There have been, in the last couple of years, moves to place cameras at stop lights The idea, of course, is to catch people who rum red lights. The theory is very simple, it is the implementation that gets complicated. In Florida the legislature had to pass a law making this legal. With out the law the cameras could not be placed in the actual intersections as they are state right of way.
There was also talk about how the tickets would be issued. Would they be criminal, such as your speeding ticked, or civil. Lets look at a speeding ticket. When the officer, deputy, trooper, issues you a ticket he has just arrested you for a criminal offense, and you are granted a kind of bail when you sign the ticket, which only means that you will show up in court and is NOT a confession. The problem with trying to issue criminal complaints based on photos of the incident is that for an arrest to be made, and these are misdemeanor charges, the officer has to have observed the incident. If you want to test this just try getting a cop to issue a ticket to someone for running a red light, which the officer, deputy, trooper, did not personally see. He won’t do it.
From what I have seen, in the press, most of the people who will be running the cameras will be employed by private companies and not by local government. So what would be the chance that they would pay a state certified law enforcement officer to sit at a camera, snapping pictures, so he can say, “Yes, I personally saw the violation”?
The proving of guilt in a civil court is different than that of a criminal court. In a criminal court they have to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” but, in a civil case they only need a “preponderance of evidence”. Plus, in the civil court there is NO actual arrest. The fine would have to go to the owner of the vehicle, and not necessarily the driver. This would have to do with the fact that no one was there to get ID information from the offender, such as would be accomplished with a real traffic stop, and, probably, the only ID factor would be a picture of the vehicles license plate, which would not prove that Junior was not driving the car that day.
Big Brother is coming, or, depending on who you talk to, is already here. We are getting used to cameras at the bank, watching traffic on the highways, in shopping malls, and many residential areas. The watchword is Safety.
So, when you go out, and about, smile at the camera where Big Brother maybe watching.
Better yet! Think about how long it will take for someone to figure out how to make you safer in the home by installing a camera, just in case you fall down and can’t get up, or maybe the insurance companies might want to be sure you took all safety precautions in your home.
I don’t want to sound paranoid but, ever since 911 I have been hearing about how was are supposed to give up certain amount of privacy to ensure our safety. The question is, how much of your privacy do you wish to part with.
Would we like the feeling that our TV is watching us as we watch it? Would you like to think that, while watching TV one night, you might mention roaches in the kitchen and the next day a health inspector knocks son your door to check the sanitary conditions of you kitchen?
Of course there is also the idea that if you are murdered in your home that the culprits might be caught on film. That part might be nice. They might not get there in time to stop it but the bad guys will be caught, and then they can show your death in court. Justice served.
Think about it…