The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) just released a special issue status report on speed, which 'promises' the 'positive' effects of speed cameras while ignoring its negative ones.
The overriding sentiment of their report is simply SPEED KILLS, and automated photo enforcement (red light cameras, speed on green, speed cameras) effectively reduces speeds and therefore promotes highway safety, slower drivers, and reduces collisions and fatalities. Sounds nobel (automated speed reductions), indeed, but...
This report ignores key societal implications (privacy concerns of red light cameras) and officially "green-lights" red light cameras and other automated enforcement technologies in the US, such as speed on green and speed cameras while ignoring a host of other larger contributing factors to these fatalities, the profit-motive behind the companies (mostly European) which promote their use in this country, the automotive manufacturers equipment safety improvements, roadway conditions, along with poor/reckless/careless driving behavior, and most-importantly the corrosive impact of the application of these emerging technologies have on our long-cherished civil liberties.
Nor does IIHS status report address the technical flaws (let alone the legal flaws) in these systems as they are currently deployed (described in the following three reports):
- Don't take the law enforcement officer out of law enforcement
- Machine Bears False Witness
- Red Light Cameras: Our [Lack of] Privacy Doesn't STOP There
This report also sources France, a socialist society, which has not historically sponsored an individual citizen's Bill of Rights.
For those interested in reading more, please refer to the following article:
IIHS Status Report: Speed—Effect of Speed Camera Enforcement
If you are a US Citizen, not familiar with a pesky old-document—your bill of rights, may I suggest a refresher*?
At least we now know where the (for-profit) insurance industry stands on this issue.
If you are too young to remember WWII, can you say neo-fascism?
Since we're collectively living in a post 9/11 society, let us not forget these sacred words:
"Freedom is not defined by safety. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference. Government cannot create a world without risks, nor would we really wish to live in such a fictional place. Only a totalitarian society would even claim absolute safety as a worthy ideal, because it would require total state control over its citizens’ lives. Liberty has meaning only if we still believe in it when terrible things happen and a false government security blanket beckons."
*Is the reason we are forgetting our country's Founding Fathers, because the Bill of Rights is fading**?
**Perhaps this is something made to order for Lou Dobbs (of CNN).
PS: I hear the faint whispers of George Orwell (author of Animal Farm and 1984), please let us let his soul rest in peace.
Update: 01 FEB 08, As Reported by Google News
Do speed cameras actually increase accident/crash rates?