by James Neely, freelance writer
From California comes a story which reveals that the state is getting ready to roll out speed sensors on red light cameras at major intersections. Debate is formulating whether or not this is another way that the government is impinging on personal rights while it seeks to raise revenue from speeding tickets without the overhead of having to pay police to do the job.
Another troubling thing about this is that the fines for speeding that are generated from this activity have been proposed to be from $225 to $325 for each violation. The money generated from these fines would be shared among cities and counties in which the infractions occurred.
How to Fight Back
Slow Down: The first thing that drivers must do when faced with these actions is to drive the speed limit and no more. If you are not in violation of the law, you will avoid staying out of trouble.
Maintenance Check: Make sure that your speedometer is accurate. It is your responsibility to insure that your speedometer is working correctly so that you do not get false readings which can lead to tickets. One way that you can check this is to request the local police to visit your house, and then have them clock you on their radar unit as you drive up and down the street. Be sure to ask if the officer’s radar unit has been calibrated recently. They are known to drift from their settings due to the temperature extremes that police vehicles are often placed under.
Radar Detectors? Some will argue that radar detectors are the way to go, but these have an inherent problem: most radar units are set to power up and emit signals immediately before they track your speed. This means that radar detectors will not be able to “see” the radar until it is too late. Will this type of radar unit be used in these situations? It remains to be seen.
Better Yet: Consider adding a GPS car tracking device to your vehicle. These units are always on and always tracking and can provide speed data which you can use to prove your innocence in a court of law (as long as you were really abiding by the speed limit). It has been done before and you are well within your rights to use this method to keep from having to pay the fine and court costs along with the ensuing points that go onto your record.
In reality, the fine and court costs can approach the cost of a GPS car tracking device. Furthermore, you will probably be entitled to a break on your insurance premiums when you do install one of these units.
Finally, do these red-light cameras and now the radar units attached really reduce unsafe driving activities? That remains to be seen as the data is not available to support that premise. But, one thing remains clear, the primary purpose appears to be making money, not making the streets safer.
GPS car tracking devices will help you keep a close watch on your vehicles and those who drive them. What better way of helping to reduce the possibility of getting a ticket than with closer monitoring and instructing those who drive your vehicles to be aware of their actions at all times? It just makes sense.