Sunday, July 25, 2010
RED light fine in USA
Red light cameras, when misused by idiotic and irresponsible public officials, can be one of the great scourges of America.
That much is fact. Even when they are used with some semblance of jurisprudence, they might be flat-out illegal. We'll just have to see how the court challenges turn out.
But in the wrong hands they can be downright evil. Check out this Miami Herald story on the poor people of Aventura all others who drive in that city -- who are getting shaken down by their own government for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. Their crime Rolling a red light on a right turn. You do it all the time even if you don't know it. You come up on an intersection, see there's no cars coming, and never quite come to a complete stop.
In Aventura, this will get you a $125 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second, and a whopping $500 for each additional. It's obscene and making it worse is that if one of the cameras got installed at a red light near you, you could wrack up multiple fines before you get the notice in the mail telling you did anything wrong in the first place.
Responsible towns don't do this. Pembroke Pines, which was the first city in Broward to install the cameras (send your thanks to Angelo Castillo), doesn't do it. West Palm Beach did it for a while, but then realizing how grotesque it was. In May WBP not only discontinued the practice, but decided to refund all the money it generated from such fines back to the citizens who paid them. But some towns just don't