Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is The Speed Camera Tide Turning?

Although not as bad as state-sponsored casino gambling -- which disproportionately hurts the people least able to keep their heads above water -- speed cameras are a close second. They exist not to enforce speed-limit laws, but to raise revenue.

The experience of the Dear Friend & Conscience is typical. She was driving through a construction zone at a downtown speed-monitored intersection when the light turned yellow. It was a short yellow, probably intentionally so, and the light apparently turned red before she cleared the intersection.

While she was not speeding, she got a citation. Fighting it was hopeless because it was obvious that the speed camera court deck was stacked against her with the judge declaring in no uncertain terms that if she did not pay the fine her credit rating would be affected and she could lose her car insurance.

Got that?

Credit rating.

Car insurance.

Crock of shit.

Speed cameras have spread like wildfire in recent years, but now the tide may be turning -- in Arizona, of all places, and because of privacy concerns, of all things.

Alas, that is no reason to ban the cameras. Civil libertarian that I am, surveillance cameras have an important place, notably in urban settings where there typically is more crime, but not as a way to soak people as those state-sponsored casinos do.

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