Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

One of my favorite uncles used to jokingly tell us kids to “go play in traffic.” In reality, not so good for kids. Or for politicians.

Maryland’s recent Senate Bill-277 brought this to mind. It authorizes the installation of cameras to monitor and ticket for speeding near highway work zones and schools. Legislators insist that the cameras will slow down traffic and bring in needed revenue.

How do voters feel? Well, according to a report at “no photo enforcement program has ever survived a public vote.”

Voters tend to regard speed cameras as simply another scam to grab yet more money. The cameras also remind one of Big Brother.

So, how come legislators don’t listen to the people? Maybe one reason is that as also reports, “[P]arties with a direct financial interest in automated ticketing showered members of the Maryland General Assembly and the governor with $707,725 in gifts and campaign cash.”


Fortunately, Maryland voters have the right to referendum: They can petition to place this legislation to a vote of the people.

And that is exactly what the group Maryland for Responsible Enforcement is now doing.

Similar battles are being waged in other states. There’s an effort to take away the 200 speed cameras now on Arizona roads; Montana legislators just banned such cameras in Big Sky Country.

Maybe Big Brother should “go play in traffic.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Mike Barraclough says:

    Paul, I’m surprised at your attitude. If you think that the speed laws are unreasonable, then work to change the laws. If you think that the laws are reasonable, then they should be enforced – and cameras are a cost effective way of doing this.

  2. A. Mark Hunt says:

    It is always interesting to think about this issue. We generally do not want drivers running red lights, speeding (especially in school zones when children are present) or violating the various other traffic rules But sometimes violating these rules is necessary for the very same reasons they are in place. Rather than having an “idiot” camera simply taking pictures we prefer a human being making a judgment call. My view is that if these “money hungry politicians” really cared about improving traffic conditions they would ways to encourage and fund research into automating cars. This at least has the potential to:
    1) Save lives.
    2) Eliminate traffic lights.
    3) Keep vehicles running in their most efficient state.
    4) Reduce air pollution.
    5) Reduce commute times.
    6) Eliminate “road rage”
    7) Make road maintenance far safer.
    This to me is “common sense” — a far cry from the “power hungry sense” of virtually all politicians today.

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