The title is something that came to mind while I was typing this post. Recently in the news we’ve seen headlines such as this:
After hearing so many wonderful things about automated for-profit law enforcement devices reducing crashes in the news, I couldn’t wait to read the report (click for PDF version downloaded on 1-9-13). I downloaded it from the Dept. of Highway Safety’s (DHSMV) website expecting to find something similar to their annual Traffic Crash Facts, where they categorize all crashes in Florida in a variety of ways, to include what causes them (red light violations have usually accounted for about 2~3% on average, well below other moving violations).
Imagine my disappointment when the “report” turned out to be 4 pages with no actual crash data. It turns out 20 to 30% of the 73 agencies that participated, which under Florida’s camera law (s. 316.0083) MUST submit the required data did not submit any crash data. What have they got to hide???
I spent several hours and went over this survey. My findings are here. My findings encompass about 9 pages, so as usual it’s not for the short-attention span crowd. The 9 pages include all of the original survey’s text.
In as much of a summary as possible, here are the main problems with the DHSMV survey:
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if the next headline read:
While those are two we’ll likely never see, the tide appears to be turning. Two I did read this week were:
Both expressed reservations about automated for-profit law enforcement. The former, from the Panama City Beach News-Herald went so far as to suggest proper yellow light timing. The latter, from the Venice Gondolier Sun, questioned the safety aspect as it relates to revenue.
A device ban bill has been filed by Rep. Campbell from Miami. Legislative session begins in less than 2 months, so we will see how it goes again.
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