involved with deciding the yellow light times. The signal controllers used in L.A. (I can’t vouch for the rest of the country but they are similar) can, and usually do, operate independently. There is more computing going on in them than most peoples home pc. They measure traffic flow, speed, time of day, pedestrians, and adjust accordingly. Though I must admit, the yellow time is pretty much locked in, though even that can change from signal to signal. But I do know that peoples perception varies drastically from one day to the next. I’ve personally been berated by a driver for messing with the time while working on a signal. It had never changed.
    I always wished there was some sort of public training on signal operations. There are so many misconceptions about signals. I stood next to a woman frantically pressing the walk button and told her that it won’t make it turn any faster. There I was, an electrician, working on the system, obviously a trained professional and she argued with me that it does.
    I’d like to see these videos. In the article it says that they’re below but they aren’t on the page.

    1. I was living in LA when they first started to install these red light cameras. There are so few lights in LA that have left hand turn lane or lights so you have to be in the intersection and turn on yellow many, many times. People started getting tickets for doing what you had to do to turn. I remember some of the cameras on Fountain in particular. Well, they did this to a lawyer and he sued…and won. Now, if you have a camera in an intersection, you had BETTER have a left turn signal. Shortened yellow lights are real though. Got a ticket that way myself. Super quick and I did not even know I was “in violation” because the red light was behind me as I was in the intersection before it turned red.

  8. Check your state laws…because some or all states that have red light cameras have no relevance if YOU do not answer the letter to pay-up. Ignore it and don’t call or write, or even ask, because if you do…that brings you automatically under Principled Adjudication when you respond. If the citation is NOT presented to you at the time of the violation, by law enforcement, in most or every state, it has absolutely no authority.

    Police officers (off-the-record) will tell you this….as I was told by a Shelby County Deputy (TN).

    1. That is also what I heard from an attorney who is fighting the legality of red light cameras. I believe he said that if a notice is sent to you by a private company (contracted) ignore it.

      I received one for a violation. I was turning right on a red light, which was legal at that particular intersection. The photos showed me stopped behind the stop bar, looking to the left for oncoming traffic before proceeding. After reading the notice and viewing the photos, I ignored it. That was 7 or 8 years ago, and I have heard nothing since.

      Full disclosure: I’ve been driving for 48 years, drove commercially for 12 seasons (logging) and have never received a moving violation. I know the laws, and I knew I had done nothing wrong at this intersection. I knew it was a fishing expedition, plain and simple.

  9. Cutting wires to red-light cameras…. pffff!
    That’s nothing to what is going on in the UK with this stuff.
    Here, take a look at these links….

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/sep/07/transport.ukcrime

    If you google “Burning Gatso Cameras in UK photos” –you’ll get an idea of what is going on there and across Europe.

    I think is a hobby that is soon to come to this country

  10. I been wondering and noticing that a some lights in Montana. Go from green to yellow then immediately to red. I’m pretty sure this is unethical use of government in public. Those lights are for saftey not revenue same goes for ticketing. Goverment is back door taxing all over in just about everything aka stealing or theft via proxy.

  11. I’d hop on the bandwagon and cheer this guy on, except the safety report they elude to actually says accidents with injuries went DOWN by 4% after installing the cameras… we all hate them, but maybe traffic cameras are actually saving lives

    1. Preventing people from driving at all would also save lives, but I resent anyone using the lame excuse of “saving lives” to curtail my unalienable rights. I resent the totalitarian police/surveillance state that is being erected for the “good of society”. No victim, no crime.

      Salute!
      Elias Alias, editor

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