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Thread: Traffic Cameras: 4A Violation?

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    Traffic Cameras: 4A Violation?

    I just noticed that Rapid City has placed cameras at the intersection by my place. People seem to take it for granted that their government can continuously monitor them in public, or that private interests (e.g. Google) can publish images of their property.
    To hear proponents of traffic cameras talk, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on public roads, thus there is no violation of the 4th Amendment.
    I do not believe the issue is so clear.
    One of the traffic cameras mentioned above covers my residence; when my window shades are drawn, the camera could be looking directly into my living room. My hunch is that many of the houses in my neighborhood are also in a camera's view. To me this constitutes an illegal search and a clear violation of the 4th amendment.
    I'm not as well informed on this issue as I'd like to be, so I'd appreciate your thoughts.

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I'm not saying I condone this sort of behavior, but this is how some of the residents of New Orleans express their disgust with illegally operated traffic cameras put up by the city:

    http://www.wwltv.com/news/Vandalism-...104746784.html
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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    I exercise my first amendment right by pointing at traffic cameras with my middle finger!

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Are you in the view of the public when operating your car on publicly funded roads?
    Can the camera see or record anything that a person standing in the same spot could not see or record?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    I'm not saying I condone this sort of behavior, but this is how some of the residents of New Orleans express their disgust with illegally operated traffic cameras put up by the city:

    http://www.wwltv.com/news/Vandalism-...104746784.html
    Agreed, yet Legal or illegal does not equate to correct, right, moral, etc. Many laws are simply idiotic.
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    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrophase View Post
    ...SNIP...
    One of the traffic cameras mentioned above covers my residence; when my window shades are drawn, the camera could be looking directly into my living room. My hunch is that many of the houses in my neighborhood are also in a camera's view. To me this constitutes an illegal search and a clear violation of the 4th amendment.
    I'm not as well informed on this issue as I'd like to be, so I'd appreciate your thoughts.
    You will probably have to file a FOIA, or your states equivalent to see the tape footage of the camera and see if it sees into your residence, if it does you probably have some grounds to have to moved/changed/adjusted.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

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    My biggest issue with the Intersection Cameras and "Photo COP" is that if a citation is issued for an ALLEGED infraction, the citation is sent to the REGISTERED OWNER of a vehicle. This imposes an UNCONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT for the registered owner(so much for "innocent until proven guilty) to prove that they were not the offender instead of the prosecution proving that you committed the infraction!

    I am very thankful that the powers that be in UTAH have OUTLAWED the practice of using "PHOTO COP."

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petrophase View Post
    I just noticed that Rapid City has placed cameras at the intersection by my place. People seem to take it for granted that their government can continuously monitor them in public, or that private interests (e.g. Google) can publish images of their property.
    To hear proponents of traffic cameras talk, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on public roads, thus there is no violation of the 4th Amendment.
    I do not believe the issue is so clear.
    One of the traffic cameras mentioned above covers my residence; when my window shades are drawn, the camera could be looking directly into my living room. My hunch is that many of the houses in my neighborhood are also in a camera's view. To me this constitutes an illegal search and a clear violation of the 4th amendment.
    I'm not as well informed on this issue as I'd like to be, so I'd appreciate your thoughts.
    You might have something of a case, however when you open your shades to let in light and/or air you are voluntarily giving up some of your privacy to anyone within range to see through your window.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    Take Europe's Example To Heart

    I've seen quite a few videos of people taking their old tires, filling them with gasoline, hanging them around the camera and setting it ablaze. I'm not condoning it, but this website has quite a collection of photos of the results.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Oh, those wacky Brits...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Are you in the view of the public when operating your car on publicly funded roads?
    Can the camera see or record anything that a person standing in the same spot could not see or record?
    Exactly. You have no expectation of privacy driving through an intersection.

    I mentioned an intersection in another thread (yet another thread ) that recently had red-light cameras installed. It had had surveillance cameras for years before the red-light cameras were installed. No one was griping about those cameras. Now that there are cameras catching their illegal activities, some folks are suddenly concerned about privacy at this intersection.

    The surveillance cameras are continually running, and the moving images are stored (for how long, I don't know). The red-light cameras are taking series of stills, triggered by cars running the red light. Humans then review the stills (which focus remarkably well on what is going on on the roadway only) to make absolutely sure that there is no question that a car has been detected running the red. In my city, to get a ticket, the camera must capture the car and the tag, with all four wheels behind the line and the light red (all in one camera shot). Then it must capture all four wheels forward of the line and the light still red (all in one camera shot).

    I am not concerned that this constitutes guilty until proven innocent. The camera shots provide a prima facie case that one has broken the law. The way that the law is written, one has committed a violation if his vehicle runs a red light, regardless of who is driving. This is not a new legal concept. Folks are already responsible for what others do with their cars while driving it with permission. (If you don't believe this, loan your car to someone. Watch who gets sued if the car gets into an accident. You and the driver are both on the legal hook. A wise plaintiff sues you both, jointly and severally.) Of course, is someone gets you one of these tickets, they are legally liable to you for the costs, just as one who causes an accident in your car could be legally liable to you for the damages to your car and damages you have to pay to another.

    Having gotten one of these tickets due to another party driving my truck through red at the intersection mentioned above, and having thoroughly researched the red-light camera law in my city (coincidentally, just weeks before the ticket arrived), I know whereof I speak. She, of course, stepped up and paid for her violation. All we needed to do was to point out her actions, and she took responsibility. We raised her well. She is not perfect, but she takes responsibility for her actions.

    I saw another t-bone at this intersection the day before yesterday. Someone ran a red light--again--illustrating the dangerous disregard folks show for this traffic control. But, the cameras are working. Such accidents used to be a routine occurrence. I'd pass a wreck at this corner about once a week. It's been months since I've seen any trace of an accident there--until this week. The drivers are getting tickets, paying them, learning, and passing on the lesson. Good.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    One thing some "authoritarian" types here are forgetting, rights apply to people not government. We have the right to video, or take pictures in the public not necessarily the government, especially when they are using it to "control" its' citizenry.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    And I'm not talking about "red light" cameras--of which there are precious few still operating in this country.

    I'm talking about "speed cameras", and technically and operationally that is a copletely different story.

    For instance in MD, they can only put them in high-accident areas and in school zones. So what does MD do? They create a BUNCH of new school zones--in front of schools that have been shut down for years, they extend existing school zones by over 1/2 mile, an they run them during holidays when school is not in session.

    Then, in violation of the Md Statutes which says they can't be run by a contractor on a per-ticket-fee basis, Montgomery, Baltimore, and PG counties ALL negotiate contracts with ACS from TX to run these systems--on a per-ticket fee basis ($16.25 per ticket). The MD Attorney General gives the Counties a pass, and says because a MD LEO has to sign off on the citation, that the cameras are not "operated" by ACS, but by the counties, so that law doesn't apply. Even though ACS owns the cameras, the telcom lines, the computers that process the image, and even mails the cites from TX and collects the fees in a PO Box in MD that is rented by ACS...

    I have no problem with getting caught when I break the law. But my wife got TWO tickets last Thanksgiving going 42 in supposed 35MPH "school zones", both of which were more than 3 blocks (over 1.2 mile in one case) from an actual school...

    I have a problem with the Counties being given a pass when they are operating these systems in DIRECT violation of State Law. When the State can charge Citizens with violations through a process that is itself illegal, then that is bald-faced tyranny.

    These cameras are nothing more than revenue enhancement--they DO NOT serve to reduce speeding, they DO not reduce accidents, they DO NOT do anything except cause people who aren't familiar with the area to slam on their brakes when they see the signs, and they are clogging up the District Courts with hundreds of thousands of people who contest them. The day I went in to contest our tickets, everyone on the docket except 3 cases were about camera-generated tickets. One guy got let off without ANY fines or even court fees because he was a licensed bail bondsman in MD, and had been "in pursuit of someone who skipped bail".

    Different laws for different classes.

    Oh, and BTW, the counties which are operating ACS-based "speed cameras" have actually seen a slight increase in traffic accidents that result in death or serious injury in the last 2 years. These cameras have also been proven to increase gridlock in the DC area--they serve NO positive function other than to generate revenue.

    And one more thing--ACS has been indicted in Canada, NV, and several other states for bribery of public officials in their pursuit of contracts, and it has been proven that they showered MD legislators with over $700,00 in gifts and cash donations as part of their "lobbying" effort to get the traffic camera laws changed in MD. And we won't even get into the DOJ investigation of ACS for securities fraud in a stock-options back-dating scam, or the fact that their executive board is full of thieves who were all involved with the TX S&L swindles in the 1980's.

    And it was the IT contract run by ACS that was responsible for changing Mohammed Atta’s visa status in the US from tourist to student, according to the Kean Commission report.

    And it was ACS contracters (recently transferred to Lockheed after a restructiring purchase of an ACS division) that were responsible for torture at Gitmo, according to Pentagon reports.

    ACS is a den of thieves, sociopaths, and criminals. And any state that does business with them is supporting that.

    That's what I have a problem with...
    Last edited by Dreamer; 12-30-2010 at 10:31 AM.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Dreamer can you provide links or sources for the claims? Would like to read more on it since our city is deciding (against what the public wants) to install these cameras. If it is the same company I want to point it out to the local paper.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Having gotten one of these tickets due to another party driving my truck through red at the intersection mentioned above, and having thoroughly researched the red-light camera law in my city (coincidentally, just weeks before the ticket arrived), I know whereof I speak. She, of course, stepped up and paid for her violation. All we needed to do was to point out her actions, and she took responsibility. We raised her well. She is not perfect, but she takes responsibility for her actions.

    I saw another t-bone at this intersection the day before yesterday. Someone ran a red light--again--illustrating the dangerous disregard folks show for this traffic control. But, the cameras are working. Such accidents used to be a routine occurrence. I'd pass a wreck at this corner about once a week. It's been months since I've seen any trace of an accident there--until this week. The drivers are getting tickets, paying them, learning, and passing on the lesson. Good
    .
    It's a shame your daughter didn't learn that she was supposed to stop at red lights before she went out onto public roads and put others at risk. Instead of patting yourself on the back for how well you've raised her, perhaps you should be considering that her negligence could have caused several people their lives. Wouldn't it have been better to teach her how to do things correctly (and safely) the first time instead of just teaching her to take responsibility for her wrongdoings after the fact?

    This is the second time I've seen you hold up your daughter's irresponsible and wreckless driving as a reason why these cameras are a good thing and it's the second time I've rolled my eyes after reading that nonsense.

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    "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."

    -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
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    Quote Originally Posted by LV XD9 View Post
    It's a shame your daughter didn't learn that she was supposed to stop at red lights before she went out onto public roads and put others at risk...
    That is as far as I read. I find your comments directed at my daughter to be incorrectly judgmental and inexcusably reprehensible. I hope you choose to apologize to her through a post to me. If you choose not to do so, I'll just move on.

    If you have never ever broken a traffic law, intentionally or through negligence, then I'll pass on your rebuke. I don't think that is the case.

    We all make mistakes. The value of a person is not in the never having done anything wrong. It is in the taking responsibility for one's missteps. It was her ready willingness to take responsibility that I take pride in having helped instill.

    Now, will you take responsibility for your actions in your post and apologize? Or, shall I make permanent my utter disregard for your opinions (that you created with this post) by disposing of all of them on the ignore heap? Or, shall I renew my respect for you as a responsible person, one who makes mistakes, but makes it right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety."

    -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
    The key words being "essential" and "temporary." Kudos to you for using the entire quote. Many leave out those key words.

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    That is as far as I read. I find your comments directed at my daughter to be incorrectly judgmental and inexcusably reprehensible. I hope you choose to apologize to her through a post to me. If you choose not to do so, I'll just move on.

    If you have never ever broken a traffic law, intentionally or through negligence, then I'll pass on your rebuke. I don't think that is the case.

    We all make mistakes. The value of a person is not in the never having done anything wrong. It is in the taking responsibility for one's missteps. It was her ready willingness to take responsibility that I take pride in having helped instill.

    Now, will you take responsibility for your actions in your post and apologize? Or, shall I make permanent my utter disregard for your opinions (that you created with this post) by disposing of all of them on the ignore heap? Or, shall I renew my respect for you as a responsible person, one who makes mistakes, but makes it right.

    Well said. That is what I derived from your story about your daughter. Not what NN from Henderson surmised.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

    Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    Well said. That is what I derived from your story about your daughter. Not what NN from Henderson surmised.
    +1

    The courtesy and decency here is rapidly dwindling.

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    Thanks, guys. Your posts illustrate that some courtesy and decency remain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Thanks, guys. Your posts illustrate that some courtesy and decency remain.
    I believe that there is a lot lost when making a posting. You may mean something, but a reader may take it another way because of a preexisting bias, different level of reading comprehension, and then there is that "Preparation H factor" for the inflamed rear ends that sit in front of a computer.

    I rather give someone the benefit of the doubt unless they show otherwise.

    No one is perfect. You may have a perfect driving record, but it just takes one lapse in judgment to have an accident. We should all just be grateful that we have lived another day to take the key out of the ignition at our point of destination.

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    A previous poster posted that tickets are mailled to the registered owner of the vehicle IF certain criteria were met.... but he didn't say that one of the criteria was a clear photo of the operator at the time of the alledged violation. Even IF the registered owner was the operator at the time of the infraction--- the state must prove it, not make an assumption that the registered owner was in fact the operator of the vehicle at the time of the infraction.

    There is nothing to prove that the registered owner of the vehicle was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alledged violation. I have cars registered to both me and my wife.... WHO WILL THEY SEND THE TICKET TO? or will they send it to both registered owners?

    I should not have to prove that I didn't do something. The prosecution should have the burden of proff that I was the operator. This requirement is met WHEN THE LEO PULLS YOU OVER AND CITES but it is NOT MET when a ticket is sent to the address of the registered owner.
    Last edited by JoeSparky; 12-31-2010 at 10:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    A previous poster posted that tickets are mailled to the registered owner of the vehicle IF certain criteria were met.... but he didn't say that one of the criteria was a clear photo of the operator at the time of the alledged violation. Even IF the registered owner was the operator at the time of the infraction--- the state must prove it, not make an assumption that the registered owner was in fact the operator of the vehicle at the time of the infraction.

    There is nothing to prove that the registered owner of the vehicle was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alledged violation. I have cars registered to both me and my wife.... WHO WILL THEY SEND THE TICKET TO? or will they send it to both registered owners?

    I should not have to prove that I didn't do something. The prosecution should have the burden of proff that I was the operator. This requirement is met WHEN THE LEO PULLS YOU OVER AND CITES but it is NOT MET when a ticket is sent to the address of the registered owner.
    That poster was probably me. I also posted that the law was written in such a way as it was a violation for your vehicle to be driven through a red light, not necessarily for you to do it. This is not new in the law. As I also posted, if you don't believe me, loan your car to someone who causes an accident and see who gets sued. Both of you can be found liable, jointly and severally--even though you were not driving. You can be held responsible for the actions of folks to whom you give permissions to drive your car.

    Of course, that person is now liable to you for any costs they caused you to incur through their negligence.

    So, no, the city does not have to prove that you were driving, just that your car went through a red light--and the photos do that quite nicely.

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    eye95.com launches and names Rick Santelli as "Man of the Year."

    Agreed great video BTW.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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