Florida reduces the time on yellow lights by only a fraction of a second and gains $50 million in traffic light revenue.
Traffic light revenues are important because they’re ultimately based on the presumption that we can be charged for an offense that no one actually witnessed. Yes, some cop may later “witness” the video tape, but that strikes me a kind of hearsay since the cop didn’t witness the actual event. If the government is allowed to impose fines based on the “testimony” of machines and without eye-witnesses, it won’t be long before you’re issued a ticket for using too much toilet paper based on a computer that monitors your bathroom.
On the one hand, the use of machines (like computers and video recorders) to penalize offenses may be a good thing since such mechanical monitors may help reduce the incidence of offenses and crimes. On the other hand, the use of machines like computers and video recorders to penalize offenses may be a bad thing since they allow government to grow more efficient and ever-larger without the cost of adding additional personnel. Mechanical and electronic enforcement devices are conducive to a police state.