Scam-Cams To Cite “Distracted Driving”?

October 1, 2008

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. Success: Media BLITZ!

August 22, 2008

We got their attention. Now, we need your help to get this in the national media. Please take a moment to send these links to your favorite publications. Some suggestions include DRUDGE Report, CNN, and USA Today. Enjoy!

UPDATE, SAT Aug 23 2:11PM: We’re getting some national coverage. See “new” links below:

KTVK-TV 3: VIDEO: “Many protest radar in Scottsdale”

KTVK-TV 3: 9PM (More extensive follow up video)

(NEW!) has picked up the Tribune article

AZCentral: Speed camera protesters say “Honk for Privacy”

East Valley Trib: Protestors bash photo radar at protest

KTAR 92.3FM’s coverage (ran promos for this story all day)

KNXV-TV ABC 15 – People in Scottsdale Protest Photo Radar

The Arizona Republic featured us in their Saturday print edition (see “Valley and State”)

The East Valley Tribune also featured us in their Saturday print edition.

Photo.BLORGE (Australia) has picked up the story

(NEW!) Phoenix New Times mentioned CameraFRAUD, linking to the KTAR story

KPHO 5 or KPNX 12 were also present, (waiting on footage)

(Even Cat Galaxy Media was present, a special-interest “Cat-talk” net radio station. )

If you attended, please post a reply to this message about your experience today!

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