A Logical Discussion on Red Light Cameras

I’m reprinting this terrific letter which appeared recently in the Dothan Eagle as it is a very well written and well though out piece on why photo enforcement should be banned:

An unjust law cannot be made just because others are doing the same or simply saying “It is the law.”

The burden of proof is a heavy yoke placed on the government to protect the citizen from the tyrannical actions of elected or appointed officials. In order to shed this burden of proof, the government will attempt shortcuts and justify these measures by claiming “it’s for your own good” or “if it will save one life.”

The red light camera issue is a bad law that strips the citizen of basic rights under the color of safety and the well-being of the citizen when, in reality, it is a revenue-producing scheme.

The city of Dothan proposes “just” 10 red lights to begin and a fine of $120 per ticket. The proceeds of the 1st ticket go to the company. If only one ticket is generated per day per camera, the total amount that will be sent out of the state of Alabama in three years is $1,314,000.

Close to 20 states have outlawed the use of these cameras, with Florida and Alabama having bills introduced to do the same. Why? Are speed cameras next?

After a period of time, if red light violations are reduced, the cameras will be eliminated. In 1898, a tax was placed on telephones to pay for the costs of the Spanish-American War. After a lengthy court battle, the government was forced to withdraw the tax. It was repealed in 2010 – 112 years later. Do you trust your government?

Experts have stated that if the yellow light were to be extended to six seconds (within legal guidelines), the results would equal or exceed the proposed reduction of intersection accidents. The city of Dothan has done nothing to correct the alleged problem. If there is such carnage in the city, why are its engineers not acting now? Answer: it would not generate revenue.

The ticket will be issued to the registered own of the vehicle, not the driver. What about rental vehicles, company cars or government vehicles? In the event a person receives a ticket, that person will have to go to great expense, take time from work and other duties to prove their innocence.

The integrity of blind and equal enforcement is highly questionable. Any ticket set aside should be accompanied by detailed justification in writing. That won’t happen.

Why is the fine for a red-light camera violation substantially less than a ticket issued by a police officer? Are they not equally serious? Could inducement to pay the camera fine be the reason?

In a recent letter to the editor, a Dothan police officer admitted that the presence of a marked unit was a major deterrent in stopping illegal turns. I’m sure a citizen receiving a registered letter in the mail would hardly have the same effect.

If the residents of Dothan wish to give away their rights a piece at a time, it should be done by referendum, not by a 5-2 commission vote.

There are so many que3stions that need to be addressed. In one meeting, the city of Dothan was going to give a presentation, but the presenters could not get the PowerPoint to work properly. Ironic.

I guess that we will follow the federal guidelines according to Nancy Pelosi: “Let’s vote on it and see what we have.”

The passage of the measure has been postponed for several months. Time will cause memories to fade and this law will be slipped into the city ordinances with little fanfare.

Contact your local legislator and urge them to outlaw digital law enforcement.

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