New Traffic Camera Woes - And Response

Friday, February 21, 2014

Another public outcry against being forced to obey the law. Imagine that.  Lets pretend for just a moment that it has nothing to do with revenue. The statistics for the Red Bank traffic cameras prove that after a period of time, there were fewer and fewer tickets generated by the traffic cameras. Why? Because people finally learned that all they had to do to defeat the cameras was obey the posted speed limits. Obey the law. Evidently it was a secret hiding in plain sight?

Now the upset is over new technology that makes a police unit a rolling traffic camera. It saves the officer time, catches speeders, and protects the officer from the very real dangers of a traffic stop. You know how dangerous traffic stops are, right?

A local commissioner gave this reasoning for the change in his vote, "He also said, "I have always been opposed to government surveillance, eavesdropping and any kind of invasion of privacy."..............seems to be a bit confused over invasion of privacy and the fact that when you are driving you are governed by traffic laws. Passive traffic enforcement systems have been in place for years. How does that commissioner feel about the fact that he is observed by cameras virtually everywhere we go. 

So what is the difference? Your expensive radar detector may not reveal the officer's patrol car camera [?]. You will have to learn to obey traffic laws outside of the visible presence of a patrol car, a known traffic camera, or the mobile traffic camera vans.

All the whining and letters and calls do not excuse anyone from the responsibility of obeying traffic laws. Quit being big babies. Since driving the speed limit is known to reduce our dependance on fossil fuels, may result in less critical accidents, and prevents us from having to pay speeding tickets, getting points on our license and higher auto insurance premiums, etc., what is the problem?

I guess its all about personal freedom? Okay, abolish traffic laws, do away with speed limits and signs and traffic signals. Let the police focus on the "real" crimes, murder and rape, and drugs and such. Maybe the insurance companies will post agents on major highways to spot accidents and determine fault. What do you think?

You can't have it both ways. You can't have the safety that comes from stopping people from breaking the law, and the freedom to drive as fast as you want to.  Does that sound logical at all? Sure it does. A major portion of our laws exist to protect us from ourselves. We cannot obey the law on our own, we must have someone watching and forcing us to obey--its called law enforcement.

Do everyone a favor. Obey the law. Make enforcement of traffic laws a cushy job, not a constant battle with people who cannot get up on time to get to work, or someone who cannot manage their time period, or the group that just loves to drive fast for the thrill of it.

Shame on the commissioners who take the tools out of law enforcements hands to stop individuals from breaking the law and endangering everyone around them. 

Ted Ladd

East Ridge 

* * * 

Mr. Ladd, 

There are many other factors I believe you may be missing about the importance of traffic stops.  That speeder may very well be driving your stolen car (don’t worry, you will receive his ticket in the mail and you can take it up with the judge in court).   

That speeder could very well have a kidnapped family member of yours stashed in the trunk or in the vehicle at gunpoint (don’t worry I’m sure they will be released safely once at their destination).    

That speeder could have a B.A.C. of .28  heading on a direct path towards a loved one of yours (don’t worry I’m sure they won’t collide and he can pay his fine once he receives it in the mail). 

That speeder may have just robbed your house and family heirlooms (don’t worry, I’m sure the new owners will cherish your possessions as much as you did only at a discount).  Etc., etc., etc. 

Then again, you may be correct, that speeder may just be in a hurry or late for work.  Yes, my examples are extreme as they should be.  Traffic stops are dangerous as you state for the simple fact sometimes they reveal much more than someone in a hurry.  Officers are trained to read the drivers emotions, movements and speech to determine if their may be a need for further investigation, and this would be extremely difficult to accomplish with a picture and a mailed ticket.   In all reality you would be removing an extremely vital tool (as you stated) from the officer and replacing it with a automated ticketing system.   

I’m sure however there are many out there who love the idea of being ticketed by cameras,  unfortunately those are the individuals who don’t want to be face to face with an officer as they are guilty of much more than just speeding.    We might need to re-evaluate our thinking before we remove “tools” out of the hands of our hard working officers and give criminals a greater margin for error. 

Chris Morgan



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