Friday, May 24, 2013

We do not need Red Light or Speed Cameras in Michigan

I saw this alarming article in the Oakland Press today.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's local governments would have the option to put cameras at intersections to spot drivers running red lights under proposed legislation in the state House.

A measure recently introduced by Republican Rep. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City would give local communities the power to put cameras in place.

This isn't safety. This is about revenue enhancement. I learned that from experience. I despise these cameras from personal experience.

I got a $100 red light camera ticket from Chicago in the mail today. One problem. I haven't driven in Illinois, let alone Chicago, in at least 12 years. I also have never driven my current wheels there. The vehicle's license plate was off by one letter (Which I can tell even on the red light camera picture sent to me). It was a different vehicle from Michigan. I won't post pictures but you can bet your arse that I'll be sending a nice file to Sh-tcago (gave up swearing for Lent) to contest this piece of trash. They got the wrong car.

I'm even more insulted that they sent a picture of a foreign car to me and claim that it was my car. Anyone that knows me knows I drive Fords, not Scion. My family would disown me otherwise The picture of the vehicle was a Scion XD. I drive a older truck based Ford Explorer. There is a big difference. M and N are different letters. Fords and Scions are different vehicles. One quick license plate cross check should have handled that. 

I got a letter last week with the ticket dismissed.  I would have gone to Chicago to fight this if I had to. This is guilty till proven innocent measure. For one thing, cars don't run red lights. Drivers do. These cameras don't send pictures to drivers, but to license plates they think they have. Sometimes, they get the wrong one. I know! I know! In order to beat this ticket, I had to:

A. Prove that I wasn't the owner of the car that ran the light.
B. Prove that the license plate wasn't of my car.
C. Send the information taking time out of my day to fight something I didn't do.
D. Cough up about $10 in postage and printing costs (Certified mail to make sure they received it).

That is because people didn't read a license plate properly, nor check which VEHICLE is licensed on the DMV, although they did enough work to find an address to try and get their $100, that's for sure. 

If a cop is there instead of a camera, they can ding the driver. They will see who drove the car and give the driver a ticket whether or not, it is the car's owner.   Cameras don't do that and open things up for a long list of abuses.

HB 4763 is a bipartisan turkey that needs to be defeated. Wayne A. Schmidt - (primary)Fred Durhal, Jr., Thomas F. Stallworth III, Brian Banks, Michael D. McCready, Woodrow Stanley, Henry Yanez, Scott Dianda are the sponsors. Six democrats and two republicans. Unfortunately, Schmidt is the committee chair on transportation, so this might not easily be killed in committee. 

Wayne Schmidt (R) Committee Chair, 104th District
Ben Glardon (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 85th District
Kevin Daley (R) 82nd District
Kurt Heise (R) 20th District
Bradford Jacobsen (R) 46th District
Margaret O'Brien (R) 61st District
Peter Pettalia (R) 106th District
Dan Lauwers (R) 81st District
Michael McCready (R) 40th District
Marilyn Lane (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 31st District
Scott Dianda (D) 110th District
David Rutledge (D) 54th District
Gretchen Driskell (D) 52nd District
Tom Cochran (D) 67th District
Charles Smiley (D) 50th District

Time to make some phone calls to defeat this thing.


Communications guru said...

All I need to know is that if you oppose it, I should support this bipartisan bill. “Cars don't run red lights. Drivers do?” Too funny. How about this: stop running red lights.

BR said...

It sure is good of CG to live on the doorstep of this blog, striving mightily to demonstrate liberal logic and reading comprehension. That's a real service there.

Communications guru said...

"live on the doorstep of this blog?" Exactly what does that mean? Without me, this blog would have only one other reader. If you want to talk about logic, try this piece of nonsense: "Cars don't run red lights. Drivers do."

Jordan Genso said...

I actually very much agree with Dan that red light cameras are horrible.

What we need instead is a bill that requires all police officers to have a camera on them at all times, recording every interaction they have with the public. That would help provide needed objective evidence for situations in which the officers' statements differ from the suspects' account of what happened.

Dan said...

Kevin - I'll type this slowly so even you understand. A driver is someone who sits in the driver seat while a car is moving. Got that? Drivers are in control of the car. Cars do nothing unless there is a driver operating that. Got that, Kevin? I didn't run that red light. That was the whole point of me fighting the ticket. I wasn't even in Chicago, nor driving the Scion. If there was a cop there instead of a camera, he would have pulled over the Scion and ticketed the driver who actually ran the red light. Cameras don't see inside the car. Cameras don't know who is driving. Guilty till proven innocent.

Jordan - I have mixed views about that proposal. It would have helped me and hurt me in different situation in my younger years. I caught a break from MSUPD. I got screwed from ELPD. There are times where it is needed, particularly when cops are revenue enhancement officers instead of law enforcement officers. On the other hand, some of the old school cops that are more apt to use discretion instead of ticketing every time may be hesitant to use the discretion if filmed all the time.

Communications guru said...

I know you’re not very smart, but typing slow would not even help a slow reader like you. Are you aware how dangerous it is to run a red-light? Are you aware how many local municipalities have laid off police officers because the state is balancing its budget ion the backs of local government? There is no cop there to give a ticket.

If you didn’t run the red light, what’s the problem, Wholihan?

Dan said...

The problem, Shopshire is that I got the damn ticket for something I didn't do. It wasn't my vehicle. I wasn't driving. My license plate was one letter different than the red light runner and some bureaucrat screwed up and send me the ticket.

Jordan Genso said...

Valid counter-point, although I think it could be managed so that the recordings would only be viewed if either the suspect or police officer request it as evidence to support their statements.

It's more about trying to eliminate the he-said-she-said situation that can't be proven one way or the other without an objective source like video. Look at Amanda Bynes as a recent example. While there's no guarantee that a video recording from each officers' vest would either prove or disprove her claims, it could help.

The recordings would need to be regulated in a way where the officers' superiors would not be able to view the videos without cause. But I don't think that hurdle would be too great to overcome, and I think the benefit of having the videos when needed would be tremendous.

Communications guru said...

And you paid it? Then you’re an idiot, but we already knew that.

Dan said...

Hell no. I contested by mail and won.

Communications guru said...

Then there’s no problem. How is that any different than a police officer giving you the ticket?

BR said...

Even a liberal couldn't honestly be that dense, he's just doing his best to be a troll. His only apparent purpose in life is to waste people's time; he does it on other blogs too. There's probably a psychological term to describe the condition.

Communications guru said...

It’s common sense, so that’s why you can’t understand it. This disastrous two-year state budget that gave a $1.8 billion tax break to corporations has cut revenue sharing and balanced the state budget on the backs of local governments. They have had to let police officers go that would make sure red lights aren’t being ignored. This is a safety issue, and this is a way to keep citizens safe. This is also a Republican bill supported by Democrats. A for this troll crap, this extremist is the chair of the county party where I live. I have been reading and commenting on this turd since he began it, and he on mine when it was up and running. We have a history since he attacked me some 13 years ago when I wrote a column on this pet issue. Plus, if I stopped reading it the readership would be cut in half.

Communications guru said...

Perhaps you have a point on the cameras. Never underestimate the greed of Republicans.

Unknown said...

Please help with this, guys.