Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Gary Stein Can't See the Forest for the Trees

Gary Stein has an editorial in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel where he essentially says that if you get a ticket from a red-light camera, you deserve it and stop whining about it. What Gary fails to realize that most people who oppose the cameras are not necessarily law breakers. Mr. Stein might as well say this: "If you get arrested, you are guilty and you should go to prison for as long as the government decides to send you." You see, the biggest problem with the cameras is a complete lack of due process. Most of the statutes are set up so that it costs you more to appeal and/or get a hearing than paying the ticket. Most of them are set up so that they do not even have to prove you are driving the car. Throw that on top of the obvious incentive to shorten yellow lights or just flatly commit fraud and you have a recipe for disaster. Most of the tickets are for rolling rights-on-red that seldom ever cause an accident and are seldom ever enforced by police because they know this and because they have the discretion to charge people with legitimate violations instead of "technical" violations.

I think we can all agree that someone who tears through the middle of an intersection, after a properly timed yellow, deserves to be punished. I've got not problem with that. I do have a problem with being guilty until proven innocent and then having the cost of proving my innocence exceed the cost of just laying down and writing the check to make it go away. That's what morons like Gary Stein just don't get.

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