Sunday, September 25, 2005

Red Light Traffic Cameras

A couple of weeks ago my brother got a large sheet of paper in the mail that displayed a picture of the tail end of his car and explanation saying he had run a red light and a $100 fine. He had been snagged by a Red Light Camera. He was livid, and swore he never runs a red. He could only surmise the light must have turned red while he was 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through the intersection.

Yesterday I was thinking about the case where DAs were attempting to allow small children to give abuse testimonies through closed circuit TVs or on video tape so they would not have to be traumatized again by sitting in a court room with their abuser. The argument against this was that according to the Constitution every American has the 6th Amendment right to confront their accuser.

If you dispute the picture from the traffic light camera, who do you confront? Technology malfunctions all the time. I called my brother and asked if he had already paid the ticket and told him I think we could fight it. He said that he had called and they told him there was a person that calibrates the equipment and checks for malfunctions. That's the guy! If that guy doesn't show up in court --you should get out of the ticket.

Unfortunately, my brother had already paid his ticket. I am almost tempted to get one to see what argument the court would use to counter mine. If that right to confront your accuser is so sacred that they would make a small child sit in front of a man that raped them instead of back in the judge’s chambers... that means it's heaped in precedent right?

Russ told me that people have fought this using the 6th Amendment and won --so the question is...why are more of these cameras popping up every day? The Man thinks I am ridiculous for being obsessed with this. He thinks it's well worth a few responsible drivers being ticketed to stop the blatant traffic abuses that occur daily and threaten people's lives (especially on the road where my brother was ticketed). I realize this is the Libertarian in me shining through. What do you think?

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