Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Privacy Transportation Politics Your Rights Online

Astroturfing For Speed Cameras 342

Posted by timothy
from the well-lookie-lookie dept.
New submitter dalosla writes "Chicago's mayor is pushing to change red light cameras near schools and parks into speed cameras. Just about everybody sees it as a cash grab by the city. Today's Chicago Tribune has an article about how the expanded speed camera program would benefit Redflex, the company Greg Goldner, one of the mayor's long time political supporters, lobbies for. This is of merely local interest, but of wider interest in the article would be information about Goldner's astroturfing for Redflex around the country. Redflex is the sole financial supporter for the Traffic Safety Coalition, a 'grassroots' organization to promote more traffic camera usage and fight any attempts to restrict such cameras. Goldner has already successfully facilitated the killing of one anti-camera ballot measure in Texas."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Astroturfing For Speed Cameras

Comments Filter:
  • City overpaying? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:39PM (#39340937)

    It appears that the cameras for this system are already in place, they just need a software update to judge speeds in addition to the red light function they already have. This should be cheap to do, so how much is the city of Chicago paying this politically connected man to do this? Is it a fair price, or payback for campaign contributions?

    • Re:City overpaying? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:00PM (#39341191) Homepage Journal

      "The Chicago way," and it's been like that since at least prohibition. Chicago is perhaps the most corrupt city in the US. Note that both previous Illinois governors are in federal prison for corruption? Both are Chicagoans.

      No politician in Chicago does anything whatever that his cronies don't get a cut of. It's horible, and unfortunately affects the rest of the state as well.

      If everything north of I-80 were deemed a new state, most of Illinois' problems would go away.

      • by DoomHaven (70347)
        I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here: what's wrong with the "The Chicago Way" style of corruption?

        No, seriously. Hear me out.

        There are two ways to do a project: follow a proper process to determine who should do a project (advertising the project, getting tenders, proposal analysis), or corruptly award the project to a campaign contributor. Let us make one assumption: end result is of the same or similar cost, quality and delivery date between the two companies. I consider that to be a fair sta
      • by cvtan (752695)
        I thought it was any city in Louisiana! Or maybe Georgia where the police profit by confiscation of property.
    • Re:City overpaying? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by icebike (68054) * on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:02PM (#39341227)

      The cameras typically used (country wide, I have no specific knowledge of Chicago) can be set to trigger at virtually any speed on a permitted right turn on red [latimes.com]. So they can set it to catch a one mile per hour rolling stop, and issue a ticket even when there is zero cross traffic.

      They are focused on small areas, the intersection. So the only place they monitor speed is in the intersection, and the only speeders they will catch there are the ones trying to beat the short yellows that have been put in place to raise revenue.
      Going thru the intersection at 5 over to beat the light does not cause accidents, because cross traffic is already stopped, pedestrians are not permitted to be crossing at that time. Further the speeding can only occur when there is no traffic ahead, and the speeder will have to slow down as soon as they catch up to traffic.

      In short, the only use case is to catch those trying to beat the short yellow.

      This issue is starting to hit the main stream press in Chicago, and the mayor is currently in "no comment" mode over his relationship with Goldner. But Chicago being Chicago, this will probably be pushed through regardless.

      • Re:City overpaying? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:22PM (#39341533)

        Many of these red light cameras have been driven out of town by proving they do not adhere to the national highway safety standard of 4-second yellow lights.
        The cameras are deliberately defaulting (on installation) to 3 and 2 second yellows, to raise ticket revenue.
        Once you force them to 4 second yellows, the company wants to pull out their cameras and install them in another town...

      • by dbialac (320955)

        A nice piece of information for people in Florida: by law right turn violations are unenforceable by red light cameras. If you get a ticket for doing such, fight it. It won't stand up. Also, call your state legislator and senator. They're taking up repealing red light cameras after an enormous amount of backlash by the people.

      • One thing I am now doing--and I admit it's onerous to myself and those around me--is I've taken to obeying speed limits and taken extra care at traffic lights (since our region has them in various municipalities). It's a form of tax protest. Why help it pay off for them?
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      I would put the city governments in D.C. and Detroit up against Chicago any day. Anytime the mayors and council members of cities on the edge of bankruptcy are driving around in brand new Mercedes, you know something untoward is going on.

      • by Entropius (188861)

        Having just moved to DC, I'm glad they don't let the residents vote. Nobody in this damn town should be trusted with a ballot for anything more substantial than pizza toppings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:44PM (#39340985)
    This will probably continue for the same reason DUI laws keep getting more draconian - everyone is scared that if they speak against it they will be lambasted as uncaring assholes - which doesn't make for good campaigning. And good luck fighting any tickets you receive in a school zone, you insensitive bastard. You''re putting all of our kids at risk!
    • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:55PM (#39341133) Journal
      I boycott these cash generation schemes by stopping at red lights and not going over the speed limit. That'll teach the bastards! Lets see how long they stay up with no revenue being generated!
      • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:02PM (#39341215)
        I honestly have no problem with the cameras themselves its the 1. lowering yellow light durations and 2. the "fees" required by the outsourced company. Keep yellow lights at a still safe level and do the camera work in-house and I'd be delighted to install these. I don't speed or run red lights anyway; make money off the other people on the road, less taxes for me!
        • by kid_wonder (21480)

          First they came for the Red Light Runners
          and I did not speak out
          because I was not a Red Light Runner.
          Then they came for the Speeders
          and I did not speak out
          because I was not a Speeder.
          Then they came for the No Signal Lane Changers
          and I did not speak out
          because I was not a No Signal Lane Changer.
          Then they came for me
          and there was no one left
          to speak out for me.

          • Traffic regulation != Nazi Germany (the original topic of that meme). Godwin called.
          • by tompaulco (629533)
            Seems alarmist. Up until the last thing, those are all illegal and for good reason, then suddenly they came after me, but for what?
      • by Whorhay (1319089) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:22PM (#39341537)
        The funny thing is that this is what happened in LA. They shut down their red light camera system because it wasn't generating enough revenue, which is funny because they are usually promoted as a safety issue not revenue.
      • Maybe speed cameras will force us to re-examine our absurdly low speed limits, and remove the guessing game that we all do when going over the speedlimit, but trying to stay slow enough so as not to get ticketed.

        On I-95, outside of Philly, the speed limit is 55mph, but traffic flows between 65mph and 85mph.

        Set the speed limit to 80mph and I'm totally good with speed cameras. Keep it at 55mph and you will have a riot.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:58PM (#39341165)

      You''re putting all of our kids at risk!

      Tell me about it. The last thing my kid can afford is a $100 speeding ticket.

      • by PortHaven (242123)

        And the $400 a year auto insurance premium increase.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        The last thing my kid can afford is a $100 speeding ticket.
        Where can you go to find a $100 speeding ticket? The very cheapest speeding ticket you can get where I live is for 1-10 over, and is $296.
    • by gadget junkie (618542) <gbponz@libero.it> on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:00PM (#39341189) Journal
      I wonder if it has already been tried in the US of A, but there's a solution to this speed camera problem, which is widespread here in Italy:

      1. the community must actually buy the equipment in an open bidding contest;
      2. payment for the equipment is upfront, and any variable fee, maintenance fee etc. is prohibited, to avoid the "tax farming" problem;
      3.[this is the neat one] when writing the budget, the community is absolutely forbidden to write in a single penny of expected revenue from speed camera, and any revenue must be written in at the year end as general proportional tax credit for the citizens, and by citizens I mean the ones who paid the taxes to build the road in question; in the case of an Interstate, all the money goes to the federal government.
      4. penalty for noncompliance is loss of eligibility for election or work in any goverment owned or controlled entity. If the decision was taken by a committee, all the members willbe subject to said penalty.

      If you implement all these resolutions, the political morons will not put speed camera in place, because, to all intent and purposes, they cannot spend the money; to actually spend the speed tickets income as they like, they must first pass a rise in other taxes to accomodate that income, receive it, spend it , and then use the ticket fund to lower the taxation again without being able to move that money about at will. Moreover, they'll have to fight to own the roads, meaning being responsible for the upkeep, and liable for any defect.
      • That sounds like a FANTASTIC idea. As such, it's reasonable to assume it will never be implemented in the US.

        I've long had issue with the fact that the people who profit from writing tickets are the people who write the tickets, and the people who decide guilt regarding the tickets. That's an intrinsically broken system, and is guaranteed to be exploited. The concept you explained above does as much to divorce them as is reasonable possible.
      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        That may work for you in Italy, because obviously your government is far less corrupt than our own (which is bad, considering Italy doesn't exactly have a sterling reputation with regards to corruption). Here in the USA, what you speak of is completely impossible; there's no way the various governments (state, local, etc.) would agree to such terms. How would it help them?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:22PM (#39341529)

        Nobody ever suggests this, but maybe just don't speed. If nobody ever exceeded the speed limit except in a genuine emergency situation, there wouldn't be a rationale for this kind of response. I understood perfectly well why people would not want to obey the 55MPH speed limit on roads and in cars that were designed for 70, but now those places _do_ have a very reasonable and realistic 75MPH limit anyway. We're talking about surface streets in a very urban area, where the speed limit *should* be very low, and where large numbers of people choose to ignore that.

        • by Culture20 (968837) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:55PM (#39342085)

          Nobody ever suggests this, but maybe just don't speed.

          You've never driven in almost any downtown street where they've timed the lights to be green only if you're traveling 3-5 miles per hour over the speed limit. If you don't speed, you get stuck at almost every light. But the cops know this, because when they're not camping those streets, they're traveling at 3-5mph over the speed limit with the rest of the traffic.

        • Nobody ever suggests this, but maybe just don't speed. If nobody ever exceeded the speed limit except in a genuine emergency situation, there wouldn't be a rationale for this kind of response. I understood perfectly well why people would not want to obey the 55MPH speed limit on roads and in cars that were designed for 70, but now those places _do_ have a very reasonable and realistic 75MPH limit anyway. We're talking about surface streets in a very urban area, where the speed limit *should* be very low, and where large numbers of people choose to ignore that.

          Lucky you. here in Italy, you can predict where the cameras will sprout with a simple formula:

          1. a local politician laments security on the roads, and the number of deaths involved;
          2. speed limits are reduced to a point where a snail will break them, unless it will focus only on the speedometer;
          3.cameras are installed;
          4. Profit!!

          My father in law and my mother both got a speeding ticket in a three lane road, with Jerseys in between the two directions. the limit? 70 km/h. makes me puke. old limit 90

      • Law enforcement needs to be prohibited from having a profit motive. If they profit from certain behavior, they are no longer doing "law enforcement" ... they're a business at that point. You can call it "revenue enhancement" or "budget augmentation," but it's still a stinky turd.

        I have often proposed the Red Light Lottery. Fines collected from red light cameras need to be removed from the municipality's purview entirely. If you put it in the General Fund, which at first glance seems to benefit all, y
      • 3.[this is the neat one] when writing the budget, the community is absolutely forbidden to write in a single penny of expected revenue from speed camera, and any revenue must be written in at the year end as general proportional tax credit for the citizens, and by citizens I mean the ones who paid the taxes to build the road in question; in the case of an Interstate, all the money goes to the federal government.

        I believe on of our eastern states (Virginia? not sure) recently had put in a bunch of cameras w

  • by Entropius (188861) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:45PM (#39341007)

    ... or, really, anywhere with a ballot initiative process.

    Citizens should push for ballot initiatives that require that all money collected for traffic and parking offenses goes back to the citizens as a tax credit. This should have broad popular support in most places.

    Yeah, the police/DoT would have to raise taxes to replace the lost revenue... but it would create a system where they have no fiscal incentive to engage in highway robbery, which is what traffic enforcement these days amounts to.

    • You'd think this, but over in Europe, there's a few countries (at least the UK) that use the cash generated from speed and red light cameras that goes straight into the Treasury's coffers and used to try and plug any deficits to little avail. The knock on effect from this is that the police need to catch at least the same number of people or more to commit a traffic violation in order to keep the country's finances in check. This of course means quotas.

      The end result? Government mandated highway robbery.

    • by Inda (580031)
      How about we get all citizens together and decide that speeding is bad for everyone and no one should do it?

      The only other option is to allow speeding everywhere, which I would be happy about. I'd never drive again, or walk near roads, but at least I'd have an informed choice.

      Speeders don't give a shit about anyone but themselves. Their selfish grasp at an extra minute in front of the TV is worth an extra 10mph, in their eyes. They say things like "Fuck the government, they can't tell me how fast I live lif
      • How about this: Set the speed limits sanely, then most people won't violate them.

        When a road that should be 45 or 55 is set to 25 because some politicians' crotchety old grandma lives on that street and bitches or because some overconcerned parent with connections thinks that the whole world revolves around their children, it's the speed limit that is wrong and not those violating it. When a divided highway with good shoulders and large barriers is set to 55, it's the speed limit that's wrong and not those violating it.

        Yes someone doing 120 in any of those cases is still in the wrong, but that's because they're exceeding the safe and proper speed for the road, which in almost all cases is somewhere between 10 and 35 MPH greater than the posted speed limit.

        I don't have the references handy, but I've read a number of papers indicating that on average, people tend to drive the same speed on the same stretch of road no matter what the posted limit actually is. We know what feels right for the road and just do that. Whether the average road speed in clear traffic has anything to do with the posted limit is nothing more than an indication of how broken the politics are in that area. On that note, the D.C. metro area is a top offender here. Miles upon miles of smooth, wide, divided asphalt where the no-traffic comfortable cruising speed is 80-85, yet the speed limit is 55. If it's not gridlock, at least 80% of the vehicles on the road are doing 25+ over the limit.

        Speed limits are necessary because we all know there'd be some people trying to do 150 everywhere if they weren't around, but don't try for a second to act like the limits commonly in place make a bit of sense.

      • by Whorhay (1319089)

        The realistic hazards of speeding are infinitely debatable. But those moral arguements are not really relevant to the parents post.

        S/He is simply saying we should remove traffic fines as an incentive to the enforcing organization, which should be a pretty obvious ethics issue. By pushing those funds back to the regular tax paying citizens society benefits from strict enforcement both fiscally and through safer driving conditions.

        My supporting anecdote being a small town near where I grew up. They wanted the

        • by Entropius (188861)

          That small town shouldn't have been allowed to declare bankruptcy. They took money from people against the law and with the use of violence -- that's robbery. The courts ought to garnish the wages of everyone who was responsible until they pay their debts for that robbery.

      • by Entropius (188861)

        Because that claim is factually wrong.

        Yes, sometimes it is dangerous to drive above the speed limit. Much of the time it's not. You say "never drive or walk near roads", which implies that you're an urbanite, probably from a large city on the East Coast with high population density and ready access to public transportation. The rest of the country is an entirely different ball game. Drive from Tucson to El Paso on I-10 (or from Phoenix to Los Angeles on the same road) and then come back and tell me that spe

  • Patronage? (Score:5, Funny)

    by lax-goalie (730970) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:46PM (#39341013)

    Political patronage in Chicago?

    I'm shocked!

  • Chicago? (Score:5, Informative)

    by srussia (884021) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:48PM (#39341051)
    Say no more--oh, wait, just one more thing, that "Chicago mayor" is none other than Rahm Emanuel.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Who?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You know... President Obama's best buddy and former Chief of Staff.

      • Who?

        Rahm Emanuel was Obama's chief of staff. He left the white house, and ran for mayor of Chicago. He has a reputation as a fairly "clean" politician (at least by Chicago standards) and someone who gets stuff done. Many people were hoping that he could finally rid Chicago of the corruption that came with a half century of the Daley family. So there is quite a bit of disappointment to see that he is engaging in much of the same kind of sleaze as his predecessors.

      • by ArcherB (796902)

        Who?

        Rahm Emanuel was President Obama's Cheif of Staff and senior advisor. Basically, Emanuel was to Obama what Karl Rove was to Bush, although Rove was Deputy Chief of Staff, but both men held about the same standing with the president. Emanuel was also a senior adviser to Bill Clinton.

  • It's news that it's being done on a relatively small scale, but many large industry groups use similar astroturfing tactics. As soon as androids (the robots, not the phones) become cheap you'll see them pile out of buses to stage protests too.

  • They tried this here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:52PM (#39341095)

    For years Albuquerque had red light/speeding cameras at a lot of intersections. The public got tired of it, and the city council voted to drop the contract. After a long legal fight, the cameras finally got taken down.

    Think that's the end of it? Hah.

    See, because Redflex is a private citizen (thanks citizens united!), and not a governmental institution, the company couldn't file criminal cases against alleged speeders/red light runners, so any of the charges they brought forward were always civil cases. This also means that you don't have to go to court to fight the charges, pay any settlements, or essentially give a damn because no police officers saw the crime take place.

    Why does this make a difference? Because Redflex was guaranteed something like 40% of the ticket price per incident. Which they're obviously not going to get. So what did they do? They sued the city for $4.5 million.

  • I find it interesting that the State of Arizona tore out its speed cameras as they actually were costing more money than they were generating in revenue and traffic collisions actually went up. Don't you believe that Traffic Safety Coalition as it stinks to high heaven of lobby group. Even some municipalities removed the cameras as they served no purpose whatsoever. The statistics are that 2/3s of all tickets issued by these systems have to be thrown out for one reason or another.
    • Speed limits are generally a bad idea. They could be useful for some situations, such as a blind rise or reducing-radius corner, but in most situations they just don't improve safety. If they were used judiciously then people would take them seriously too.

      • I would agree with you if people drove sanely, but they don't drive as fast as is safe, they drive as fast as they think that they can get away with. They're not interested in the weather conditions or the quality of the road or whether there's anybody around them, they're just interested in getting to wherever they have to go as fast is possible.
    • by swb (14022)

      Arizona is also one of those states where even the liberals have little tolerance for Big Brother. IIRC, the AZ cameras were getting shot up. Regularly.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        I'm not sure where you heard that. I live in Tempe, and there were a handful of incidents that I recall, and that's about it. There was one incident where some guy pulled up next to a Redflex mobile van and shot the guy inside (killing him); that was pretty big news. And I recall one or two cases of people vandalizing the cameras (not necessarily with guns), but that's quite different from "getting shot up... regularly".

  • by swb (14022) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @01:59PM (#39341169)

    One of the things I would do is hire a statistician/economist to study speed/traffic enforcement and find out if law enforcement is even remotely performing enforcement relative to areas of high accidents. If its totally unrelated statistically, I'd hire a lobbyist (or maybe even a politician!) to publicly shame them for wasting money and just harassing people and possibly push for a law that would require the police to enforce traffic safety where there were actual problems with traffic safety. Maybe even make "speed traps" not in a state reported risk zone flat out illegal.

    My guess is that 90% of police traffic/speed enforcement has literally nothing to do with traffic safety but instead is focused on where people are speeding (underutilized highways, in good condition, etc) and how easy it is to catch them (good hiding places, good weather, etc).

    I've never heard of a police department doing an analysis on accidents, traffic volume, pedestrian volume and then choosing to focus enforcement efforts on areas where people actually have a lot of accidents related to traffic infractions.

    I'm told by someone in law enforcement that in at least one upscale suburban community their speed enforcement on local streets has literally nothing to do with traffic safety -- they pick spots where people naturally speed by small margins (eg, 35 in a 30 zone) due to hills or lack of intersections for the express purpose of pulling them over, checking identification, and trying to get "easy" arrests for other offenses unrelated to traffic safety. Basically one step above a police state checkpoint.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      My guess is that 90% of police traffic/speed enforcement has literally nothing to do with traffic safety

      90% of all law enforcement has nothing to do with safety.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Absolutely correct; pulling people over for speeding and other minor offenses is frequently how police pick up people who are wanted for outstanding warrants.

  • by Mars Saxman (1745) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:03PM (#39341233) Homepage

    A friend of mine discovered that it is trivially easy to blind one of these cameras.

    From his local grocery store, he bought an empty sprayer bottle and some white glue (like Elmer's); this cost like three bucks. He mixed up a 1:1 solution of glue and water, then screwed his sprayer bottle's nozzle to the "stream" mode.

    My friend started carrying one of those reusable grocery bags to the store. He'd just leave the sprayer bottle in it. Every time he went to the store, he'd walk up behind the red-light camera, stand just underneath it but still outside its field of vision, and then spray glue all over the lens.

    Note that the red light camera systems usually have two cameras: one is a video camera, mounted higher up, which does detection; the lower camera is a high-res still camera, designed to capture the image of the license plate. You don't need to bother with the video camera; just blind the still camera. The system will still keep running, but the photos will be all blurred out and unusable.

    My friend said that he'd walk by the camera two or three times a week, and the lens was usually cleaned off by the time he came back. That means that the red-light camera company was sending someone out to clean it, over and over, every week, costing the company lots of money.

    My friend told me that someone once approached him in the grocery store and asked what he had been doing; they'd seen him spraying the camera and were curious what he was up to. When he explained how easy it was to disable a red-light camera, the person was delighted and decided to go start doing it herself, too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dhalka226 (559740)

      So what you're saying is that your friend is a vandal -- and too stupid to avoid admitting it to any random person who asks in a store much less avoid getting caught to begin with?

      I'm not a big fan of red light cameras for a number of reasons, but damaging other peoples' property is not the right answer.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      If the camera is owned (or funded) by the EU or US member state, then you are wasting taxpayer dollars.

    • Why does he feel he has the right to vandalize stuff and disobey the laws? What gives him the right to be a straight-up arsehole? Is he mentally so dysfunctional that obeying something as simple as red-light-laws is completely impossible for him?

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        Civil disobedience. Clearly he feels they are enforcing laws that are wrong, and has no other recourse.

        So, let him continue doing it, get caught, and get processed. That's how civil disobedience works.

  • In Maryland, for doing 68mph on the interstate. Supposedly it's a construction zone, and while they are doing work on the bridge it's mostly underneath. In fact I can't recall ever seeing a worker on the interstate itself.

    Mind you, this "work zone" camera has been in operation since June 2010. Not sure why ANY construction zone should exist that long.

    At $40 a ticket, and 200,000+ tickets it has generated over $8 million for the state of Maryland.

    • by CyberSnyder (8122)

      Was this a 50 MPH speed limit or a 65MPH speed limit area? If you were doing 18MPH over, you probably deserve it. 3MPH over, I'll side with you.

    • by jandrese (485)
      Ugh, I hate those. You get a ticket in the mail for $4 for the speed you were going over (2mph over the speed limit)...and $450 in fines/court fees/camera operator expenses (as a goddamn seperate check!). It's a total rip. You just know it was tagging every single car on the road that day. And they're totally lazy about updating the court records so it's a total nightmare to actually get it paid. The worst thing is that they install them on interstate overpasses and just get pictures of your plate as y
  • Since nearly everyone speeds, how come we don't just raise limit? I'm assuming traffic legislator is introduced and voted for by state congressional representatives? Is their so much money involved in this racket that representatives simply look the other way? I seem to recall that one state doesn't have speeding tickets, instead they write citations for excessive fuel consumption, presumably as a way to de-crimalize speeding. When more people then not have convictions for speeding, I think the laws need to

  • by golodh (893453) on Tuesday March 13, 2012 @02:46PM (#39341923)
    What's the big problem with speed cameras? I don't see it.

    Speed cameras register speeding offenses, nothing else. Whether, and to what extent, that's met by fines is determined by local politics (which everyone of us has a say in).

    I can understand people who get a ticket don't like the camera, but that can't be a reason not to install them, can it?

    As I see it, all those posts that wax eloquent about beating short yellow are barking up the wrong tree. It's easy enough to set the cameras so that they only register serious speeding offenses. It's just a matter of getting local politics to set reasonable criteria.

    The essence of the problem seems to be that people simply distrust their local government to set a reasonable policy for those cameras. And isn't that a far more serious problem than mere cameras?

    • by jbwolfe (241413)
      Have you considered that in many cases one need not be proved to have been the person to have committed the offense to be held responsible for the "crime". You receive a notice of violation via mail and must prove someone else did it to avoid responsibility. What happened to "innocent unless proven guilty"? For this reason, many municipalities will only issue fines and not criminal charges or "points" against your license. It is a money grab, pure and simple, not a means to enforce the law or increase safet
    • What's the big problem with speed cameras? I don't see it.

      Its the lack of slack. The world runs on slack. Cameras have no slack. A society where all laws were rigidly enforced would come to a grinding halt. And while it might be an authoritarian's paradise, it would be as dreary and dull as north korea.

    • by Whorhay (1319089)

      My primary issue(s) with speeding and stoplight cameras is that they don't stop the dangerous activity when it is happening. In fact the negative reinforcement won't come until weeks later, provided it's even sent to the correct person. Because it generates no points on the license the only incentive not to break this law is a financial one. This can effectively make wealthy individuals immune to traffic laws enforced by camera.

      Because these are counted as civil fines the standard for finding an offender gu

  • What has the world come to?

  • I only needed to read those three words to realize the whole thing is a sham.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

Working...