Do you remember the nightmare that was the red light camera program in New Jersey?
Getting a ticket for a moving machine violation weeks after the incident has always been unfair and unreliable. Unfair because you don’t have a chance to explain your actions to a policeman and you don’t even have a chance to remember your actions clearly while so many weeks away from the incident. Unreliable because we all found out how many lights weren’t even timed correctly when it came to the yellow cycle.
A similar type of expensive technology is once again making the news in New Jersey. Not the use of cameras to catch you running a red light, but rather to catch you speeding. Other states use them, such as Maryland.
It’s in the news because Rutgers, a state university, launched a study on how to make the public more tolerant of speed cameras. Gee, thanks Rutgers University. Why on earth would you even want to undertake such a business?
I don’t know what caused it, but I can’t help but be suspicious. Companies that exploit this technology make money in spades and are known to be unscrupulous in their greed. I can’t help but wonder who asked to sit with whom at Rutgers University. Has anyone come up with this idea? Did a company offer a grant to the university to study how to get the public to turn around and accept this? Call me cynical, but I have questions.
Oh, and you’ll love this part. Findings from the Rutgers study show that if you sell speed cameras to the public to end unjust racial profiling, they will accept the technology much more. If you give them a brief description of the program, public acceptance was 14% lower than the 71% acceptance when sold on a social justice premise.
The problem with that? As Senator Declan O’Scanlon, an NJ lawmaker who took the red-light camera program for the unfair monstrosity that it was, points out,
“If you have a racist cop who is going to arrest someone, he’s going to find a way to do it. These (cameras) only exist to make money for the corrupt private corporations that own and operate them, and their equally corrupt government co-conspirators.
And he is absolutely right. Speeding has never really been considered one of those petty excuse stops that some officers use to pull over minorities and take a look at what else might be going on in their cars. These are usually things like license plate frames obscuring lettering, window tint, etc.
Thanks to guys like Declan O’Scanlon, we’ve put an end to this red light camera program and we actually have a law against the implementation of technologies like speed control through a camera lens. What is worrying is that the law can be changed. It happens all the time. This just adds one more step in the process of returning greed to New Jersey.
The government must leave traffic control in the hands of flesh and blood, human policemen who can listen to reason and sometimes exercise discretion. What about Rutgers University? Stay in your lane and shame yourself for getting involved and something like that.
The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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