|Photo Courtesy of David Settino Scott|
Have you seen one of these yet? All over the country people are beginning to notice empty police vehicles parked by the road-side, taking pictures of passing traffic and measuring their speed.
This new form of traffic-law enforcement has angered some lead-footed drivers, who see it as an intrusion on their constitutional right to disobey speed limits. Taken from on-board one of these "Photo-Enforcement" vehicles, here is a video from Santa Fe, New Mexico, of a man who clearly doesn't like the new practice. We may presume that the man was recently cited for speeding--perhaps it is fortunate that the man was ticketed by an automated machine rather than a human patrol officer...
While I generally disagree with the employment of such heavy-handed "Big-Brother" tactics and wonder if there is really a need for traffic laws to begin with, I have to say that I prefer this method of enforcement to the traditional and now old-fashioned practice of pulling people over, for several reasons:
First of all, getting a traffic ticket in the mail is far less invasive and intimidating than dealing with a police officer face to face. Anyone who has been pulled over while driving knows that the experience can be rather unpleasant and embarrassing.
Also, many people who get cited for speeding are in a hurry when they get pulled over. I almost never deliberately exceed the posted speed limit, but if I do you can bet that it is because I am late for an important appointment. For example, I would much rather get a ticket in the mail several days later, than have to be another fifteen to twenty minutes late for a job interview.
Finally, sometimes police can use routine traffic stops as an excuse to perform unreasonable and unconstitutional searches of the vehicle and/or pat downs of its occupants. Wouldn't you rather get a ticket in the mail for speeding than spend the weekend in jail because you had a "roach" in your ashtray?
Maybe we all need to slow down a little bit anyway...