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Speed on Green - Photo Enforcement Discussion group of various photo enforcement technologies including speed on green and automated toll photo enforcement and its potential impact on our individual civil liberties.

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Old 2008-02-01
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Default IIHS Status Report: Speed—Effect of Speed Camera Enforcement

ABC News reports today another sign of the growing and unhealthy trend in the status of our civil rights and driving freedoms.

According to the ABC News, report:

Gov. Bob Taft of Columbus, Ohio, vetoed a bill that cities said would have killed the use of traffic cameras to catch drivers who speed and run red lights.

American drivers may be speeding, but states are finding ways to make sure they get caught.

Controversial as they are, speed cameras are now employed in 37 communities in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

A new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looks at the effect of speed camera enforcement in Scottsdale, Ariz. Before the cameras began snapping photos of speeding drivers, 15 percent were driving 10 mph over the limit. After the cameras were set up, that number dropped to less than 2 percent.

In Montgomery County, Md., the number of speeding drivers dropped by a whopping 70 percent.

For the complete news article, as reported by ABC News' Lisa Stark and Dana Wachter:

ABC News: Candid Camera for Speeding Drivers

The full-text of the IIHS report can be read, here:

IIHS Special Issue: Speed Status Report (PDF)

The IIHS report implies that speeding is the primary contributor to accidents and ignores the far more signficant contributing factors, as pointed out in Craig Peterson's book, Driver's Guide to Police Radar.

In Craig's new book on traffic safety and enforcement, he identifies the key contributors to accident injury and fatality to primarily three factors (none of which are attributed to merely speeding):
  1. Driver Inattentiveness and Distraction (can you say, Cell Phone, Multi-Media Based Auto Control Systems, Entertainment Systems)
  2. Speeding too Fast for Conditions (even if that Speed is Below the Posted Limits)
  3. Poor Driver Education

To that list, I would add:
  1. Lack of Driver Courtesy
  2. Posted Limits Unrealistically too Low (on Certain Roadways)
  3. Lack of Consistent Laws Concerning Overtaking, Undertaking, Fast-lane (Passing Lane) Usage
  4. Lack of Uniform Inspection Requirement and Maintenance of Vehicles
  5. Poorly Timed and Unsophisticated Red Light Controlled Intersections
  6. Lack of Alternative Intersection Designs, Like Roundabouts, Rotories
  7. Inadequate Traffic Calming, Traffic Controlling Devices, Signage
  8. Inadequate Roadway Quality & Maintenance
  9. Inadequate Enforcement of Poor Driving Behavior (other than merely 'speeding')
  10. Mis-application of Polluting Lidar and Radar ACC and Lane Departure Systems, which Needlessly Interfere with the Safe Usage of Radar Detectors of Safety-minded Drivers (because of Cost Saving Measures of the Makers of ACCs)
  11. Failed Implementation of Radar-based Safety Warning Systems (SWS), by Traffic Enforcement Departments, which Have Been Supported by the Radar Detector Industry for Years
  12. Too Heavy Reliance on Mechanized Systems, and not Enough on Human Judgment/Discretion (By Drivers/For Drivers from Traffic Controlling Devices and Poor Traffic Enforcement Policies)
  13. Poor Example Setting from the Traffic Enforcement Officers Themselves (when they Routinely Drive 15-20mph over Posted Limits)

The report also points the accusatory finger at automobile manufacturers' production of vehicles with increased horsepower ratings and performance increases for newer vehicles, while ignoring all of the performance-safety enhancements, ABS, Stability Control Systems, Safer Structural Designs.

And, we're being told to believe that photo enforcement (speed camera, red light camera) is strictly about 'safety', not profit?

It's clear, to me, that photo enforcement undermines the very legal systems which ensure our civil liberties and takes the law enforcement officer out of law enforcement.

Trading our long-cherished civil liberties for the alleged benefits, doesn't sound like an equitable price to pay to slow 'speeders' down, does it to you?

The development of better roadways, traffic systems, and driver education seems too costly an alternative, I imagine. For some, its easier to make money than to spend it.

Bottom Line: Speed doesn't kill, poor driving does.

If the old tired dogmatic claim that 'speed kills' was actually true, why are NASCAR and F1 getting safer while speeds are increasing???

Does it really take a rocket scientist (or disingenuous, incomplete, and agenda-driven studies) to figure this one out?

BTW, we're not alone in this "fight for truth," we have a political action group, the National Motorists Association, on our side. Would you consider joining the NMA? It's in our collective best interests (as drivers and citizens of our great country) and the investment (to become a member), so that our collective voice can be heard by Washington, is very very small. Strength will come from our sheer numbers!

Remember these sacred words:

"Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons."
Ron Paul, Texas Straight Talk, April 23, 2007

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