Most people that I know can’t stand speed and red light cameras. Most of us get that they’re nothing but revenue generators. In D.C., they were able to rake in over $50 million a couple years ago, and in Chicago, they brought in $60 million. They depend on people not driving perfectly in order to generate that kind of revenue. In other words, they depend on the very thing they claim they’re trying to prevent. And when people in a particular area with speed cameras adapt to the cameras, the city moves the cameras to a place where people aren’t used to them so they can continue to bring in cash.
Proponents like to say things like, “If you don’t like them, then drive the speed limit!” or “Don’t run red lights, and you won’t get a ticket!” Yeah, but not so fast. They issue faulty tickets more than you might expect. Faulty tickets, like citing someone for going 38 mph in a 25, even though that driver was motionless at a red light.
The Blaze reported:
“Last year, a lawmaker in the state suggested that if drivers could be fined for breaking the law, the speed camera company should be fined as well when it issues ‘bogus’ tickets. At the time, at least five of Baltimore County’s 83 cameras were found to have problems. In Charles County, nearly 3,400 drivers who paid traffic tickets because of the cameras that were later deemed illegal are now being issued refunds. The city of Westminster ended up canceling its camera program after it found operating the system was costing the taxpayers money, not even breaking even.”
At least they issued refunds. They canceled the program not just because it was “costing taxpayers money.” Like they care about that. They found they weren’t really able to turn much of a profit. And that’s the whole point. They couldn’t make money with it, so they canceled it.
These traffic cameras are really starting to get on people’s nerves, to the point that they’re resorting to vandalizing the cameras. They’re spray-painting over the camera lens, so that they can’t nab nonviolent speed code-violators. I’m not justifying vandalism. I wouldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t encourage others to do it. But it is just what happens when people get fed up with being the targets of a big money-making scam for the city. On at least one of the cameras in Maryland, in addition to covering the lens with paint, the vandals emblazoned “1776” on the camera box. On others, they were simply spray-painted black.
In the UK, it’s much worse. People do more than just spray-paint the lens. They light the entire thing on fire. Of course, then taxpayer money is used to repair or replace the cameras, so the vandals aren’t really achieving their intended goal.
I hope it doesn’t come to that here in the States, but if it did, I couldn’t help but be a little amused. Just a little.