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'Red Light' Cameras Soon to Be 'Anything We Can Ticket You for' Cameras?

Cam Back in July, we brought you the news that a court in California had ruled that photographs taken by "red light cameras" were inadmissible as hearsay in a case where a motorist ticketed for running a red light challenged his citation.

Not only has this ruling not deterred California municipalities from operating the "photographic enforcement" systems, but, as reported by the Los Angeles Times' LA Now blog (and FindLaw's Law & Daily Life), the city is keenly aware that more revenue can be generated from use of the cameras if they can just tweak the law to allow tickets to be issued for all of the other driver naughtiness captured on film.

What other infractions are often captured by these unblinking mechanical eyes of the road?

  • Use of a cellphone while driving
  • Seatbelt violations
  • Turning from an improper lane
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians
  • Improper use of earphones (California law makes it illegal to have them in both ears simultaneously)
  • Reckless driving
  • "Speed contests" (presumably a politically correct term for the prohibition on drag racing)
  • Expired registration

There's enough controversy about these cameras being used to detect and punish red light violations. (See, for example, the fight about Houston's ballot initiative to eliminate the cameras in the city.) I'd have to imagine groups like Ban the Cams would go absolutely nuts if governments move further in the direction of having the cameras do the jobs of traffic cops wholesale.

Posted by Eric Lipman on October 7, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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