[CTRL] Armey takes on traffic-surveillance cameras

2001-06-18 Thread Bill Richer

-Caveat Lector-

WJPBR Email News List [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Peace at any cost is a Prelude to War!

Armey takes on traffic-surveillance cameras
Lawmaker says cities have shortened yellow lights to raise revenue

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Editor's note: In collaboration with the hard-hitting Washington, D.C.,
newsweekly Human Events, WorldNetDaily brings you this special report every
Monday. Readers can subscribe to Human Events through WND's online store.
By Joseph A. D'Agostino
© 2001 Human Events

House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, is crusading against the red-light
cameras that have sprouted up at intersections around the country, saying
that they violate constitutional principles and that localities have
deliberately shortened yellow-light intervals in order to raise revenue.

Traffic will be safer, said Armey, when local governments increase yellow
intervals and stop trying to trap motorists in petty red-light violations.

We are responsible for protecting people's constitutional rights, Armey
told Human Events. We believe that this is an intrusion against people's
constitutional rights.

We have the state legislature in New Jersey that agrees with us, said
Armey, and we have the Supreme Court in Alaska that agrees with us. We ought
to hold some hearings on this.

No committee has yet committed to holding hearings on Armey's proposal.

There's been an evolution of the federal standards and recommendations that
has moved us away from the time-honored and effective business of using the
length of the yellow light to ensure safety at intersections, Armey said.
We believe that they have consciously done just the opposite of good
yellow-light policy to increase the stream of revenue.

They have not demonstrated any improvement in public well-being because of
these cameras, Armey added.

The House Republican leader said he does not want to use federal regulations
to micromanage states and localities in their use of cameras for issuing
traffic citations. I am against that on principle, he said.

Instead, Armey opposes traffic cameras of any kind, period, as a matter of
constitutional principle.

I have taken the same position with regard to speeding cameras, he said.
The problem with electronic surveillance is that you are denied your right
to face your accuser and you are assumed to be guilty until you have proved
yourself to be innocent. In fact, you are assumed to be there. A police
officer has immediate identification of who's driving the car.

Armey warned that the United States could end up like England.

I would say that I could leave my residence in London, travel all around
town and make three or four stops, and there would be a record of everywhere
I went. The surveillance there is that thorough, he said.

Said Armey spokesman Richard Diamond, The British government has proposed
increasing the number of tickets issued by cameras from 550,000 to 10 million
a year. At present, no American municipality is planning to use traffic
cameras for anything other than red-light running and speeding.

A report prepared by Armey's office says, Today's formula for calculating
yellow times yields yellow times that can in some cases be about 30 percent
shorter than the older formula. Armey's office collected traffic studies
from around the country and found that when the yellow-light time increased,
red-light running decreased. In Mesa, Ariz., for example, the number of
vehicles entering an intersection on red dropped by 73 percent; in Georgia,
by 75 percent; at sites in Virginia and Maryland, 77 percent or more,
including two sites where researchers reported that the red-light running
problem was virtually eliminated.

But lengthening yellow times does not raise revenue.

Fifty cities in 10 states now use red-light cameras. In 18 months, San
Diego's 19 cameras have raked in $30 million. West Hollywood, Calif., earns
$4.9 million annually from its cameras. New York City's 15 cameras made $5.4
million in their first year.

San Diego's red-light camera ticketing program suffered a setback this month
after the city discovered a glitch that meant some motorists may have been
ticketed unjustly. After a lawsuit was filed in February, discovery turned up
a Potential Intersection Worksheet prepared for the city when it was
deciding where to install red-light cameras. Five of the potential sites were
rejected because long yellow, vio [violator] volume not there. Other noted
reasons for rejections included long yellow phase and timing clears out
traffic.

A copy of an agreement between Mesa and Lockheed Martin, the company with
which the city contracted to provide its red-light cameras, prohibited the
city from lengthening yellow times at intersections with Lockheed cameras.
The contract gave Lockheed a cut of every ticket issued by its cameras.

Last year, a red-light camera in Washington, D.C., was turned off after the
local police department admitted that 

Re: [CTRL] Armey takes on traffic-surveillance cameras

2001-06-18 Thread tenebroust

-Caveat Lector-

While he's at it why doesn't he do something about the passive radar put in airports 
to look at naked people, and the infrared devices used to illegally search someones 
home without warrants, and the numerous cameras on display throughout the country 
spying on us everywhere we go.  This is a small issue but indicative of larger more 
serious trends.





On Mon, 18 June 2001, Bill Richer wrote:


 -Caveat Lector-

 WJPBR Email News List [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Peace at any cost is a Prelude to War!

 Armey takes on traffic-surveillance cameras
 Lawmaker says cities have shortened yellow lights to raise revenue

 --

 --

 Editor's note: In collaboration with the hard-hitting Washington, D.C.,
 newsweekly Human Events, WorldNetDaily brings you this special report every
 Monday. Readers can subscribe to Human Events through WND's online store.
 By Joseph A. D'Agostino
 © 2001 Human Events

 House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, is crusading against the red-light
 cameras that have sprouted up at intersections around the country, saying
 that they violate constitutional principles and that localities have
 deliberately shortened yellow-light intervals in order to raise revenue.

 Traffic will be safer, said Armey, when local governments increase yellow
 intervals and stop trying to trap motorists in petty red-light violations.

 We are responsible for protecting people's constitutional rights, Armey
 told Human Events. We believe that this is an intrusion against people's
 constitutional rights.

 We have the state legislature in New Jersey that agrees with us, said
 Armey, and we have the Supreme Court in Alaska that agrees with us. We ought
 to hold some hearings on this.

 No committee has yet committed to holding hearings on Armey's proposal.

 There's been an evolution of the federal standards and recommendations that
 has moved us away from the time-honored and effective business of using the
 length of the yellow light to ensure safety at intersections, Armey said.
 We believe that they have consciously done just the opposite of good
 yellow-light policy to increase the stream of revenue.

 They have not demonstrated any improvement in public well-being because of
 these cameras, Armey added.

 The House Republican leader said he does not want to use federal regulations
 to micromanage states and localities in their use of cameras for issuing
 traffic citations. I am against that on principle, he said.

 Instead, Armey opposes traffic cameras of any kind, period, as a matter of
 constitutional principle.

 I have taken the same position with regard to speeding cameras, he said.
 The problem with electronic surveillance is that you are denied your right
 to face your accuser and you are assumed to be guilty until you have proved
 yourself to be innocent. In fact, you are assumed to be there. A police
 officer has immediate identification of who's driving the car.

 Armey warned that the United States could end up like England.

 I would say that I could leave my residence in London, travel all around
 town and make three or four stops, and there would be a record of everywhere
 I went. The surveillance there is that thorough, he said.

 Said Armey spokesman Richard Diamond, The British government has proposed
 increasing the number of tickets issued by cameras from 550,000 to 10 million
 a year. At present, no American municipality is planning to use traffic
 cameras for anything other than red-light running and speeding.

 A report prepared by Armey's office says, Today's formula for calculating
 yellow times yields yellow times that can in some cases be about 30 percent
 shorter than the older formula. Armey's office collected traffic studies
 from around the country and found that when the yellow-light time increased,
 red-light running decreased. In Mesa, Ariz., for example, the number of
 vehicles entering an intersection on red dropped by 73 percent; in Georgia,
 by 75 percent; at sites in Virginia and Maryland, 77 percent or more,
 including two sites where researchers reported that the red-light running
 problem was virtually eliminated.

 But lengthening yellow times does not raise revenue.

 Fifty cities in 10 states now use red-light cameras. In 18 months, San
 Diego's 19 cameras have raked in $30 million. West Hollywood, Calif., earns
 $4.9 million annually from its cameras. New York City's 15 cameras made $5.4
 million in their first year.

 San Diego's red-light camera ticketing program suffered a setback this month
 after the city discovered a glitch that meant some motorists may have been
 ticketed unjustly. After a lawsuit was filed in February, discovery turned up
 a Potential Intersection Worksheet prepared for the city when it was
 deciding where to install red-light cameras. Five of the potential sites were
 rejected because long yellow, vio [violator] volume not there. Other noted