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.
It might be a good idea to stop traffic light tickets as an exercise in rejecting the police state. If the traffic light schemes could be defeated today, we might thereby preempt a number of other mechanical devices headed our way that are intended to monitor and control us without the cost of a living cop. In the end, the police state is a business. If you can devise ways to restrict its income, you can also restrict its growth.
In the video below, it’s interesting to see how many government officials, private contractors and politicians insist that the yellow light intervals were shortened for “safety” reasons rather than to increase revenue for government and political campaign contributions (bribes) for politicians. They implicitly insist that government is here to help us–not help itself. They’re lying.
By shortening the duration of yellow lights, the government “encourages” some drivers to panic when they see the yellow light and make split-second decisions to stop or go. If they go, they may get a ticket. If they stop, they may get a rear-end collision. An increase in rear-end collisions is inconsistent with government claims of acting to increase “public safety”. But gov-co doesn’t care if there are more rear-end collisions. They only care if there are more tickets and more revenue.
If you challenge your red light traffic ticket, Florida courts may be able to double the fine from $184 (by mail) to over $400 (in court). Someone needs to devise an effective counter-suit against red light video traffic tickets. If the government lost a few $100,000 lawsuits while trying to make $184 on traffic tickets, those tickets would diminish dramatically.
• It occurs to me that if the red light camera can record both your car and your license plate, they should also be able to record any signs or symbols that appear on your car in the vicinity of your license plate.
If so, what if you added a bumper sticker that reads “Not In Commerce” next to your license plate? If the officer who later views the video tape sees evidence that the vehicle both 1) ran the red light; but 2) was not in commerce, could the officer issue a traffic ticket? Would the ticket be enforceable?
What if you glued an image of the true, American flag, hanging vertically and “at peace” on the bumper near the front and rear license plates? Would that be enough to signal that the vehicle was within a State of the Union and not operating in a territory or “state of emergency”? Could the officer who viewed the recording of the alleged offense still issue a ticket?
What if you affixed a true image of the flag of your State of the Union to your bumper? Assuming the “The State vs. this state” hypothesis is true, the license plate would indicate the vehicle was in or property of “this state”. But the flag of the State of the Union would indicate that vehicle was within The State. Displaying the flag of the State of the Union might not win your case, but it might provide sufficient evidence to raise a “conflict of law” (did the alleged event take place within the jurisdiction of “this state” or “The State”?). By merely introducing evidence of a conflict of law into the record, would you inhibit the police from proceeding?
What if you painted the cites for critical court cases on your bumper, or trunk or tailgate on your pickup?
What if you painted the terms of your consent to be stopped by a police officer who was de facto rather than de jure? I.e., what if you painted a notice near your license plate that you agreed to be stopped and ticketed by any de facto officer of “this state” for $100,000 per ticket. I wouldn’t necessarily expect such strategy to work . . . but what if . . . ?
You can think of scores of other messages and/or notices that you might want to post close enough to your license plate that they could be read and recorded by both traffic light cameras and the video cameras on the dash of police cruisers. If your choice of “bumper notices” was astute, you might be able to introduce evidence into the record of some of your courtroom defense to traffic tickets by means of the police recording of your traffic stop.
What the cameras giveth, the cameras can also taketh away. The same photos or videos that could be used against you in court, might also be used to introduce evidence on your behalf. Interesting possibility, no?