The Complicated Case of Red Light Cameras

Police can’t be everywhere and that is one of the arguments behind a proposal to put cameras at red lights.   Under the plan, as person runs a red light, his or her license plate would be simultaneously photographed and that offender would later get a ticket in the mail.  The hope is, the fear of being caught on camera would be a deterrent to people who speed through red lights, while making the roads safer.  Sounds simple, right?

Not so fast.   There are several issues when it comes to red light cameras, and that’s why the proposal has failed at the state capitol before.

1.      Why couldn’t the cameras be used to catch another crime being committed? 

2.       What if the owner of the car isn’t driving?

3.      Isn’t it an invasion or privacy?

This Sunday on Face the State we’ll talk with State Representative Tony Guerrera, Chariman of Transportation Committee, about the pros and cons of such a measure.   We’ll also talk with New Haven Alderman Doug Hausladen, who is fighting for the cameras for his city.

You can watch the entire interview this Sunday morning at 11 on Face the State only on Channel 3.     Here is the video of the interviewhttp://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6658691

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7 Responses

  1. Dennis, can you get the interviews online after the fact? I may be working during that time on Sunday depending on the weather tomorrow and into the night Sunday, but am Very interested in hearing the answers to those three questions as well as having others hopefully answered as well. One specific question that I suppose may have something to do with the answer to the first question is, would they be running constantly, or would a “trigger” of some sort set it off as the light is red and it senses a motorist? What if said motorist actually makes the stop? Or, is that moot because the camera is taking the picture from the back once the car passes, or from the front as it “appears” they wont stop? Ok there was more than one question. But as I asked one, the others followed, and more still do, so please let me know if I can access this Sunday’s show, after the fact. Thanks Dennis. Im usually watching on Sunday mornings!

  2. Hi Janice, The interviews are posted on http://www.wfsb.com on Monday mornings. Thanks for watching and for your thoughtful comment.

  3. 1. While much of it has been utilized in fiction (books, television, movies, etc.), security cameras found both inside and outside of businesses and government buildings have been utilized to observer or trace other potential crimes.

    2. If the car has been stolen, the fine should be placed upon the criminal who stole the vehicle. If the person driving though is a friend/relative, the fine becomes a personal matter that should be resolved in private. It is often categorized as illegal anyways for a licensed driver to use a car that they do no pay insurance on. If your friend/relative gets into an accident with your car, law/insurance companies may fine both the driver and the owner of the car for the accident.

    3. While privacy is always sought out, public roads are owned by the public, and maintained by towns and the state. It would not be an invasion of privacy if a police officer patrolled a local park and found a person doing illegal activity on public grounds because the criminal placed themselves in a venue open to the public.

  4. Is it the camera, or the bureaucracy that controls them, that we should worry about?

    • Conman–LOVE your question….and honestly, after a lot of things that the “bureaucracies” (any of them basically) have done, Yea Id say its WHO is watching the camera rather than the camera itself. I see a lot of people comment on accident posts about “see a camera would have helped clear that up” or things like that and I agree. However, I would be disgusted and beyond angry if they were using it to entrap rather than observe and take notice.

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