Recently, I joined the movement, CameraFRAUD, a volunteer operated movement to oppose the implementation of photo enforcement used nationwide, including Arizona. As of today, I am available to collect signatures from registered voters who wish to repeal the use of photo enforcement across Arizona.
As such, I posted about this on my Facebook. One of my colleagues from my former employer commented asking why I oppose photo enforcement. It’s well known to those close to me that I am strongly against it, no ifs-and’s-or-buts about it. So, I responded in with my comments. I didn’t want it just to sit on my Facebook page and fall below the fold by lunch, so I decided to share the strongest reasons that I am against photo enforcement.
10 Reasons Why Photo Enforcement is Wrong
- “Safety” The photo enforcement cameras do not add one iota of safety to the roadways. They are strategically placed in locations that are financially beneficial (that is, volume of traffic); not where the highest fatality rates are.
- “Private Enterprise cashing in on tax dollars” I do not stand for a private company operating in cooperation with the state taking a good 30% or more on every ticket. Furthermore, the money trickles $12 at a time from every paid citation into the “general election fund.”
- “Automated Enforcement” As long as you’re not speeding, it is perfectly legal to drive intoxicated and possess illegal items in your car. A camera is only triggered by speed, and not by driving behavior. Cameras replacing cops are not the solution. A balanced law enforcement presence is the right way to keep the roads safe.
- “Sworn officers laid off” AZ DPS will be laying off about 350 sworn officers of the law. These people are the ones who we trust our lives with on the road and the ones we call to for assistance on the highway. Simply put, the photo enforcement cameras did their job of catching speeders and no longer need humans to do the work. It’s expected response times will increase and coverage will decrease on AZ highways.
- “Photo Enforcement Vehicles staffed by contractors” While the vehicles are property of DPS, the operators are simply contractors taking pay to read the newspaper and make sure the network connection is working to transmit violators. Unlike a regular police vehicle, you can not summon it to report an emergency to receive assistance.
- “Unconstitutional: Violates 14th Amendment” In the Fourteenth Amendment, it has the Equal Protections clause. It states that all persons are subject to equal enforcement and treatment of the law. Here’s where photo enforcement violates it: Out of state speeding violators are immediately rejected by Redflex and vendors. Otherwise by regular police enforcement, every violator is fair game. This gap in a “class” of citizens makes it unconstitutional.
- “Redflex contractors are not private investigators or police officers” Under Arizona law, any evidence brought forth against another person must be provided by a peace officer or a private investigator. Why is a private corporation being excused from this important statute?
- “Courts are overwhelmed, causing delays for real judicial matters” A recent figure, 14,000 photo enforcement tickets hit the courts every month. This volume is overwhelming the state in operating costs and overall conviction rates. Further, actual criminal cases are being delayed in order for the state to satisfy the 120-day rule.
- “Photo enforcement has only been implemented during financial crisis for the state” This technology is old, in fact very basic. It’s not some new innovation that is a product of 2006. It’s only been implemented by the State, (Thank you Janet Napolitano for the executive order) during the looming $2B financial meltdown that its in.
- “No one voted for photo enforcement” Usually, public measures are put forth to the people to vote on. Well, since they new it wouldn’t be successful, State legislature proposed the contract for DPS & Redflex (and I imagine TPD & ATS) and Janet Napolitano approved it under executive order before she took office at the Dept of Homeland Security. No one voted for this. It’s all been backoffice contacts on the backs of the taxpayers.
I hope that helps clarify my views on this. There is a good chance that I may be misled on a couple items. But I did fact-check all my views and will plan to expand on them with greater detail another time.
Thoughts? Discuss below.
Photo credit: jimthompson