Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hate Junk Mail? How About Spy-Cam Mail?

Specifically, the cameras at designated Fort Worth
intersections that click and report you in your car running that red light. Then, a couple weeks later, their owners send a notice of violation to your mailbox, including three pictures of the violator (you) and a demand for payment of the $75.00 fine.

Does this bother anyone but me?

I have a few questions. Who's guarding the data? Let's just say someone wanted to impose a picture of my license plate over someone's car that looked like mine? How difficult would that be? Are these documents proof of violation? Can one plead "not guilty"? How do they know my car wasn't stolen? Or, that it wasn't loaned it to a friend?

Okay, it's a red-light violation and not a violation of the 1st Amendment, but there is something annoying about it. Is it all that necessary? Fort Worth is a great town that doesn't need this kind of law enforcement.

(By the way, I didn't receive one, I know someone who did)

7 comments:

cwheat said...

FYI - I was speaking to a friend last night whose husband is a FW police officer. She told me that even if your front tires are on the white line, marking the intersection, you will get a ticket for that. So,when you start creeping forward trying to time the light, don't let your tires creep over the white line.

Francis Shivone said...

Another reason I don't like it.

jeromey said...

i also dislike these cameras in the current implementation. i'm not opposed to technology helping humans make the world a safer place, but automatically mailing tickets to people that may or may not be guilty is not right.

it seems to me that if i were to send possibly bogus bills to people via the mail, the postmaster general might have something to say about that, eh?

wouldn't a better way be for the local police dept. to have officers watch the pre-recorded, pre-flagged videos of the suspected red light infractions and then issue the citations locally? at least then you have real, experienced police officers that know the local area making judgement calls just as they might if they had seen you personally run the light.

i'm not even going to get into the argument that the cameras make the streets "safer." (i don't think they do) but that's certainly another issue to discuss.

the point of the system is to generate revenue. viewed as a business venture, they're working - just not as well as predicted...
...yet.

Francis Shivone said...

All excellent points, Jeromey. My son received the ticket last week. As I understand it, it is a ticket and a demand for payment w/o due process.

I agree with you, if they added a human element to it, I would be less dissatisfied, if also they had a way to set a trial date.

The "safer" argument for the traffic-tickets is dishonest.

I guess the thing that bugs me the most is the us vs. them mentality that the city government is engendering, probably because one of the things I have liked the most about Fort Worth is that for a big city it still has the feel of being run by local folk.

ms said...

I too have received a $75 camera ticket and was none too happy about it.

However, I must admit, now if I happen to glide through a yellow light and see a touch of red, I am looking to see if a camera is at the designated intersection. I know big brother may be watching and I am more likely to stop than slide through.

Francis Shivone said...

I knew someone would spoil my fun and be willing to accept it. oh well . . . .

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