Monday, February 4, 2008

Speed Traps, Red Light Cameras, and The Great Myth of "Safety"

Chances are, you know the maddening feeling of being caught in a speed trap or having your front plate recorded by a red light camera and getting the inevitable super-expensive ticket for which you never signed. Yeah, I blew through a red light camera once on 19th Avenue in San Francisco (my bad), and you better believe Big Brother was watching.

The penalty? About $300, enough to buy that LSD rebuild kit for my AE86 and have enough left over for some Taco Bell and an ice cream.

The good folks at the National Motorists Association really go to bat for those of us who disagree with shady law enforcement tactics used to entrap motoring law violators such as myself.

Everyone should check out their website and get educated about subjects like red light camera scams, "traffic calming" projects, and something that everyone should practice more, "lane courtesy".

They've even sponsored a "Speed Trap Exchange", with state-by-state and city-by-city listings showing where you're most likely to get caught in a speed trap. Thank goodness for the information age!

And if you're ever in San Francisco, watch out going through Golden Gate Park on Park Presidio: an SFPD dressed up as a hobo nabbed my poor old 73-year-old father on radar for doing 40 in a 35. Was that in the name of "safety", or is "revenue generation" more to the point?

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