More Traffic Cameras Planned, Fines Increase

 
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Garmin nuvi,750

Red light cameras are a cash

Red light cameras are a cash cow for the cities.
Big brother is here.

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Garmin Nuvi 765T, Garmin Drive 60LM

Just wondering

Jery wrote:

Red light cameras are a cash cow for the cities.
Big brother is here.

Just wondering. do you think people said "big brother is here" when cities first implemented property taxes? Or emissions checks? or local sales taxes? or parking meters? or building permits? or sewer charges?

Big Brother

jgermann wrote:
Jery wrote:

Red light cameras are a cash cow for the cities.
Big brother is here.

Just wondering. do you think people said "big brother is here" when cities first implemented property taxes? Or emissions checks? or local sales taxes? or parking meters? or building permits? or sewer charges?

They did jgermann. All of those are rip offs and they rank right up there with air tax.

Get real man! We all have to pay for government, no one here disputes that fact. But redlight and speed cameras fines are not supposed to be a tax. The money paid out is supposed to be a fine. But it is the owner of the car, not necessarily the driver, who is fined. If it is to reduce traffic violations then it should be the driver who is fined.

If the cities/towns/states would be honest and admit that the cameras are to raise money then no one here would have a grip. Just admit it and the problem will go away.

jackj180

I got confused. I asked about a series of ways that cities get revenue and whether they were considered at the time to be "big brother" you said

jackj180 wrote:

They did jgermann. All of those are rip offs and they rank right up there with air tax.

I was about to ask how you would pay for municipal services, but then you said

Quote:

Get real man! We all have to pay for government, no one here disputes that fact.

But you then said

Quote:

But redlight and speed cameras fines are not supposed to be a tax. The money paid out is supposed to be a fine. But it is the owner of the car, not necessarily the driver, who is fined.

and I failed to see the distinction to the fines from parking meters.

When you said

Quote:

If it is to reduce traffic violations then it should be the driver who is fined.

I will have to ask what you will say when the traffic companies get a picture of the driver (as they are surely going to do).

I also disagree that reducing traffic violations is altered materially if sometime the owner of the vehicle was not the driver who committed the violation.

Your statement

Quote:

If the cities/towns/states would be honest and admit that the cameras are to raise money then no one here would have a grip.

does not seem to me to be true. Some people will object to Automated Traffic enforcement regardless.

I'm waiting for a Tea Party

I'm waiting for a Tea Party candidate who takes it on as part of their platform!!!

idea
Fred

Taxes are like entropy.

They only increase.

Well, according to the latest reports

jackj180 wrote:
jgermann wrote:
Jery wrote:

Red light cameras are a cash cow for the cities.
Big brother is here.

Just wondering. do you think people said "big brother is here" when cities first implemented property taxes? Or emissions checks? or local sales taxes? or parking meters? or building permits? or sewer charges?

They did jgermann. All of those are rip offs and they rank right up there with air tax.

Get real man! We all have to pay for government, no one here disputes that fact. But redlight and speed cameras fines are not supposed to be a tax. The money paid out is supposed to be a fine. But it is the owner of the car, not necessarily the driver, who is fined. If it is to reduce traffic violations then it should be the driver who is fined.

If the cities/towns/states would be honest and admit that the cameras are to raise money then no one here would have a grip. Just admit it and the problem will go away.

According to an article I read today, and I don't remember if it was the Houston Chronicle or the WSJ or USA Today, only 46% of the people pay taxes. Something like 13% pay no taxes because of either deductions or they are below the tax level. The other interesting statistic was that something like 56% receive payments from the government. And you wonder why they are looking to get more money from you?

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Illiterate? Write for free help.

speed

What I find insane is, the speed limit in that area is 70 to 75 miles per hour. It fluctuates between the two on I80, and I35. To go 10 to 15 mph faster is really pushing it.

Most of the people commenting are against the cameras. I don't blame them. I totally agree that issuing a ticket to the car, and not the driver is completely unfair. It punishes the wrong person. Where else in our society does that happen?

Cameras

I am waiting for a Tea Party, or someone to step up to the plate for society!!

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D.H.

Tax or fine

Box Car wrote:
jackj180 wrote:
jgermann wrote:
Jery wrote:

Red light cameras are a cash cow for the cities.
Big brother is here.

According to an article I read today, and I don't remember if it was the Houston Chronicle or the WSJ or USA Today, only 46% of the people pay taxes. Something like 13% pay no taxes because of either deductions or they are below the tax level. The other interesting statistic was that something like 56% receive payments from the government. And you wonder why they are looking to get more money from you?

If I'm not mistaken, the article is talking about income taxes only. If you buy things like food, clothing, fuel or movie tickets then you pay taxes. Sales tax, excise tax, corporate income tax just to name a few.

As for 56% of the population receiving government payouts, it is probably true. Pell Grants to college students, aid to education (local schools), school lunch programs, employees of research foundations that receive federal grants, etc. all receive government payouts. Not to mention employees of the federal government and armed forces personal.

Be careful what you believe when you read stuff like that. They very rarely will tell the whole story.

They already take picture of driver

jgermann wrote:

I will have to ask what you will say when the traffic companies get a picture of the driver (as they are surely going to do).

In California they do take your picture and you can identify the driver!

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I have seen the future and it is now!

wonderful

wonderful

AZ and other states

jgracey wrote:
jgermann wrote:

I will have to ask what you will say when the traffic companies get a picture of the driver (as they are surely going to do).

In California they do take your picture and you can identify the driver!

have been doing the same (pictures) for years. That's why the Red Light and Speed Camera POI is so important to us when we travel anywhere there are cameras smile

The redlight camera file

The redlight camera file made me aware of more then one camera going across country.That was the one time that I really got the full value of the camera files.

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Charlie. Nuvi 265 WT and Nuvi 2597 LMT. Android Here WeGo - Offline Maps & GPS.

red light cameras

Des Moines is not as bad as Houston yet where we have 50+ cameras all over the city. hopefully the voters will get rid of them after the next election.

Cameras

What's next? How about jay walking? We all wear a number on our back and zap, you get a fine in the mail when you jay walk. I thought it was funny as I wrote it but, .....

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Alan-Garmin c340

Objections to Automated Enforcement

The question asked about 'jaywalking" enforcement made me wonder whether we ought to look at the issue from a different angle. So many people seem to be saying that those laws already passed should not be enforced through new methods like cameras.

Are these persons opposed to enforcing the law in general, or just to the enforcement by technical means?

If it is a general objection, then we ought to be talking about laws that should be repealed - should never have been on the books in the first place.

Specifically - should municipalities repeal the laws against jay walking?

More generally - should there be no laws concerning stopping at red lights? Mostly, the members of this site seem to agree that one is supposed to stop at a red light, but that may not be the case.

Is anyone of the opinion that red light laws should be repealed?

Need for education

I can't help but think that a lot more people would sing a different tune if they actually had proper educations. Nobody seems to know even the most basic concepts in American Law - in this case the Sixth Amendment (and the fact that it was incorporated).

How about

How about we all just do the right thing and still let some object to automated enforcement?

If laws and justice could all be automated then we wouldn't need courts. But we do. Because it can't (equitably).

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It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

Sixth Amendment

The text of the Sixth Amendment reads:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”

Some people also invoke the “due process” clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Many people paraphrase the Sixth Amendment to mean “the right to confront your accuser”. Then, they say that one cannot confront a camera and, therefore, cameras are unconstitutional.

Note that Wikipedia comments that “The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses also applies to physical evidence; the prosecution must present physical evidence to the jury, providing the defense ample opportunity to cross-examine its validity and meaning.”

There are numerous precedents that physical evidence like fingerprints, DNA and surveillance video are admissible as evidence. As Wikipedia notes, the defense must be given ample opportunity to examine the validity and meaning of physical evidence. That generally means - in the case of cameras - that a trained person (usually a law officer) may be called to testify as to that the photos and/or video means and then be available for cross-examination. If such a person is not available, then the physical evidence will not be admissible and the case against the person would fail.

Some courts have extended the rights of someone accused by Automated Traffic Enforcement means of speeding to be entitled to evidence showing that the equipment was accurate and periodically checked for accuracy. This seems to me to be proper.

.

jgermann, jgermann, jgermann.
A lot of typing for someone who already knows that up until August of this year, no one ever really had the chance to face their accuser. Well, only if you believe the Supreme Court anyway. (http://thenewspaper.com/rlc/docs/2009/us-melendez.pdf)

http://www.poi-factory.com/node/30244

You're the third post in the thread.

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It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

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JD4x4,

I thought the Melendez decision affirmed that an accused does have the right to face the accuser.

As I recall in the post you referenced, I said that it would be good news in the long run for Automated Traffic Enforcement because procedures would be put in place to have to an "accuser" at any proceeding.

I obviously missed your point. My comments in this thread were a response to someone I thought was implying that the "camera" was the "accuser" which - as I am sure you know - is not correct. The camera photo or the video is evidence iinterpreted by the person taking the role of accuser.

Re: Just Wondering

jgermann wrote:
Jery wrote:

Red light cameras are a cash cow for the cities.
Big brother is here.

Just wondering. do you think people said "big brother is here" when cities first implemented property taxes? Or emissions checks? or local sales taxes? or parking meters? or building permits? or sewer charges?

In a word...YES.

Everyone should face the same enforcement

Enforcement should be evenhanded, across the board. If drivers are to face enforcement to the letter of the law, others should too. Jaywalkers and bicyclists come to mind. You see, in New York City, jaywalkers and bicyclists are quite capable of blocking drivers from proceeding when the light is green!

With the technology currently available, only police officers can write summonses to jaywalkers. That has been marginally successful. But how can a police officer run after a bicyclist?

dobs108

Absolutely. I just received

Absolutely. I just received my first speeding ticket via the 'camera' system. If I want to contest it (as there is not a posted speed limit sign to reduce speed from 65 to 55 that I saw) I will have to travel 45 minutes away and to a late night court date on a week night. What a joke! I went out and bought a GPS for the sole purpose of having the safety camera poi installed. Now I just have to figure out how to do it!

Oh Great!

That is just great. Cedar Rapids is loaded with them already on 380. I won't even drive through Cedar Rapids anymore because the speed limit changes so much when on 380 and half the time there is a semi beside you and you can't even see the posted signs. I really need to get the app loaded on my GPS to let me know where the cameras are and what the speed limits are.

Not just the photo

It's not just the photo ("camera"), it's the system used to interpret the meaning of the photo as evidence. Time stamps, target trigger calibration, etc. Previous to this & the Supreme Court ruling, it was admissible for the system operating company to provide a document attesting to the system's correct operation, with no chance for cross-examination as to the specifics of the system at the time of the incident. The accuser's have never been properly faced or cross-examined from inception to this point because no one from the operating company who processed, maintained, and interpreted the evidence at the moment of the incident was ever available.

The cases using the photos created by these systems and processes have been in violation of the sixth amendment so far. According to this court's ruling, based on the Supreme Court ruling.

Since no one has ever been cross-examined, we really only have the word of the operating company that the devices are accurate & infallible.

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It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

As I recall

JD4x4 wrote:

Since no one has ever been cross-examined, we really only have the word of the operating company that the devices are accurate & infallible.

JD4x4, as I recall, there is a thread on this site where some tickets were thrown out because the "accuser" (who happened to be an employee of the vendor), was unable to defend the calibration of the cameras before the judge. I would call that cross-examination.

Constitutional Amendment

jgermann wrote:

The text of the Sixth Amendment reads:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”

In all Vehicle and Traffic prosecutions, the State shall enjoy the right to a speedy camera star chamber.

Then there's one

jgermann wrote:

JD4x4, as I recall, there is a thread on this site where some tickets were thrown out because the "accuser" (who happened to be an employee of the vendor), was unable to defend the calibration of the cameras before the judge. I would call that cross-examination.

There you go. If in fact it was a vendor employee then there's one instance of the camera's accuracy being indefensible. So far. The other cases were in regard to the previously accepted practice of admitting broad statements alleging their accuracy, ie "the evidence package prepared by ATS is hearsay because the company’s employees never appear in court and a police officer merely reads off a sheet of paper on the witness stand having no direct knowledge of the incident described", which does not allow proper cross-examination.

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It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

JD4x4

What exactly is at issue in your mind? When you say "There you go" you give no indication

I will try to respond to your questions and comments but I need to know what is at issue. Let me try to frame the discussion so far.

The Sixth Amendment gave accused the right to confront their accuser. The Melendez decision of SCOTUS merely affirmed that right in the case of someone who was accused of drug dealing but not given the opportunity to confront witnesses alleging the drug was of a certain quantity. The Melendez decision was then reported as a general bar to Automated Camera Enforcement. However, in those cases where a law enforcement officer had reviewed the photos and determined that a violation had occurred and subsequently was present at any trial, then the person said to be guilty of an infraction would be given an opportunity to cross-examine. thenewspaper.com thus had dramatically overstated the case.

There are some local courts that have held that the fine is a misdemeanor and thus the normal rules of cross-examination do not apply - similar to parking tickets where one might, were it a criminal case, claim that the meter had not been calibrated properly.

As far as I know, the presence of someone from a vendor being the one to testify to the accuracy of the equipment has not been tested in a state court of appeals yet. Quickly I point out that it would seem to me to be a conflict of interest, but one never knows how certain courts will decide.

I note that you quoted from a case and that the issue became hearsay because the company's employees never appeared. The issue was throw out because a person never appeared - not because the person was an employee of the vendor.

Since I think we both agree that Automated Traffic Enforcement is headed in the direction of having someone available for cross examination (as requited by the Sixth Amendment and affirmed by Melendez), what exactly do you wish to debate?

Red light Camera

I prefer real police officers any day, red light cameras don't seem to be interested at all in my excuses!

The issue was

It was my reading of

jgermann wrote:

.. That generally means - in the case of cameras - that a trained person (usually a law officer) may be called to testify as to that the photos and/or video means and then be available for cross-examination. If such a person is not available, then the physical evidence will not be admissible and the case against the person would fail.

and it's implication that you felt it satisfied the 6th amendment. Granted, you never stated outright your position there.

Quote:

Some courts have extended the rights of someone accused by Automated Traffic Enforcement means of speeding to be entitled to evidence showing that the equipment was accurate and periodically checked for accuracy. This seems to me to be proper.

You did allow as to that you thought evidence of accuracy & periodic equipment checks was proper, but never made the distinction that the court did in finding that a blanket statement of accuracy & periodic checks did not indicate the condition of the system that created the whole of the evidence at the time of the alleged infraction and that without the availability of the witness as to that for cross-examination, it violated the 6th amendment. You also used the term 'Some courts', indicating to me that you were at least 'on the fence' about violations of the 6th amendment, if not outright suggesting that the current system did indeed satisfy the 6th amendment.

The case referenced in the other thread was specifically dismissed because a police officer testified rather than a camera company employee.

So for clarity, do you feel that the automated cameras have or have not been generally a violation of the 6th amendment?

By the way, I suppose I did muddy the water with the 'there you go' bit. In my head at that point was the fact that we don't even really know how accurate the cameras are because the bulk of testimony about it either way has never taken place up to this point due to the widespread use of a blanket certificate of accuracy. But that's really another topic. Sorry to confuse the issue.

..In fact, this is even off-topic for the OP's subject. I've been an unwitting contributor yet again. I'm gone.

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It's about the Line- If a line can be drawn between the powers granted and the rights retained, it would seem to be the same thing, whether the latter be secured by declaring that they shall not be abridged, or that the former shall not be extended.

JD4x4, we basically agree

JD4x4 wrote:

..In fact, this is even off-topic for the OP's subject. I've been an unwitting contributor yet again. I'm gone.

I also