Now a reader writes of a personal victory over the Redflex cameras. From the Inbox:
An uncommon story these days: a regular citizen leery of the creepy creeping surveillance state surrounding us/good guy fighting big government story…. with a happy ending.
My red light “infraction” was surveilled and recorded at the Minority Report-looking set of cameras at the intersection of El Camino Real and Encinitas Blvd. To my chagrin, after adding up the cost of the ticket and the multitude of taxes, court fees and Orwellian-termed charges slapped on by greedy, fat-fingered bureaucrats on top of it -- plus 2 points on my driving record that would have driven up my car insurance cost for 2 years -- the red light camera ticket delivered me a potential net cost of….
Over one thousand dollars. Luckily, I contacted a small law firm in San Diego -- “Mr Ticket” -- and for a very reasonable sum the attorney took my case (along with many others I suppose), argued on my behalf, and won.
Due to complaints and a dubious Constitutional status, red light cameras have been removed in many areas across San Diego.
Although there may be a window - the city’s contract with Redflex Inc., the intermediary camera experts that control the red light cameras in the city, expires in 2018.
What’s that, you say? A company has access to the camera data (as in your personal information, likeness, additional people in your car, their likeness, etc) is handed off to a third party who then processes the info, pictures, etc.? Yes, that’s right.
Question: How many hands does it change in the meantime? Who has access to your likeness, driver’s license number, vehicle, name, address? Who, with criminal or malicious intent, could get their hands on your private information or use that as blackmail?
The safeguard to those kinds of questions is exactly why we have a Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
But sadly, many of our fellow citizens believe, “if I’m not doing anything wrong, what’s the problem?”
On a related note, In case you’ve wondered why there are so many cameras at other intersections in Encinitas today, it’s per the city’s recent policy of installing cameras at intersections to “alleviate congestion” (wink, wink). These numerous cameras aren’t for
public safetyrevenue generators like the one I encountered at El Camino Real/Encinitas Blvd; they are purely surveillance.
That makes me feel great.