My consistent readers know that there’s one aspect of me that I don’t hide; I’m a peace officer for a major Left Coast agency in Fornicalia. Let’s pause right there for a moment. Why do I call my state Fornicalia? Because my state essentially manages to screw over its taxpayers and then disseminate its scat about the rest of the outlying states.
With that in mind, I’ll make my point directly up front: beware. All of your local agencies, utilities, governments, are looking to make up their budget deficits on the back of YOU, the local citizen, the local taxpayer.
Trust me, your local police department has had meetings about bringing up the number of citations issued. Your local electric generation utility has had meetings about ways to increase their revenue and increase your bill. Your local recreation or park district has had meetings about increasing fees. All would like to be able to pass blanket levies and taxes. Their blockade is the average taxpayer. Absent ballots where taxpayers actually get to vote, the only venues left are fees and rates.
For example, let’s review your local police department.
The area where I work — and not where I live — is peppered with red light cameras. These are high-population areas with like high-density traffic. The unincorporated area has a smattering of red light cameras. The outlying and much smaller newly-incorated cities are rife with red light cameras. The justification for red light cameras is nothing more than “safety.”
“These cameras will enhance safety!” bleat the local jurisdictions. Well, except for the fact that they haven’t. They have, however, done one thing rather icily and stentorily: increase revenue.
Let me break things down to their basics: red light cameras are a scam. Their purpose is to be a money-making scheme for the applying agency and government. They cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase and install. The installing company historically GETS A CUT OF THE REVENUE. So, do you suspect they have an uninfluenced reason to trot their product out to as many police departments as possible?
This is the proverbial WIN/WIN situation for the installing company and the local government. Local revenues increase due to, ostensibly, “unimpeachable” red light camera photos. The contractor gets a percentile of this revenue.
With this dirty little secret: in many jurisdictions — and you can’t PROVE this because no one possesses the prior requisite statistics and timings — the yellow aspect of many of these camera-monitored intersections has been purposely shortened by one second or more.
Okay: so PROVE that. You can’t.
If these agencies really wanted to improve safety at intersections, all they’d have to do is hit the utility boxes at designated intersections and INCREASE the yellow aspect by a second. Or perhaps two. That would cost nothing more than generating a “work ticket” for a local utility work truck and operator.
Red light cameras and “speed cameras” are a scam. They exist solely to generate revenue. This is where the Libertarian in me comes out. And, as I mentioned above, I predicate this post and this opinion upon the fact that I am a cop. Red light cameras disgust me. Speed cameras disgust me. They are an abomination. They gut the ethics that exist in me. The local population associates red light cameras and their concomitant technology with the local cops. They associate the cameras with “cheating” and the local cops, therefore, with “cheating.” They cheapen and reduce the perceived authority and authenticity of your local police officers.
They reduce respect for authority in general — and rightly so. Because these techno pieces of crap completely de-humanize law enforcement. People can contest other people and feel as though they can actually have an opinion and a demand and are invested, at least a bit, in the governmental system. With technology, they are run by robots.
If I weren’t a cop, and if I didn’t have any ethics within me, I’d completely advocate for the long distance sniping of every red light camera and speed camera in existence. But, of course, I couldn’t advocate for that.
What brought, by the way, this post to the foreground of my mind? Why, that would be my most recent ocean vacation in May. I noted that the police presence in this coastal city of roughly 8,000 increased geometically since my last visit — and that those officers were making vehicle stop after vehicle stop after vehicle stop. I’ve been consistently visiting this coastal town for the past five years and, never before, have I seen its officers conducting so many vehicle stops. Click on the photo above to see the agency involved.
I should care to point out these were not simply calls for service where you see a unit parked in front of somebody’s house and the citizens talking on the lawn. No. These were only vehicle stops. Their originating source was a violation of some perceived vehicle code section. I had one of these officers follow me for a number of blocks during my vacation, but I was aware. I drove like I was taking a DMV test.
That department was doing nothing much more than attempting to increase its governmental revenue through traffic citations.
Here is an elderly woman in the state of Washington whose water bill increased from $30 per month to $1,181. The water authority insists she must pay the bill.
Be forewarned, people. You think the fed poses a great threat?
No. It doesn’t stop there. Beware your LOCAL governments. They are scrambling for cash.
Add the “i”. Governments don’t run — they ruin.