Saturday, January 31, 2009

Seeing Red

The use of photo-red still irks me. I wish I could find where I read this, but I thought we were told that if you weren't the driver of the vehicle you could contest the citation. But according to the Spokane Police Department's web site that's only true under certain conditions.

3. Submit an Affidavit stating you were not driving the car.

You may only submit a Affidavit of Non-liability if at the time of the violation one of the following was true:
1. Vehicle was stolen (must provide police report)
2. Vehicle was sold (must provide valid proof of sale)
3. Your company is in the business of leasing or renting vehicles and the vehicle was leased or rented at the time of the violation (must provide lease or rental agreement)

Which is probably why it's a civil infraction and not reported to your insurance company. It doesn't matter who is driving, the registered vehicle owner is financially liable for the citation. Time to get a business license for Hank's Rental Car and have my son fill out a rental agreement.

The SPD also lists the web site to go to if you want to view the video of your infraction. That got me wondering. How does American Traffic Solutions, the contractor, predict who will run the red light? Obviously they can't. They leave the video cameras running 24/7 and the still cameras take the photos we were told about. Learning this concerned at least one member of the Tucson city council. This tidbit from that article bothers me.

"It's well known. It's in the contract. The police department is aware. There's nothing that surprises. It's been done like this across the country for years," ATS's Josh Weiss told Fox 11. He also claimed the video is not high enough quality for it to be a privacy issue.
But Weiss did say his company is developing a system where the cameras would be able to read license plate numbers and notify police of any wanted vehicle which passes through the intersection.

I don't know. I don't care for the idea of a surveillance capability that could be abused. More incentive to ride a bike, I guess.

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