Sunday, March 1, 2009

Driving Me Crazy!

So, I have "friend" who got a ticket in the mail the other day. I'll protect his/her identity by referring to him as kereD.

Needless to say, the fine associated with one of these tickets is not cheap. Almost $200 to be exact.

Now, I'm not someone who believes in dishonesty or even crazy driving and I do have to say that the vast majority of people who drive and talk on their cell phones drive me crazy--pun completely intended here. In fact, don't even get me started about the issues in driving that make me bonkers--no use of turn signals, driving slowly in the passing lane, tailgating, etc.

That being said, I don't know that I'm a fan of these cameras and not just because I've been the recipient of one of these tickets myself. I mean honestly, if you flow with traffic on these interstates, you're almost guaranteed to get a ticket for speeding.

Whatever happened to the police officer catching you in the act? I mean, are we in such desperate need of money for the government that we need to catch a speeder with a camera? Sure, you can pretend that you didn't get the ticket, but if they send the constable out to serve you, you'll have to pay an additional fee and odds are--he'll catch you.

I feel really torn about the issue honestly. Probably because I like to drive over the speed limit myself. However, I've seen plenty of crazy driving that didn't happen anywhere near the interstate and with no police officers in site. I'm also a little bit bugged at the Big Brother idea that cameras present.

So, what do you think? Are these cameras a good idea or just a good way to have your day ruined at the mail box?


Dj,Megs,Trey,Pace said...

Dj has already got one and it was right around christmas time that we had to pay for it! $180
We aren't fans of them. They are so bright when they go off that I can see them causing more wrecks.

kjirsti said...

I'll start by saying I have yet to get such a ticket. However, I think they are a great idea. The last thing police officers should be doing is sitting around waiting for speeders. They should be solving crime and making every neighborhood safe. They have recently installed several at various intersections in Cleveland, and I think they're great. They flash as much as a reminder to the others at the intersection to not enter when the light has been yellow for some time, as well as to catch the guy who runs through on a red light (a real problem here in Cleveland). I say free up cops from catching speeders and send them to stop drug dealing, sexual abuse and other more heinous crimes.

Kelli said...

I have gotten one of these lovely tickets! I was in Avondale. It was certainly a surprise to recieve one in the mail. I thought Jarom was joking when he told me I had gotten a ticket. Mostly because I don't consider myself a poor driver.

I was going with the flow of traffic, it was considered a red light violation on a right turn. Apparently I turned 3 seconds after the light had changed. My personal feeling is something like that is a waste of time and energy in the justice system. Honestly, I need the government doing more important things rather than making sure I am in the intersection at the right time on a right turn.


Lolly said...

I was thinking about posting on the same subject! I've been here over 4 years with no tickets, but every time I drive by one of those cameras I get paranoid that I just got a ticket. It just puts me on edge all day.

Jessica Martiele said...

I agree with everyone. (Sorry for being so ambiguous.) My HUSBAND...a Californian!!! a ticket from one of these stupid things a few months my parents' van...on the way home to CA. So my folks had to identify him, send it back, have it reissued to Jay and mailed to us, and when we looked at the picture, we couldn't tell who the heck was behind the wheel. I don't remember how he handled it...but all I know is he sent something back and we've never heard from them since, which makes the idea of moving to AZ scary (because of the cameras everywhere that we knew nothing about...and the fact that he is now on record somewhere and it was never followed up, so what happens when he needs an AZ license?). That said...

We don't have them on freeways out here, just at intersections where people run red lights like crazy. I'm ALL for that, because I've thought a few times around here that I (or my kids or all of us!) could have been killed by that schmuck who just ran the red light, it's a good thing I didn't hit the gas when it turned green, yada-yada. I'm all for cameras at intersections...not so much for freeways.

It DOES free up the police for the work they SHOULD be doing, and crime both here AND there is BAD. As for freeways, though, that's the duty of the highway patrol, and I feel like freeway cameras are just speedtraps...particularly when you're an innocent CA driver used to keeping up with traffic and obeying the main CA law: always drive according to what is most safe for the condition and situation. Keeping up with freeway traffic is an honorable defense for such speeding here. Besides, the highway patrol need to DO THEIR JOB if they want their revenue. Doing their job in the city is dealing with crime, not stop lights. Doing their job on the highway is dealing with traffic, accidents, and incidents, not cruising around letting cameras do your work for you.

Oh, and please offer kereD our condolences.

Amelia and Justin said...

I'll start by saying, I speed.

I think that there are some good things about the cameras, but I am still not really a fan. Because of the sheer population of Metro Phoenix and the fact that DPS is responsible for every single freeway in the state makes it impossible for them to be able to do their job well. I think that using technology to assist DPS in keeping the roads safe is positive.

However, people are stupid and they slow down to below the speed limit when they approach the cameras and that makes me mad. Not to mention it is completely unsafe.

So, the cameras are a good theory, are they the best solution? I don't know. But, if it is what we are going to be stuck with, then drivers need to learn how to adjust their speed in an intelligent way.

rachel said...

Colby and I have seen 3 of these that were at different four way stops that were completely out of sync with the rest of the lights. We thought if we got a ticket with that we would definitely have to go and fight it as firm believers in the constitution and people's inalienable rights:) I think they are wrong and I don't speed and haven't ever gotten a ticket before or should I say yet??
I think that we should be accountable for our choices but I also think we should be trusted first before we get surveillanced like someone on parole. The End sorry about that.

DONNA J. said...

I totally agree with Kjirsti's comments. What people hate is the technology that allows them to be without the opportunity to be creative in their excuse to the officer. Regardless of who's there (or not), if you're're speeding! If you don't mind speeding, you shouldn't mind paying the price. With that said, a machine does not have the intelligence (yet) to make the call on a area that isn't always clear.

I also think with the economy tanking, I'd rather see additional revenue coming into government agencies from the ranks of speeders than from additional tax hikes.

I don't think it's a matter of trust, it's a matter of obeying the law.

JenW said...

oh, i don't know. i drive fast. i try not to but i know i do. that being said, cross your fingers and toes and knock on wood somewhere, i've never gotten a ticket. but my friend lladneK has gotten several. and we got one on the way to the temple at a green light that is known to be the shortest green light in all of mesaco. so...i don't know. we let the process server come to our house and i opened the door...dang it but all's well that ends well i guess. we paid the hefty fine and kendall had to go to a driving class and now he drives very respectably so....good. but i still don't appreciate or like the "big brother" aspect of it.

wackywilsons said...

We've had 6 new cameras get installed in our area this last month alone...they are sneaky little things and it is for sure frustrating. Speed limit is 35, but sometimes it is easy to go 40...

I guess the gov. really is trying to be creative.

JLJ said...

I think that when people (including my husband) get a ticket from a camera they like to direct their anger at something other than the real culprit of the crime, themselves. The cameras only get you if you're breaking the law. However unintended it may be, ultimately it is your decision. Now, the unreal amount of the fine is ridiculous. A "9-over" speeding ticket is $180? That is totally not right.