Traffic Enforcement Camera Ban?

Osky News

Editors Note: The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are not necessarily the views or opinions of Osky News.

There has been a lot of debate on traffic enforcement cameras in Iowa. It was one of the most debated hot button issues this past legislative session. I support the traffic camera ban for multiple reasons.

Traffic Enforcement Cameras Increase Rear-End Crashes, Not Reduce Them
Nearly all proponents of installing traffic enforcement cameras pertaining to red light violations cite public safety as their chief concern. It has been documented that rear-end collisions increased by fifteen percent when red light cameras were installed in the evaluation of red light cameras in seven different cities. According to The Federal Highway Administration, their study found that, overall, rear-end collisions increased by 15 percent . If the primary purpose for installing red light cameras is to ensure safety of those drivers that may be victims of reckless drivers, according to surveys they are failing to prove their premise.

The Vehicle Driver Is Not The Same As The Owner For One In Four Citations Issued
For many surprised vehicle owners in municipalities where traffic enforcement cameras are enacted, they are innocent of any wrongdoing. Opponents of traffic enforcement cameras rightfully argue that the traffic enforcement cameras issue citations to innocent owners of cars who have committed no law violation, but rather, someone else who may have been driving their car.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the registered owner is the driver only 72% of the time. Without consideration for any other shortcomings, over 1 in 4 tickets are issued to the wrong person!
Innocent vehicle owners should not be compelled to pay for an infraction that they didn’t commit, nor have to fight against such nonsense.

Traffic Enforcement Cameras Are Unconstitutional
There are many rights and guarantees that are secured and afforded to us in our State of Iowa and U.S. Constitution. Within these rights is the right to due process. This is a right that is being violated through traffic enforcement cameras implementation process.
The Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause gives the accused the right to be confronted by witnesses against him. With photo enforcement, the driver is never confronted by a police officer ticketing him. The accused are not being provided with the opportunity to cross-examine or subpoena all camera equipment operators along with anyone who handled the evidence or the officer who issued the citation. Those accused are not being provided with the opportunity to examine the design and operation of the equipment itself.
There have been many states that have already banned traffic enforcement cameras due to their finding the devices to be unconstitutional.
This right that is afforded to us through our Constitution alone is enough to declare the cameras are wrong. Proponents have no answer to this objection. Therefore, they ignore the objection and ignore the Constitution, which they took an oath to uphold and defend.

There Is A Lot Of Money In The Traffic Enforcement Business
It has been well documented that cities that have introduced traffic enforcement cameras are cities that are facing very high budget deficits. In the state of Iowa, these cameras get final approval from the city council. City councilmen are elected and for political reasons it is not popular to raise taxes. In order to avoid raising taxes while still being able to make up for overspending, traffic enforcement cameras are a win-win for politicians.
In other states, there are traces of foul play where the owners of the traffic cameras are laying huge sums of money at the feet of influential lawmakers to enact or continue legislation which legalizes or continues legalization of their money making scam.
A few speed camera companies and insurance companies combined, gave almost $1,000,000 in campaign contributions to politicians in Maryland, over the years to implement speed cameras. Cameras have been called a wise and courageous move for crooked politicians.
It seems to me like the most likely reason for municipalities to install traffic cameras is the culprit behind most scams, money and greed. The public is just sick and tired of being scammed out of money and those who govern our lives claiming that it is “for our own safety and well being.” The public is tired of the nanny state trying to micro-manage our lives and lying to us. The general public is catching on to what crafty politicians are up to and see that behind all of the smoke and mirrors, there is money being made by these crooks hand over fist and it is coming from the public.
In conclusion, traffic enforcement cameras should be banned in our state because; 1. They do not promote safety, but rather jeopardize it. 2. Traffic enforcement cameras are inaccurate in identifying the drivers of the vehicle cited in one in four citations issued. 3. Traffic enforcement cameras violate our constitutional rights. 4. Big cash revenue to companies in the business leads to the politicization of the issue and promotes corruption.

Jennifer Doland
Oskaloosa, Iowa

Posted by on May 18 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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