Going Dutch on Red Light Cameras

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While taking photos for my post on the controversy over red light cameras in San Juan Capistrano, I happened to run into a Dutch tourist with an eye-opening perspective on the issue.

Mayor Londres Uso of San Juan Capistrano this week failed in his attempt to convince other council members to ban red light cameras from the town. His argument was that the cameras fill the city’s coffers, but don’t significantly improve public safety. Other critics say the cameras are a blatant invasion of privacy.

Such outrage doesn’t exist in the Netherlands, said the tourist, Cor Glorie, who added he was involved in law enforcement. In fact, he said, nearly all traffic enforcement in the Netherlands is conducted via cameras.

One Dutch method to catch someone speeding is to snap a photo of your car at the beginning of a road and then snap another photo at the end of the road, Glorie said. If you made it to the end of the road faster than you should have had you obeyed the posted speed limit, then you’ll end up with a ticket.

There’s no way to avoid the fine either, he said. The speeder can claim that somebody else was driving, but if the speeder doesn’t give that person up, then the fine for that is the same.

Glorie also dismissed arguments that cameras are an invasion of privacy.

“If we remove the cameras and put 100,000 policemen on the streets they would hate that just as much,” Glorie said.

What do you think about this issue? Let me know your thoughts by emailing me at  aelmahrek@voiceofoc.org or commenting below.



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