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What We Have Learned in The Last Year

We launched TicketKick, as it is today, in July of 2010, and have continued to grow since then. Our customers pay us to help them prepare defenses for contesting their traffic citations. Over the last year, we have had countless mistakes. However, we've learned from them, and have better our company because of them. When starting a business, it's so easy for an owner to want to deliver the most to his or her prospective customers. Businesses spread themselves too thin in their infancy stage, and can't deliver on their promises. The most commonly encountered problem that we've seen in our company and other start-ups is that they do not under-promise and over-deliver. On the contrary, emerging companies tend to do the opposite. With our service, about 70% of our customers successfully beat their tickets. Not everyone can win, simple math shows that about 30% of our customers do not beat their cases. When we first started, we wanted to sell our product, so we conveyed incredible confidence. We'd say things like "In the rare event that your case is found guilty.." or "We are so confident that we can get your case dismissed..." Although this worked for signing people up, it backfired. When the inevitable 30% were found guilty of their cases, they were upset. We had built up our service so much, only to let them down. Customers were rightfully perturbed, and we couldn't count on them ever coming back to us, or telling friends and family. Today, we do the opposite. We are very transparent to the customer from the get-go. We go out of our way to make it apparent that although there is a great chance to beat the ticket, there is a chance that they will lose, too. To our surprise, this strategy has worked in our favor in two ways. 1)The customer sees an honest company, so they utilize our services. In this industry, ultimately our success rate lies in the hands of the judges. The same holds true with any competitor. Any company can claim, "We'll get the job done, we never fail!" A more trustworthy company says, "We are going to tell you the facts, and give you the information to make your own, calculated decision." Eliminating other variables, our sales have gone up 20% after implementing this new mantra. 2)Win or lose, we still have a satisfied customer. When we started, we branded ourselves as the company to use to beat your ticket. Now, we brand ourselves as the company to use to try to beat your ticket. Although the difference appears minimal on the surface, it has had huge implications that reverberate throughout the company. Customers that lose their tickets still send us friends and family as referrals, or even come back to us with another ticket. One recent customer commented on our Facebook page, "Thank you guys. I would use you again in a heart beat. You made this process so easy! I am seriously shocked it wasn't dismissed." She lost her case, yet was so impressed by our service, that she plans to come back if she needs to. Although we would have loved to see her beat her case, it's a job well done in our books when we have such a positive response from our customers. 365 days ago we made promises that we couldn't always deliver on. We built up our dismissal so much, that customers expected a dismissal. When they won, they weren't shocked, and when they lost, they were angry. Now, we set up the customer with the right mindset, so that when the customer loses a case, they still feel validated, but we do get the case dismissed, the customer is positively surprised!
Posted in Business
Aug 25th, 2011

Speeding Tickets in Excess of 100 MPH

Over the last few years, we have helped thousands of customers contest their traffic citations, and many of our customers have been cited for traveling over 100 miles-per-hour. Anything over 100 is a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 22348(b). "100" is the magic number when it comes to speeding tickets. Anything 99 mph or less is pretty standard, and a driver isn't facing any serious charges. Get caught for going over 100 MPH, however, and a driver can face some serious consequences. For starters, anything over 100 miles-per-hour is a two-point infraction, rather than the one point that a traditional speeding citation carries. Fines can close in on $1,000, and some judges will even suspend or restrict a defendant's driver's license for a period of up to 30 days, depending on driving history. For anything less than 100, most judges will allow you to attend traffic school, which keeps the point off of your record. For citations over 100 mph, though, judges will generally not allow a defendant to attend traffic school. Insurance companies that run a driving record will see the 2 points, and can increase insurance premiums drastically. On top off the 2 points, they'll see that it was for a rather dangerous-in-nature offense. We've had customers tell us that they've experienced rates increase by as much as 30-40%. Some insurance companies may even elect to cancel coverage. At TicketKick, we certainly don't condone speeding. With that said, if you are going to push the posted limits a bit, keep it under the century mark.
Posted in Speeding Tickets
Aug 25th, 2011

Red Light Cameras - Question of Constitutionality

Red light cameras have been a cause for a lot of controversy since they have become more commonly used across the country over the past several years. One of the biggest questions concerning these traffic violation enforcers is their constitutionality. A Florida judge recently ruled that they are constitutional, but here are several reasons why some might disagree and believe the cameras are unconstitutional: Every defendant has the right to cross-examine his accuser: In the case of a red light camera ticket your "accuser" is the red light camera, which is often operated by an out-of-state company. You cannot cross-examine a picture, which is really all there is that is accusing you of violating the red light. There was no officer present that can testify against you. It is too difficult for a picture to show every single thing that is happening at the time it was snapped, making it incredibly difficult to reach a fair ruling. Even if an officer is present, it is still hard for him to recall the situation when the picture was taken. Red light cameras are operated by cities, not states: In many state Constitutions, it is stated that only the state legislature can enact traffic laws. Red light cameras are operated and enforced by the cities that pay for their services. This would technically make them illegal in many of the states that use the service. The driver of the vehicle cannot properly be ID'd: It is nearly impossible to properly identify the driver of the vehicle through red light cameras, therefore it is questionable that they would even be allowed to issue a citation to an individual. The issuing of a ticket seems like it would be unfair if it cannot even be identified who was operating the vehicle at the time of the red light violation. No consistent delivery method: With many of the red light ticket systems, there is not much consistency in the delivery of the tickets. This is a huge issue because if motorists don't receive the ticket they cannot pay it, and a warrant can subsequently be issued for their arrest even though they may not even be aware of their violation.
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 24th, 2011

Florida Red-Light Cameras Are Constitutional

A judge in Broward County, Florida, recently upheld the constitutionality of red-light cameras, according to The Miami Herald. Judge Steven DeLuca ruled on Wednesday that red light camera tickets do not violate citizens' rights and permitted their continued use in the city, reports the newspaper. Some have questioned this decision based on DeLuca's past precedent regarding red-light camera tickets, according to the news source. The judge generally throws out a majority of tickets, only upholding 44 of the 830 tickets that were challenged in his court this past year, reports the media outlet. DeLuca refused to comment on this apparent inconsistency. The red-light cameras have caused a great deal of controversy over the past few years. The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in 2009 that red-light cameras do not violate due process constitutional rights, but this decision has been questioned through countless lawsuits across the country, according to The Murfreesboro Post. The National Motorists Association maintains that red-light cameras are unconstitutional because they do not allow the driver to face their accuser. Although DeLuca's decision only applies in his court, defense attorney Ted Hollander has the option to appeal the decision. This subsequent ruling would have a greater area of impact, according to The Miami Herald.
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 22nd, 2011

Washington Judge Upholds Public Right To Vote On Red-Light Cameras

A judge in Bellingham, Washington, recently rejected American Traffic Solutions' (ATS') request to prevent the public from voting on red-light cameras, according to The Bellingham Herald. The camera company hoped to block an initiative that would allow the public to vote on the issue in November, according to the newspaper. However, Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Ira Uhrig denied the company's request on Wednesday, ruling that it is the right of citizens to petition the government. The initiative, if approved, would cause any traffic cameras to be removed and voter approval would be required to re-install the cameras, reports the news source. The fines from any cameras would also be limited to $10. According to the media outlet, Uhrig fined ATS $10,000 for violating the Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation state law, which aims to prevent companies from silencing the public right to petition the government. Uhrig's decision has been considered a landmark decision by some, as other judges have sided with red-light camera companies on similar issues. A Houston judge recently invalidated an initiative in which voters decided to shut off ATS red-light cameras, according to the Houston Chronicle. Houston has since reinstated its red-light camera program, reports the news source.
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 20th, 2011

Cell Phones and Texting Laws

Many of the citations that we help drivers contest are for driving while talking on a cell phone, or for texting and driving. There are many misconceptions about these infractions. Here are the facts: It is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving if the cell phone is not hands-free. The speakerphone function does not count as hands-free, despite what many people think. To operate a vehicle and legally converse on a cell phone, you've got to have it set up for hands-free operation. Bluetooth devices, headsets (only one ear), and setting your phone on your lap with the speakerphone function all are allowed. Some of our customers are cited for texting and driving, and claim they shouldn't have been cited because they were checking their e-mails, posting on Facebook, or even "tweeting". All of these things don't matter; it's not the actual texting that is disallowed, it's the operating of a device to "write, send, or read a text-based communication." According to the law, the restriction is placed on any "electronic wireless communications device." So, you say, what about an iPod? That's up the judge. Or how about using the calculator function? Well, the law doesn't say anything about that, but it may be very hard to convince the officer that you weren't texting, but rather performing math functions! These violations do not affect your driving record in the fashion that a typical speeding or other moving violation does. They do not count as "points" against your record. However, insurance companies can still tell if you've had a ticket like this, and can certainly use their own discretion to raise your rates. After all, insurance companies want to find every reason they can to justify raising a driver's premium. That's we say, "Better safe than sorry!" Fight the ticket with Ticketkick.com, and you'll have a team of professionals prepare your trial by written declration. If you don't win your case, we offer a refund!
Posted in Cell Phone Tickets
Aug 18th, 2011

Red Light Cameras Hassle For Citizens and Officers Alike

While automating the process of red light tickets may sound like a cheap way to catch violators on city streets in theory, the reality of the new technology is revealing itself to cities across the country and causing headaches for law enforcement agencies more than anyone. In Houston, Texas, the red light cameras have certainly been snapping photos of daring drivers proceeding through red lights, but they, or anyone caught on red light camera, did not need worry about receiving a ticket in the mail anytime for a period of time. When the cameras were turned back on in July the Houston Police Department had not taken the steps to staff the in-house office assigned to review the raw feed, leaving the department with an empty room to review the footage. What's more, at the time a spokesman for the Houston police said they were not sure when Police Chief Charles McClelland would order the review process to reboot, according to the Houston Chronicle. "The violations are being recorded, and they're being put in a [computer] queue, but HPD is still in the process of mobilizing the manpower to actually process the violations because every one of those has to be reviewed," City Attorney David Feldman told the news source in July. Feldman added that on average, only 60 percent of the violations in the footage result in traffic tickets. Considering the technology was implemented to decrease the amount of man power needed to issue red light tickets, as well as to increase efficiency in issuing citations, having only 60 percent of the recorded violations end in a ticket seems to be the opposite of the department's intentions. The program has, however, generated more than $50 million for the city of Houston since the technology was authorized in 2006; albeit at the cost of a 39-percent jump in rear-end collisions at intersections where the cameras are found, according to data collected by The Truth About Cars. Perhaps Houston could learn from Los Angeles, which recently shut down its red light camera program after failing to collect some 65,000 unpaid tickets and costing the city $1.5 million a year, according to The Los Angeles Times. The 13-0 vote came after the realization that the Los Angeles County Superior Court had decided to not enforce offenders who simply ignored the citations mailed to them. Perhaps Councilman Paul Krekorian said it best at the July council meeting. "Let it die, enough already," he said. "Let's just be done with this and move on."
Aug 17th, 2011

Red Light Camera Company Lobbying Florida Lawmakers

A company that handles the red light traffic cameras for more than 65 cities in Florida has spent as much as $1.5 million in lobbying and public relations efforts in the Sunshine State. According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to influence politicians and the public to accept its devices, which hit motorists with red light tickets. The news source reports that six years ago, only one Florida city had red light cameras, compared to the dozens that now have the devices. State Representative Carlos Trujillo said that governments have turned to the cameras in the hopes of cashing in, and that ATS has been successful in its lobbying efforts. "They've perfected it,'' the Miami Republican said "I think it's a lot of effective lobbying that they've been able to engage in, and these municipalities have bought in.'' ATS has installed red light cameras around the country, much to the chagrin of many motorists. In Houston, citizens voted to ban the use of the cameras, but a court decision determined that the referendum violated the city's contract with the company so the cameras needed to be turned back on.
Posted in Red Light
Aug 16th, 2011

Houston Issues Nearly 3,400 Red Light Tickets In Two Weeks

Almost 3,400 red light tickets have been issued in Houston, Texas, in the two weeks since the city turned the cameras back on, according to the Houston Chronicle. The citation program was shut down by voters in a citywide referendum, but was later reinstated by a federal judge, according to the news source. Spokeswoman for American Traffic Solutions (ATS), Cindy Clifford, reported that although the current number of citations is much lower than last year, the red light tickets issued this year have already added up to an estimated $335,000 in profit for the city, reports the news agency. Proponents of the cameras were buoyed by a recent report from the Texas Transportation Institute, which found that red light cameras reduced the number of crashes overall, according to the United Press International. However, many people have questioned the validity of this data due to inconsistencies in data from individual cities, reports the news source. Traffic activist Greg Mauz spoke out about camera program in Houston, citing numerous studies that indicate red-light cameras actually cause more injuries and fatalities, according to the Houston Chronicle. Mauz also discussed the city's monetary reasons for reinstating the camera program, telling the newspaper, "They made $50 million and who'd want to give up $50 million."
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 12th, 2011

California Politicians Debate Red-Light Cameras

Many California officials must make decisions in the coming months about red-light camera policies in their districts, according to The Press-Enterprise. Los Angeles recently decided to end its red-light camera program, causing other cities to review their own policies, reports the news source. The red-light camera program in Los Angeles received backlash due to the lack of penalties against those with unpaid tickets, according to the news agency. The L.A. City Council ultimately decided to kill the program due to the inability to effectively enforce the citations, reports the media outlet. Los Angeles Councilman Dennis Zine is a strong opponent of the cameras and spoke out against the citation program, telling NPR that an unpaid ticket "doesn't impact your driver's license, your insurance, nothing." The city council in Orange County, California is attempting to ban the cameras as well, according to TheNewspaper.com. Although the city has never had a citation program, the council hopes to prevent a future council from deciding to use red-light cameras, reports the media outlet. Councilman Denis Bilodeau, who is also a member of the Institute of Traffic Engineers, opposes red-light cameras and stated his belief that the citation programs are primarily used to increase revenue, reports the news agency. He told the news source that he hopes to make it difficult for future council members to use a red-light camera system as a method to enhance revenue. Although many people believe the cameras promote safety, many California officials question this claim. San Bernardina and Loma Linda officials question the need for the cameras, as 80 percent of their citations have been for rolling right hand turns, which pose no real danger to drivers, reports The Press-Enterprise. "The safety factor hasn't been proven true," Loma Linda Councilman Ovidiu Popescu told the news source. Other Loma Linda officials have reported reduced red-light running by simply increasing the length of yellow lights by one- or two-tenths of second, according to the news agency. Riverside and Corona City Councils are currently trying to decide whether to renew their red-light camera contracts, which end this month, according to The Press-Enterprise. It is unclear as of yet what the councils will decide, although Corona Mayor Stan Skipworth told the news source that he saw no reason to continue the citation program. The Riverside City Council is scheduled to discuss the contract on August 22 and will vote on the issue in September. The Corona City Council will discuss the issue on August 17.
Posted in Government, Red Light
Aug 10th, 2011