Red light and speeding cameras

amz1301amz1301 Posts: 1,299
These are supposed to be about safety, right ?!?!

Money from photo enforced tickets puts D.C. in big hole

Comments

  • mfotismfotis Posts: 720
    Yeah right, I'm in law enforcement, it's all about revenue my man.

    and that money doesn't go directly to public safety
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Here is an interesting article regarding the police and cameras. I am in no way a "Cop Hater" but I am a BIG HATER of abuse of power.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/06/201162114131825860.html
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    The link doesn't seem to work? Here is a copy of the article without the video.

    A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but Narces Benoit's decision to videotape a shooting by Miami police landed him in jail after officers smashed his cell-phone camera.

    It was 4am on May 30 when Benoit and his girlfriend Erika Davis saw officers firing dozens of bullets into a car driven by Raymond Herisse, a suspect who hit a police officer and other vehicles while driving recklessly. Herisse died in the hail of lead, and four bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds, the Miami Herald newspaper reported.

    Police noticed the man filming the shooting and an officer jumped into his truck, and put a pistol to his head, Benoit said. The video shows officers crowding around Herisse's vehicle before opening fire, followed by indistinguishable yelling at onlookers, including Benoit, to stop filming.

    The cop yelled: "Wanna be a [expletive] paparazzi?" Benoit recounted in a TV interview.

    "My phone was smashed, he stepped on it, handcuffed me," the 35-year-old car stereo technician told CNN. Despite his phone being destroyed, Benoit was able to save the footage by taking the memory card out of the device and putting it in his mouth before handing it over to police, he said, adding that officers smashed several other cameras in the chaos which followed the shooting.

    Legal issues

    "There are two questions at play here that need to be separated," said Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California. "One is: to what extent is it illegal to record officers doing their duties? And secondly, did the police destroy someone's property and evidence?"

    "Whether or not the recording was illegal, the police conduct as alleged would be illegal in any case," Volokh told Al Jazeera. In Florida, it is legal to record conversations, unless the conversation is "confidential", which this public altercation likely was not, Volokh said.

    After having his phone smashed, and being taken to a police station to be photographed, Benoit was summoned to appear before the state attorney on June 3 with "any and all video and all corresponding audio recorded on May 30 that captured incidents occurring [sic] prior to, during and after a police-involved shooting", according to court documents.

    Benoit and Davis have hired a lawyer. The couple stopped giving interviews soon after the incident, Reese Harvey, their attorney, told Al Jazeera. Harvey also declined to comment about the couple's possible plans for legal action against the Miami police.

    The incident is the latest in a series of debacles involving citizens using mobile phones to record police actions.

    "The impact of citizen recording of police brutality, or activity in general goes back at least 20 years to the LA riots," said James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, a research organisation. "It [video recording] increasingly raises questions about surveillance; whether surveillance from citizens can put a check on power," he told Al Jazeera.

    Sparked by video of police beating Rodney King, in what many saw as an example of institutionalised racism, the 1992 Los Angeles riots left more than 50 people dead and caused about $1bn in property damage.

    "As almost everyone in the US has a cameraphone at this point, it's very common to have any kind of police activity in a crowded setting recorded by citizens, usually from multiple angles," said Jamais Cascio, a research fellow at the Institute for the Future. "These kinds of events are unusual and people will want to show friends and family, and, increasingly, because people are learning that it can be important to have evidence of police misconduct."

    And, with the spread of easily accessible recording technology, US security forces are being joined by counter-parts around the globe in being concerned about mobile technologies.

    "Echoes of Rodney King in Karachi and Miami", was the headline of a New York Times blog, analysing a recent case from Pakistan, where a television journalist recorded security forces killing Sarfraz Shah, an apparently unarmed teenager. The video sparked protests across the country.

    Speaking about the recent case in Florida, Police Chief Carlos Noriega told the Miami Herald that the couple's allegations were the first he'd heard of officers allegedly threatening people or destroying cameras or mobile phones.

    "It was quite a chaotic scene," the chief said of the late night shooting. "We were trying to figure out who was who and it was a difficult process. Not once did I see cameras being taken or smashed," he said, adding that Benoit's video is evidence which could help investigators.

    Technology 'outpacing' laws

    While visual evidence, through government surveillance cameras and individuals' phones, can help make prosecutions, police unions and likeminded groups argue that police officers might second-guess themselves if they know they are being recorded and delay making necessary decisions. There are also arguments about privacy; mainly that conversations between private individuals and security forces should not be recorded by third parties.

    And even though Eugene Volokh and other legal experts believe recording public police activities isn't a crime in Florida, that doesn’t mean police are happy about it.

    "In the United States, the laws about the recording of police activity vary considerably from state to state. In Massachusetts, for example, existing laws that forbid recording someone without their permission have been extended to prohibit the recording of police. In Illinois, the law now explicitly bans the recording of police," Cascio told Al Jazeera. "I believe that citizens should have the right to record the actions of officials on duty; Citizens can't really fight back when they see police misconduct, their only tool is the ability to document the misbehaviour."

    Some experts argue that laws, often designed to deal with audio wiretapping of telephone conversations and now applied to video recordings, are not keeping pace with new technologies. Volokh, however, is not one of those people.

    "It isn't a technical question; it might be a question about basic values," Volokh, the legal scholar, said. "How much do you value people’s ability to gather the news and how much you value privacy?"

    There may be a debate on whether the increasing frequency of security forces, and society in general, being caught on tape is primarily a technological question or an issue of values. But advances in the former may make debates about the latter redundant.

    "Efforts to forbid these recordings are ultimately futile. Cameras are becoming smaller, and are able to record and upload video quickly. I've seen otherwise normal-looking glasses with built-in cameras," Cascio said. "The technology is rapidly outpacing any attempt to control it using dated and misapplied laws."
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,804 ✭✭✭
    Great article. Sorry to say, but a lot of cops need to have people following them around with a camera. Not hating either, but when people have a HUGE amount of power (relative to the average citizen) they are, right or wrong, held to a higher standard...and should take that very seriously. Those that do...very good. Those that dont...youre being filmed.
  • JCizzleJCizzle NYCPosts: 1,912 ✭✭
    Funny story: When I lived in AZ, they put those speeding camera's on the freeway and everyone hated them. One guy tried to chop one down with an axe, another put a huge santa hat over the lense. People weren't paying their tickets and other people were sent to their residents to serve them with the paperwork and some of them got assaulted. Last I heard, they discontinued the use of the cameras.
    Light 'em up.
  • amz1301amz1301 Posts: 1,299
    Here's a good article about what happened to a guy here in Maryland that was arrested on felony wire tapping charges for taping a traffic stop. The judge's statement is pretty close to what Vulchor said. Great ruling by the judge.

    Judge throws out charges
  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,218 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    That is a priceless story. I love it.
    Some provinces up north here use Photo Radar Cameras fixed in vehicles that they park on the side of the road. These are unmarked and look as any other vehicle just parked off the road. They get TONS of speeders using those.
    In BC here we were using them for about two years or so. They were so successful and people hated them so much that it became an election issue and they were elliminated by the winner who promised to do so. At one point the province actually had to promise to pay a portion of the revenue stream and share it with some of the cities where the tickets were being issued.Not that I am a huge speeder or anything but these things would catch EVERYBODY, and anybody over the speed limit got a ticket sent to them through the mail. Don't pay the ticket and you will find that you can't renew your insurance next time you need to.
  • mfotismfotis Posts: 720
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    mfotis:
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
    I was about to say the same thing. Speeding cameras do nothing to make roads safer.

  • Rob1110Rob1110 Posts: 1,455 ✭✭
    mfotis:
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
    I have to argue differently here. Placing a camera will make people slow down when they learn where that camera is and will avoid it or slow down when they pass it. Placing a police car on the side of the road will cause people to jam on the breaks and possibly cause an accident because they don't want to be caught speeding. Once past the cop, the brick goes back on the gas pedal. And the cops never seem to be around when there's someone weaving in and out of traffic, almost causing accidents every 50 yards or so but they'll catch the minivan driver who went 10mph over the speed limit.
  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,218 ✭✭✭✭
    stephen_hannibal:
    mfotis:
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
    I was about to say the same thing. Speeding cameras do nothing to make roads safer.

    The key is that you do not hide the camera. In fact, you put the casings up all over the place and only have live cameras in a few. This is more cost effective and does slow people down. You should also only put them up at intersections where accidents have occurred due to speeding and ignoring the traffic light or stop sign. Those are the areas you target.
  • Joeyjoe21_8Joeyjoe21_8 Posts: 2,048
    YankeeMan:
    stephen_hannibal:
    mfotis:
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
    I was about to say the same thing. Speeding cameras do nothing to make roads safer.

    The key is that you do not hide the camera. In fact, you put the casings up all over the place and only have live cameras in a few. This is more cost effective and does slow people down. You should also only put them up at intersections where accidents have occurred due to speeding and ignoring the traffic light or stop sign. Those are the areas you target.
    Problem wiuth putting cameras up is this....say you put a camera up in a high speeding intersection/lots of traffic recks.....once you put that camera up...everyone behaves themselves on that corner, and the problem goes away which means now we have to pay to put the camera up and maintain it...My town personally put 3 intersections up, and now we just removed them due to the massive cost that it takes to maintain them....we wasted money basically...its kind of a loss loss situation in my opinion.
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    YankeeMan:
    stephen_hannibal:
    mfotis:
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
    I was about to say the same thing. Speeding cameras do nothing to make roads safer.

    The key is that you do not hide the camera. In fact, you put the casings up all over the place and only have live cameras in a few. This is more cost effective and does slow people down. You should also only put them up at intersections where accidents have occurred due to speeding and ignoring the traffic light or stop sign. Those are the areas you target.
    Yankee you know that's far to easy to actually work.
    Tack on an additional 500hrs of bureaucratic run around and you may have something local governments would consider.

  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    stephen_hannibal:
    YankeeMan:
    stephen_hannibal:
    mfotis:
    YankeeMan:
    I'm retired from over 30 years in law enforcement. You write tickets to prevent accidents and save lives, NOT to raise money for the municipality. If that becomes the focus, it doesn't work.

    One quick story about photo tickets. A man received a notice of fine and a photo of his car going through a red light. He sent back a picture of the money. The officer sent back a picture of handcuffs... the man paid his fine!
    writing tickets is different than mailing a ticket. Hiding a camera doesn't make ppl slow down or save lives. Parking a marked police car on the side of the road does make ppl slow down and saves lives. They have speeding cameras in D.C. you get a ticket in the mail, you pay it and go about your merry speeding way, a lot of camera tickets don't even result in points against your license. Other then the fine there is no incentive for ppl to stop speeding.
    I was about to say the same thing. Speeding cameras do nothing to make roads safer.

    The key is that you do not hide the camera. In fact, you put the casings up all over the place and only have live cameras in a few. This is more cost effective and does slow people down. You should also only put them up at intersections where accidents have occurred due to speeding and ignoring the traffic light or stop sign. Those are the areas you target.
    Yankee you know that's far to easy to actually work.
    Tack on an additional 500hrs of bureaucratic run around and you may have something local governments would consider.

    This is so true. Here they became so succesful that they were popping up everywhere. Quite often they would be on the side of the hiway just a snappin' pictures of all those speeders.
    It finally dawned on people that this was nothing more then a revenue stream. People did slow down, but only whenever they came upon one of the vans they used, which became as easy to spot from a distance as a cop car parked on the side of the road.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,804 ✭✭✭
    I didnt read this whole thread I admit---but quick story. I got one of these on XMas Eve 2 years ago. I was on the way to a job to help someone home alone with Alzheimers (Im an investigator). So I take a right on red, w/o stopping fully. Go to court (which isnt really court, its a county commissioner in a court meeting room) and give my story, and since I didnt have Law Enforcement with me...I broke the law. Tried to explain the lazy a$$ Sheriffs in my county wouldnt get there is the ladies head fell off----didnt help

    Fast forward 9 months and 5 notices later---and the ticket headed to collections, since it is NOT a traffic infraction, but a county ordinance infraction......and during the election there was a measure to end the camera's in this county----which Im sure you would imagine, passed by a huge margin----AND THE JUDGE RULED, all tickets still outstaning were also to be thrown out!!!!!!!!! F*CK Y*U MOTHERF*CK#ERS, and thats why I stuck to my guns. Thank you...and goodnight.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    Vulchor:
    I didnt read this whole thread I admit---but quick story. I got one of these on XMas Eve 2 years ago. I was on the way to a job to help someone home alone with Alzheimers (Im an investigator). So I take a right on red, w/o stopping fully. Go to court (which isnt really court, its a county commissioner in a court meeting room) and give my story, and since I didnt have Law Enforcement with me...I broke the law. Tried to explain the lazy a$$ Sheriffs in my county wouldnt get there is the ladies head fell off----didnt help

    Fast forward 9 months and 5 notices later---and the ticket headed to collections, since it is NOT a traffic infraction, but a county ordinance infraction......and during the election there was a measure to end the camera's in this county----which Im sure you would imagine, passed by a huge margin----AND THE JUDGE RULED, all tickets still outstaning were also to be thrown out!!!!!!!!! F*CK Y*U MOTHERF*CK#ERS, and thats why I stuck to my guns. Thank you...and goodnight.
    ROFLMAO. I don't know about anyone else but while I was reading this I could actually see (in my head) Dave ranting and raving and walking back and forth across the room , arms all flailing around, fists clenched tight, hair all messed up !! Thanks for the laugh Dave.
  • amz1301amz1301 Posts: 1,299
    laker1963:
    It finally dawned on people that this was nothing more then a revenue stream. People did slow down, but only whenever they came upon one of the vans they used, which became as easy to spot from a distance as a cop car parked on the side of the road.
    Either that or this happens.

    Hammer assault on contractor's SUV closed road

    No it wasn't me. I'm not 60-65 yrs old and I have an alibi.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    amz1301:
    laker1963:
    It finally dawned on people that this was nothing more then a revenue stream. People did slow down, but only whenever they came upon one of the vans they used, which became as easy to spot from a distance as a cop car parked on the side of the road.
    Either that or this happens.

    Hammer assault on contractor's SUV closed road

    No it wasn't me. I'm not 60-65 yrs old and I have an alibi.
    Oh man I bet the contractor **** his pants !!
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