Speed Enforcement Cameras: Big Brother Encroaches
Red light enforcement cameras have been deployed nationwide, and the move has not without a measure of controversy. Red light cameras received their first serious push in the 1980s in the U.S. and now 26 states employ them.
The argument for traffic enforcement cameras is always the typical government ploy, “It’s for your own good.” But thanks to revenue-hungry districts gaming the cameras to maximize revenue, there have been cases where traffic light cameras have increased accidents by as much as one-third.
As recently as 2001, a judge in San Diego ruled traffic light camera evidence as inadmissible because of a “total lack of oversight” and an inherent conflict of interest because of the method of compensation.
Before the dust clears on the first debate, here comes the overbearing State with speed enforcement cameras. The surveillance state has found another way to bully motorists. The city of Baltimore is pressing on full speed ahead (no pun intended) with it’s program of filching the taxpayer by sending speeding tickets in the mail.
Speed cameras are laden with problems, just like red light cameras. There’s been one proven case in which someone received a ticket for speeding even though they were at a dead stop. Worse, in some areas of Baltimore 1 in 20 tickets issued by the cameras have been proven to be erroneous.
Both types of cameras use automatic number plate recognition, which can also be used to track the movements of people (even though the government claims it doesn’t currently do that.)
In some cases, the cameras has led to a windfall of over $1 million dollars a year per camera for money-hungry cities that install them.
Fines in one California district amount to $100 for running a light, while the company that installed the camera, Redflex Traffic Systems receives a kickback of $20 for each ticket.
Other than the obvious issues like revenue generation becoming the primary concern vs. public safety, there are also Orwellian implications as these cameras become more common.
It’s not a society I want to live in. I don’t want to live in a surveillance state. I want to live in a high-trust, free society that obviates the need for such government intrusion, and yet another government War on Something, like the failed War on Drugs, War on Poverty, the War on Terror, and now, the War on You.
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