Monday, May 15, 2006


Big Brother makes the Detroit News.

Bill would OK cameras at 10 red lights

Legislators consider using the technology to improve safety at intersections, schools and construction zones.

A law now under consideration by state legislators would OK the installation of cameras at 10 locations throughout Michigan to see if they could help keep drivers from running red lights and from speeding through school and construction zones. What do you think of the idea?

Would everyone who knows about Senate Bill 1098 please raise their hand?

Almost nobody, just as I thought.

The proposed law would OK the installation of cameras at 10 locations throughout Michigan to see whether they could help keep drivers from running red lights and from speeding through school and construction zones.

The bill, which was introduced in February by state Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom, R-Temperance, is cooling its heels in the Senate Transportation Committee. Red-light cameras are automated devices installed near traffic signals to take photographs of vehicles that run red lights. The cameras can capture the image of your car and license plate as you fly through the intersection. Using the plate numbers to look up home addresses, officials then mail citations to the drivers who are expected to pay fines or face prosecution.

This is well on the way on the slippery slope to England where speed cameras are on the way. This isn't about traffic safety. This is about city/county coffers making a killing on traffic tickets. Revenue enhancement.

I encourage our state senators to vote NO on 1098.


Anonymous said...

I'm not crazy about this idea but I do have to make a few comments. First, this may be new to Michigan but cameras at traffic lights are already in use in many cities within the U.S. Second, reckless driving habits are becoming an epidemic here in Michigan. Every day I see other drivers do dangerous things like running red lights and passing in no passing zones. This does not even take into account all the drivers that routinely drive 20 or 30 miles per hour over the speed limit. Most of these bad drivers are good people when they are not behind the wheel of their cars, but a Jeckel/Hyde transformation seems to occur the moment they pull out of their driveways.

My experience is that a few traffic tickets combined with stiff fines followed by high insurance rates and possible license suspension is the best remedy for this problem. My beef with the cameras is that the ticket is sent to the owner of the car who may or may not be the driver. I would much prefer to see increased traffic enforcement accomplished through larger numbers of policemen, since more policemen on the road also discourage crime.

Kevins said...

Funny, Dan doesn’t want traffic cameras, but he has no problem with the government secretly listening to American’s phone calls without a warrant and collecting data on whom they call and call them. Go figure.
What’s even scarier is that I agree with Dan on this one, but to me ticketing someone who broke the law is not nearly as bad as listening to the phone calls of people who have not broken the law. I have not heard of SB 1098, but to be honest many, many bills are introduced every session day in Lansing that die in committee. However, Hamastrom controls what goes before the full Senate as the floor majority leader, so there is a good chance this will be passed.
I kind of understand the reasoning, and as a law-abiding citizen it bothers me to see people who run red lights with no consequences. However, unlike republicans, I’m not willing to give up my hard fought rights to have the illusion of safety.

Anonymous said...

A big problem with the lawless trend is that the penalties are insignificant for most people and the chance of getting caught is negligible. If we socked people with a painful fine for extremely dangerous driving behaviors maybe drivers would get the point. How about $1,000 for running a red light, passing in a no passing zone, or driving more than 15mph over the speed limit? Also, officers should be required to issue tickets to ALL drivers and not let politicians, famous people, and off duty policement off the hook. (Yes, I have proof that policemen won't give tickets to certain people!)

Anonymous said...

Once again KevinS displays his ignorance of what is really happening. The government is ONLY allowed to listen to domestic to domestic phone calls with a COURT ORDER. PERIOD.

The NSA program ONLY covers phone calls where one party is outside the U.S. and is ONLY permitted in cases where one party has known connections to terrorists.

The U.S. news media has been very careful to hide the truth on this and keeps pretending that the government can listen to ANY phone call with a court order. The vast majority of Americans SUPPORT this program when the true facts are known, but oppose any program where DOMESTIC wiretapping is allowed without a court order. But KEVINS would argue that deliberately misreporting the facts to inflame public opinion does not constitute media bias, because the bias benefits HIS political leanings.

Anonymous said...

I've not heard many Democrats voicing opposition to the proposal being voiced in places like the northwest U.S. to place GPS devices in cars that tell the government where people drive so that they can be charged per mile for using the roads. Of course this technology could also be easily used to track the movements of all citizens 24/7/365. If this is not big brother I don't know what is, and it is mostly Democrats pushing the plan. The Democrats on here like to pretend that their party is all about freedom but when they are in control the record tells a much different story.

Kevins said...

Anonymous, are you that brain washed or are you just stupid? The problems is bush says he doesn’t have to get a court order to listen to calls, any calls. There would be no controversy if he just followed the law. However, that was before the latest news that he’s spying on every single American. The court order requirement also applies to calls from outside the U.S. to a call in the U.S., but again, bush is above the law.

“Known connections to terrorists.” Pretty vague standard, but you sure do trust the government. So the Quakers and other anti-war groups are terrorists? And that’s just the groups that we know they are spying on.

Now the government is collecting the phone numbers that every single American receives and makes. Why that doesn’t outrage you I have no idea. Apparently, the Bill of Rights is a waste of paper to you and bush.

You couldn’t be more wrong when you say, “the U.S. news media has been very careful to hide the truth.” If were not for the media, we would have no idea our government is spying on us. I can guarantee this will be used to find and punish whistleblowers. As for media bias, the gop political strategy of the “liberal media bias” myth is just that, a strategy gullible fools like you have bought into since the Nixon years.

Anonymous said...

Well KevinS, you can spew out all those Democrat lies and propaganda all you want because it is just entertainment for Republicans. And of course you think the media is unbiased . . you are liberal and agree with them, so naturally there is no bias, plus you work for them so why would you admit bias in your own work?

Anonymous said...

KevinS -

It is well established that calls are being monitored where at least one party is outside the U.S. and at least one of the parties involved has terrorist links. This is not in dispute. As to whether a court order is required for this, that is in dispute and the issue may well end up in the Supreme Court. Incidently, every President since Jimmy Carter has authorized this type of spying on international calls. But you seem to claim that other calls beyond this are being monitored without a court order. Do you have evidence?

2) Regarding the "data mining" of telephone call information. This will no doubt surprise you, but unlike the contents of the telephone calls themselves the list of people that you call is considered to be public information. There is no law against selling or giving away this information. (If you disagree, what is the law?) If you don't like it I would suggest pushing for lawmakers to pass one. (Good luck!)

Also, several large phone companies accused of providing this information to the government have denied doing so, which I think is noteworthy.

This also needs to be put into perspective. Personally, the government has access to all the details of my financial dealings. They can easily gain access to my private medical records (and will have it once we are forced to get government medical insurance), and they already know what kind of cars I own and drive, what kind of guns I own, what types of licenses I possess, etc . . . So after being forced to give the government access to all this other information, we should get worked up because they might know I called my mother on mother's day? On top of all this I've been reading about how some states want to put a GPS in my car so they can keep track of where and when I go places. To me this is a much more serious breach of privacy yet I don't hear any big protests against the idea. Is that because it is being proposed by Democrats? In all honesty, citizens should have started fighting privacy invasion 100 years ago and not waited until the government expressed interest in who they are talking to on the phone.

Kevins said...

Anonymous 1

The so called Democratic “lies and propaganda” are facts that you cannot dispute, so all the name-calling from you is not going to change that. I agree with you, there is bias in the media, but it is certainly not liberal bias. That is a political strategy started by the Nixon White House, and we know why they hated the media so much, don’t we. It’s the same reason the bushies hate the media – well not all the media – and are trying to prosecute them’ they are exposing all of their abuses of power and law breaking. The media bias is a corporate bias, and it’s shifting from the center to the right. It will not be long before one company owns all the media outlets, and the corporate bias will be even worse.

Kevins said...

Anonymous 2

1) You are correct, that there is no dispute that “calls are being monitored where at least one party is outside the U.S. and at least one of the parties involved has terrorist links,” but is also a fact that a court order is required for this. Why, because Congress passed a law that says they have to, but bush, like Nixon, says he’s above the law and does what he wants. Who establishes the so-called “terrorist links? “ The bushies? Who trusts them? So Brian Ross of ABC news is a terrorist? We know how the republicans and the bushies hate the press, and they are tracking the news calls to seal the so-called leaks in violation of the First Amendment. That’s why we have a Fourth Amendment. Yes, all presidents spy on international calls. That’s not in dispute, and bush can do that too without a court order, and he does. Where is my proof of spying on calls inside the U.S.? Bush’s own words. Stop playing dumb.

2) Who I call, and who calls me is not a public record, not matter how you spin it. Of course the phone companies have denied releasing the records, in a very carefully crafted denial, because of the backlash. The company that refused to release them must be lying too. Please, stop playing dumb.

I don’t understand your last paragraph. You’re saying that because you voluntarily give personal info to the government that we should also allow the government to involuntarily take away all the privacy and info that they want? Again, stop playing dumb.