Charles Keefer's Blog

A slightly different take …

with 2 comments

Here it is, folks, from the news wires …

TALLAHASSEE — Warning against the threat of “big brother” and calling red-light cameras a shameless money grab, Florida lawmakers did a U-turn Thursday on the traffic safety devices they approved only last year.

A House committee narrowly approved legislation to outlaw the cameras installed by dozens of Florida cities, including many in Palm Beach County where they continue to spark controversy. The close vote suggests the measure faces long odds of clearing the Legislature.

Critics said the cameras violate the constitutional rights of motorists.

They also accused officials of expanding camera-use chiefly to pad municipal treasuries under the guise of traffic safety.

“Those willing to sacrifice liberty for public safety don’t deserve either public safety or liberty,” Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-New Port Richey, a co-sponsor of the repeal bill (HB 4087) told the Economic Affairs Committee.

Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, another sponsor, honed in on the cash generated by cities. He said officials were installing cameras even at intersections where the accident risk was low but there was a strong chance of ticketing red-light violators.

Those ticketed face $158 fines.

Um, excuse me, Rep. Corcoran, Republican that you are, but exactly which liberty are we sacrificing here? Is it the liberty to run a stoplight and endanger others?

I ride motorcycles. That means I see a bit more than people do in cars. For one thing, my vision is not restricted. For a second thing, I have much more to lose if I don’t take notice.

Mostly I see people in expensive cars doing shit that would be caught by these cameras. Rich people who feel they shouldn’t be slowed by traffic laws meant for the rest of us.

I stop for red lights. I do it in my car and I do it on my motorcycles. I do it for one simple reason. If we can’t all agree to stop at red lights, then I am toast. I’ll be splatered by some son of a bitch who didn’t think stoplights applied to him.

I have no fear of these cameras. I stop for red lights. Duh.

And, by the way, I love your quote. “Those willing to sacrifice liberty for public safety don’t deserve either public safety or liberty.”

Here is the original.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

That is from Ben Franklin and he was talking about a bit more than stoplights.

Your corruption of the original is astounding. It almost sounds right, until you think about what it actually says.

In fact, you don’t face a $158 fine unless you run a red light. And, considering the possible consequences, I think Ben Franklin would think the fine a bit low.


Written by Charles Keefer

March 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Posted in Blog, Motorcycles, Politics

2 Responses

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  1. cameras -good idea at stop lights–and if you get seen with the girl friend instead of the wife too bad!!! HOWEVER cameras on hwy exits and high enough to see where you enter and exit maybe too much, on the other hand our downtown and malls would be safer (unfortunately) if the bad guys knew someone is watching. The good guys don’t care they are not doing anything wrong unless you nit-pick..
    but it is kind of like the if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns thing


    March 18, 2011 at 5:27 am

  2. It’s not just “rich” people who ignore red lights and stop signs. LOTS of folks have realized their likelihood of getting caught by live cop are pretty slim, so they merely slow down for stop signs and turned “right on red after stop” into “slow down a bit, then turn right.” Folks bitch about the cameras being “big brother” and a “money grab.” Who cares? Bottom line is obey the law and you won’t have to worry about it either way.

    George P

    March 19, 2011 at 7:22 am

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