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Road Side Cameras

Governor Ed wants to use road side cameras in order to catch Insurance scofflaws. They’ll apparently read the license plate number and cross reference with insurance records. Anyone not having insurance gets a fine. Rendell bills it as a revenue generating measure.

I’m glad some people are fighting this. I’m against using fines as a revenue tool, especially when it involves putting cameras in public places.

10 Responses to “Road Side Cameras”

  1. This goes to prove that most traffic offenses, whatever the reason given, are there for revenue generation. This is doubly true of camera offenses.
    What is interesting is, in Texas, we passed a law saying a percentage of the traffic camera fines (I think 50%) had to go to a fund for trauma units in Hospitals. Well, surprisingly enough, cities stopped putting in red light cameras.

  2. I wonder if the government of Pennsylvania could get a good price on the cameras they will be removing from the highways of Arizona?

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/07/16/20100716arizona-turns-off-speed-cameras.html

  3. Shawn says:

    In AZ they shut down the cameras.

  4. MJS in AZ says:

    AZ only shut off state-level cameras. Local governments aren’t preempted and can still use them (and they only go off when you’re 10+ miles over the speed limit anyway, yet people here still drive like they’re qualifying for NASCAR events).

  5. anon says:

    Since they have registration & insurance info (if this is to work):
    Why do they need roadside cameras for something that is a simple database query?

    I assume it’s only an offense if on public roads?

    But if you aren’t going on public roads why incur the expense of registration?

    The people pushing the cameras must be greasing the skids…

  6. Agree with the consensus here. They always claim the fines are to force compliance in the name of “safety”. IMHO that might have been true decades ago when the fines were first instituted, but once governments realized it was a revenue tool, they latched on like a tick in a dog. And using cameras to generate said revenue is even worse. Sounds like any bill that’s introduces by Rendell’s lackeys in the Legislature needs an amendment like the one mentioned in the Texas law above.

  7. Alpheus says:

    For some time I’ve felt that government should *never* profit from the wrongdoing of an individual. Any fine, any confiscation, should go directly to the victim of a particular crime, or if it’s for speeding or whatnot, to a general fund that benefits victims related to the crime committed.

    In addition to tying the perpetrator to the victim in a meaningful way (and perhaps even develop a little bit of empathy as well), this would discourage enforcement of law as a way to generate revenue, and would discourage governments from confiscating property for purposes of revenue as well!

  8. karrde says:

    My understanding is that this won’t work, unless the insurance companies regularly notify the StateGov every time a State Resident adds or drops insurance.

    If all insurance companies only notify on drops, then the State will wrongly assume that the guy who switches to Geico is driving uninsured.

    If insurance companies only notify on added/updated insurance contracts, the State will miss the people who default on a payment and lose insurance.

    The cameras are only an enabler; the trouble would be such tight data-sharing between Insurance and StateGov.

    Unless Insurance is the sales-pitch, and they’re really enabling looking for expired tags or vehicles with swapped license plates, or the latest APB notice…

  9. Jason Rogers says:

    I think it is everyone’s patriotic duty to destroy all publicly owned surveilence cameras out in public, as opposed to ones more reasonable in scope such as activly monitored cameras in state owned parking garages and such. Red light cameras and other “revenue generating” cameras sould be rendered inopeable with paintball guns, tape or even by hanging a tire on it and lighting it on fire or, when a safe backstop exists, with gunfire. Jason M. Rogers

  10. tjbbpgobIII says:

    Jason Rodgers, you’re correct. My thoughts exactly.

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