Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pigs Get Fat and Hogs Get Slaughtered

I've heard that statement so many times that I could scream. But here is a case where it is bound to happen and we all might be better off for it. According to Cheetah, the manufacturer of a GPS-based red light camera detector, there are some locations in Florida where red light fines can run from $5,000 to $10,000, with some being as high as $30,000. I assume that is after all court costs, etc. are added in, but that is a chunk of change for anyone.

For $50, it might not be worth someone's time to take off from a day of work, hire a lawyer, etc. to fight these unconstitutional pariah's. But for $10,000, it is worth the time and the trouble to fight like mad by hiring lawyers, filing appeals, etc. Once these cases get out of the "Star Chamber" Mickey-Mouse courts, you just might find a court that actually applies the Constitution.

This level of fines reminds me of a case involving BMW from several years ago. Basically, the Supreme Court held that certain levels of punitive damages violate due process. As far as I can tell, the red light cameras and speed cameras violate due process anyway, but these mega-fines make it worth the trouble to get binding case law that outlaws them (since it is clear that most gutless legislatures are bought and paid for by the scamera companies and thus refuse to do anything).

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