We’re all familiar with the cameras that catch people running red lights or blowing through a toll without paying. Whether or not you agree with them and consider cameras an infringement on your personal liberties is a valid argument. For me, these are an effective persuader in staying out of the camera’s lens.
But Washington D.C. is increasing the heat on negligent, potentially dangerous drivers, going far beyond catching toll-jumpers and light-runners.
Beginning this fall, between 16 and 24 new cameras are being installed in the Capital on stop signs. These cameras will be armed and ready to shoot and then ticket lackadaisical drivers for:
- Running a stop sign ($50 fine)
- Blocking an intersection ($100)
- Failure to yield to pedestrians ($250)
- Trucks being overweight and over-height (But the camera adds ten pounds! How does a camera judge weight?)
To grease the potential-ticketing wheels, D.C. will provide a 30-day “transition period” where drivers will only be issued warnings.
Like most things in Washington, this is dictated by money, money, money! Existing traffic cameras generated $55.1 million in 2011 (a hefty cumulative bill for city speeders), and more cameras are coming.
The city claims they’re installing the stop sign cameras at intersections receiving the highest number of complaints by residents, which are mostly by schools. I wonder if there’s any way to verify this proclamation, or if the D.C. government is using the kiddies as a front to increase revenue.
It’s also a little alarming that these cameras are beginning to ticket for things that sometimes require subjective decision making, which, last I checked, was an ability cameras were without.
When a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it? When a car rolls through a stop sign at 2 am and no one’s around, what’s the difference?