I Thought 1984 was 21 Years Ago

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The New Hampshire Legislature has visions of Orwell:

When a [New Hampshire] bill came up in early April to consider allowing robotic traffic cameras at the busiest crossroads, mocking laughter from the gallery preceded the measure's demise. "The idea that we were going to be photographed [by the government] was anathema to most of us," says Neal Kurk, a Republican from Weare.
No thanks, big brother, but I prefer the old fashioned way: if the state wants to collect revenue from speeding tickets then the cops are going to have to work for it.

What bothers me most – aside from the government spying on us – is that tickets will be nearly impossible to contest because cameras have been found constitutional by the wise old courts, and as we all know - cameras don't lie.

Imagine this scenario: You and a buddy are driving somewhere and while your friend is at the wheel of your car, a camera catches the vehicle doing 15+ and records your license plate number. Several weeks later a hefty fine arrives in the mail and you are expected to pay for it.

The driver should be responsible, not the car owner. Perio.d. What if your ride was stolen by a car thief and a camera caught him running over three kids before ditching it somewhere; only capturing the license plate but not the driver inside. Who's responsible now?

There's a reason why due process starts with police officers having the power of discretion. If we're going to replace highway patrol officers with cameras then we might as well replace the entire force with robots.