I hate traffic cameras used for enforcement. Cities use public safety arguments to promote this electronic police force, yet highlight revenue goals as a measure of success because data simply doesn’t support the assertion that safety follows implementations of cameras. Furthermore, with cities like Union City over in the East Bay having been discovered for shortening the yellow light timing in order to boost revenue from cameras, the safety claims simply go out the window. The lowering of speed limits where cameras are installed is yet another example of the less than honest motives behind these cameras.
Mostly I object to third party contractors operating these camera systems on the grounds that they are acting as an agent of the government without the requirement for oversight and transparency to the public. When you get a traffic ticket, it should be coming from a police officer whom you can challenge in court, not a camera operated by a faceless and undisclosed company with a contract to the municipality you are in.
I predict we will see a growing revolt against these traffic cameras, it already happened in Texas, and most recently in Ohio.
Following this week’s successful voter referendum banning photo enforcement in Cincinnati, residents in two more Ohio cities are looking to oust red light cameras and speed cameras. The sponsors of the Cincinnati initiative are now exploring the possibility of putting ticket cameras on the ballot in Toledo. In Chillicothe, more than 17 percent of the city’s 13,000 registered voters has already signed a growing online petition demanding camera removal. “The undersigned will take action to elect new city council members therefore removing all those responsible for this unconstitutional act unless the said members make motion to remove and terminate this contract the city signed with Redflex Traffic Systems immediately,” the petition states. The possible consequences of the revolt were not lost on city leaders who are expected to discuss the issue at an upcoming city council meeting. One of the camera system’s main supporters, however, blamed residents for the program.
[From Ohio: Anti-Camera Voter Referendum Push Expands | The Truth About Cars]