According to an article on the webpage of Channel 6 in Orlando, the Florida Civil Liberties Union is considering a challenge to the red-light cameras being used at dangerous intersections in Orlando, Apopka and Orange Counties. The group cited a recent Minnesota Supreme Court decision which ruled against the cameras that take pictures of cars running red lights.
The Minnesota decision claimed that car owners “cannot confront their accusers” since the accuser is “a machine.” Apparently, the court did not notice that all the crime scene photographs in the known universe, including those in Minnesota, were also taken by a machine known as a camera.
The Mayor of Orlando said that he wanted to keep the red-light cameras because they save lives. The article noted that there were 165,000 Americans injured as a result of cars running red lights anywhere in the nation, in 2005. Of those, “nearly 800” were fatalities, and of those, half were drivers and passengers in cars that were hit by drivers running red lights. The article noted that an intersection in Orlando with an “experimental” camera experienced a 40% decrease in violations, and a 50% decrease in crashes, when the camera was in place, and in use.
Since there is no question that a policeman who saw a car run a light could charge the driver, the ACLU position is that using cameras is unconstitutional. That’s a stretch for the real ACLU position; anything which helps get criminals off the street and save lives, MUST be unconstitutional.
It reminds one of a Joey Bishop line from a very forgettable movie, “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your lying eyes?”