Thursday, December 15, 2005

Organic police

Adam Harvey of Organic Mechanic ponders traffic cameras:
I wonder how a piece of electronic equipment can be vested with the authority of a full police officer.
Gone is the fig leaf that the tickets are being issued for safety. If they are worried someone will drive like a maniac, ignoring all speed limits and red lights, sending a ticket to their house days after they crashed into someone is rather pointless. The argument against human-only enforecement is that scofflaws might get away with speeding as long as patrol car is not nearby. If they wanted to have a "fair" system that tickets everyone who speeds, then the people tend to rebel against it to such a degree that elected officials back off.

Chester Avenue does not ha ve a gleaming record of the city government enforcing traffic laws for the right reasons. Since it's a state highway, they city cannot make a lower speed limit such as 25 without a study to back it up. They recently had to roll up the limit to 35 and pay back people charge with speeding above 25 but under 35. It leads one to think the reason for the low speed limit was not really safety but revenue, as I suspect the case is with the cameras.


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