Totalitarianism is a concept used to describe political systems where the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private life.- Wikipedia
City, state, and corporate officials have indicated interest in using existing photo scam-cams to monitor / ticket “distracted drivers,” including those who text message, eat, drink, talk on a cell phone, or literally do anything other than breathe while driving (from the East Valley Trib):
“We’re able to see people clearly on their cell phones,” said Josh Weiss, spokesman for American Traffic Solutions…
Weiss is also a member of Scottsdale’s Transportation Commission, which recently voted to recommend that the City Council adopt a ban on text messaging while driving. The commission also urged the council to look at expanding that potential law to bar any activity that distracts a driver from the road, like eating, talking on the phone or applying makeup while operating a vehicle.
…it would be possible to point out such things as distracted driving, expired license tags or failure to wear a seat belt to police, who could then issue a citation, Weiss said.
Shoba Vaitheeswaran, spokeswoman for Redflex… said it’s possible to use cameras to enforce additional traffic laws… “Our infrastructure is there,” she said.
Those who generally support photo enforcement should keep in mind the implications of this “mission creep.” Automated seat-belt and expired licensing tickets don’t hold a candle to what the technology could be expanded to:
- Both-hands-on-the-wheel tickets, or improper hand placement on wheel.
- Tire tread tickets.
- Child safety tickets (kids took their seat belt off for a second? Too bad.)
- Headlamp/tail-lamp tickets.
- Loose pet (“distraction”) tickets.
- Equipment violation tickets, including bumper height and spare tire mounting.
- Drinking… anything.
The list of possibilities goes on and on.
Keep in mind these are all things that real police officers could potentially pull a person over for.
Example: even though eating or having a pet loose in the vehicle is not currently defined in statute, an officer using human judgment to determine that the driver might be distracted is still able to pull such a person over under the pretext of distracted or reckless driving.
Since cameras can’t use the same judgment as a human, each activity must then be banned under law, so that the photographic evidence is irrefutable and unmistakable.
So, even though a “John Doe” might be obeying all traffic laws while enjoying a soda under today’s laws, banning the activity immediately turns him into a violator, regardless of if he was driving responsibly.