- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 24, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I am writing concerning the letter by Adrian K. Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“For red-light cameras,” Monday). Mr. Lund apparently advocates saturating the living spaces of all drivers with red-light cameras in the name of safety. All thoroughfares, roads, streets, intersections and paths should have such cameras because they supposedly will enhance safety.

As governments increase their intrusion into our lives in ways like this, they can raise revenue as a primary way to fund programs or cover their excessive spending and staffing.

The idea that the cameras are provided by willing companies for a portion of the revenues gained should not be construed as self-serving. Even so, this doesn’t address the constitutional problem associated with the heist — due process is forgotten.

One cannot question the accuser as one may question a ticketing police officer in court. Circumstances surrounding the ticket may not be remembered or noticed at the time of the photo. For example, suppose you see a fully laden dump truck in your rearview mirror and it looks as if it will not stop before ramming your car. This might prompt you to go through the red light. How can you prove it after you receive a ticket in the mail three weeks later?

Citizens should not easily relinquish constitutional rights even in the name of safety. Often, safety has little to do with the ticket. It is a revenue producer for strapped governments, a convenient method to extract more money from the burdened taxpayer. And the legislatures don’t even have to be concerned about the impact of another tax on their electability.

RODNEY H. FICKER

Edgewater, Md.


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