Maryland Vigilantes Protest Speed Camera
Vigilantes painted “SCAM” on the pavement in large, white letters near a speed camera in Potomac, Maryland. The sign serves as a warning to approaching drivers that the automated ticketing machine on the side of River Road is active. WUSA television used a helicopter to capture a unique perspective on the warning. Montgomery County jurisdictions are notorious for issuing as many speed citations as possible using ticket quotas, even though the practice is banned under state law. The county program generated $7.2m worth of tickets last year. The village of Chevy Chase used cameras to nearly double its entire budget, spending a significant amount that was promised for “public safety” instead on “beautification improvements.” The latest incident marks an increase in the number of anti-camera incidents in the US. Just two months ago, vigilantes struck four speed cameras in Gaithersburg.
I sent this article to a co-worker who lives in Montgomery County (originally from Arizona). His reply was as follows: "In Arizona, irate drivers blast away at speed cameras with pistols and shotguns..." Needless to say, I was rolling over in laughter...
How hard would it be to get a national speed and red light camera ban in this country? I think there are enough people concerned with privacy, and enough data to prove that these revenue generating schemes are accident factories or worse, and have nothing to do with safety. You'd probably have to wage a state-by-state grassroots war to pry the greedy politicians out of the pockets they are already into, but I don't know that there's any cost too high not to end up like England.