Italian motorists demand return of fines after massive traffic lights scam - Times Online

Saturday, September 20, 2008
I've never been a fan of police departments that use cameras to ticket the owners of cars for traffic violations. They really don't contribute to traffic safety, and are in fact a form of taxation without representation. The video evidence is generally accepted as superior to eye-witness testimony, making it nearly impossible for the accused to defend themselves.

In Italy, very many people are hopping mad. An unholy alliance between technology and government has been raping their wallets and subverting their legal system. I can't believe that this problem is limited to Italy, and everyone should question whether their own Municipal Authorities aren't engaged in this new form of exploitation and corruption.

From Times Online
September 18, 2008
Italian police have uncovered a scam in which traffic lights in 30 towns throughout Italy were rigged to ensure that drivers were fined for failing to stop at red lights.Prosecutors in Milan said that the company that provided and maintained the traffic lights had manipulated them so that the amber signal lasted for only "a few seconds". This meant that motorists who thought that they had time to pass through the junction were inevitably fined for going through a red stop light.
Police said that 30 local councils were involved in the scheme, in collusion with the company that provided and maintained the lights...more
I read somewhere that fines are for people who do wrong, and taxes are for those who do right. I'll pay my taxes, but I demand some say in who is spending them on what. You may define revenues generated by traffic courts as fees, rather than taxes and you'd be correct if the folks that collect the money aren't lining their pockets with our money.

When the system that collects fees is corrupt, then that system is an illegal form of taxation. it is also a racket, and RICO laws should be enforced at the Federal level.

Besides the Constitutionality of all this, there's still the need for the police to be actively engaged with the general public. There mere presence on the streets and highways moderates traffic, and their absence ( as in cameras doing their work ) only increases risk on the streets. 



reading_is_dangerous said...

Imagine you're a city council and they ask you if this is a good idea or not, to fine people for offenses they haven't committed!

I suppose you'd say, "NO!" and denounce the conspirators... Well, this is what I find so sad in these stories: People keep saying "yes," and we're left wondering: "Why?"

For money?