Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Red Light Cameras

Victorville has been putting up red light cameras all over town. This is not unique, many cities are doing this. It's a huge moneymaker for the city and it's all in the name of safety right? Wrong. If you click that link you will see that red light cameras actually increase accidents, therefore endangering public safety all in the name of revenue. Oops.

Thankfully the state of Minnesota has outlawed them. Unfortunately, I do not live in Minnesota. I live in California where they are still legal. There is something inherently wrong with photo enforcement. It completely disregards and flies in the face of the presumption of innocence, a foundational point of law worldwide. In talking with a friend of mine his comment was that they are "unamerican" which I believe is right on the money.

Red light cameras and photo radar are not about freedom, and they are not about public safety, they are a public tax that hasn't gone through the regular channels, processes and such that are required before taxing the people. To make matters worse, they always are sold with long term contracts, meaning that if you vote out the city council, the city will still have to pay the cretins that sell these things for years to come. They ignore the foundational principle of law that we are innocent until proven guilty, and they differ from every other form of traffic enforcement in that you are not arrested by an officer and allowed to discuss the situation.

I am not for running red lights. It's dangerous. But these cameras solve a problem that didn't really exist in the first place. People do not run red lights as a matter of course, and installing these cameras creates accidents rather than reducing them.

I found one site that I really like that talks about the issue, highwayrobbery.net. These things need to go away, they are an assault on our freedom.


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