Remember the nightmare that was the red light camera program in New Jersey?

Getting a ticket for a moving violation by machine weeks after the incident has always been unfair and unreliable. Unfair because you have no opportunity to explain your actions to a police officer nor do you have the opportunity to even clearly remember your actions when it’s so many weeks removed from the incident. Unreliable because we all found out how many lights were not even timed properly as far as the yellow cycle went.

A similar type of onerous technology is making news again in New Jersey. Not the use of cameras to catch you going through a red light but instead to catch you speeding. Other states use these, like Maryland.

It’s making news because Rutgers, a state university, launched a study on how to make the public more accepting of speed cameras. Gee, thanks Rutgers University. Why on Earth would you even take on an endeavor like this?

I know nothing of what prompted it but can’t help but be suspicious. The companies that run this technology make money hand over fist and have been known to be unscrupulous in their greed. I can’t help but wonder who asked for a sit down with whom at Rutgers University. Did someone pitch this idea? Did a company offer grant money to the university to study such a thing as how to get the public to roll over and accept this? Call me cynical, but I have questions.

Oh, and you’ll love this part. The findings of the Rutgers study show that if you sell the public on speed cameras as a way to stop unfair racial profiling they will be much more accepting of the technology. If you give them just a short description of the program the public acceptance was 14% lower than the 71% of acceptance when being sold on a social justice premise.

The problem with that? As Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, an NJ lawmaker who took on the red light camera program as the unfair monstrosity that it was, points out,

“If you have a racist cop that’s intent on pulling someone over, he’s going to find a way to do it. These (cameras) only exist to make money for the corrupt private companies who own them and operate them, and their equally corrupt government co-conspirators.”

And he’s absolutely right. Speeding has never really been considered one of those petty pretext stops that some officers use to pull over minorities and take a look at what else might be going on in their cars. It’s usually things like license plate frames obscuring lettering, a window tint, etc.

Thanks to guys like Declan O’Scanlon we ended that red light camera program and we actually have a law against implementing technology such as speed enforcement by a camera lens. What’s worrisome is the law can be changed. It happens all the time. It just adds one more step in the process of the return of greed in New Jersey.

The government needs to leave traffic enforcement in the hands of flesh and blood, human police officers that can listen to reason and sometimes use discretion. And Rutgers University? Stay in your lane, and shame on you for even involving yourselves and something like this.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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