In this area local police have been using red light cameras at selected intersections for many years, mostly with good results. These are the devices that take a picture of your license plate if you pass through a certain zone after the traffic light turns red. I’ve always thought it was a great idea, especially considering the large numbers of ego-fueled drivers we have around here (my purpose for being on the road is far more important than anything you’ve got going!).
Little did I know, however, that this technology is a violation of my "basic rights" as an American!
In defense of my "individual liberty" the noble members of our Virginia legislature are preparing to pass a law forbidding local jurisdictions from using red light cameras. According to one delegate (from an area of the state with one traffic light per square mile), these devices "abridge fundamental rights . . . the right to be left alone".
What a load of crap! If they were talking about general surveillance cameras of the type being spread all over DC, I might agree. But the only thing red light cameras do is catch people who have already violated the law. The way I understand it, if you break the law, you sorta give up your right to be left alone.
People can question some of the contracts with the private companies that install and run the cameras. They can argue about the local governments setting the trigger for the devices too high so as to generate extra income. What you can’t dispute is that red light cameras have reduced accidents and saved lives. The scum that get caught by them deserve all the fines and penalties they get.