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Did You See Me?

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On: Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:54PM | By: Karen Cook

Did You See Me?

Here they come again! The dreaded Red Light Cameras. We all hate them. There is huge debate over whether they are strictly legal, who is profiting from them, and whether they are actually making the intersections any safer. Google it. You’ll see tons of controversy. I’m not going to argue for or against. I just have some questions.

The law states that you must come to a full and complete stop at a red light, BEHIND the line on the pavement before turning right on red. Simple enough and I do this. We have a red light camera right around the corner and I’m the only one in my family who hasn’t gotten a ticket there. Question: Should the fine be the same for the person who stopped with his front wheels over the line as for the guy who didn’t stop at all?

The camera takes a picture of my plate along with a lovely cinematic account of my criminal activity. It’s supposed to take a picture of me too but they aren’t always clear. Question #1: What if I’m not driving? We’ve all loaned out our cars to friends or family members. If an officer stops the vehicle he will give a ticket to the driver. The camera tickets the owner of the vehicle only.

Question #2: What if the plate number is wrong? I have two separate acquaintances who've had this problem. The plate number was unclear and either a person or a machine went with the most likely number. Which happened to be wrong. By the time both of these situations were resolved, both of their licenses had been suspended. Getting them reinstated without paying the charge was “a whole ‘nuther” problem. Again, if an officer had issued the citation this would not have been an issue.

The ticket is mailed to the address listed in the state DMV database. We all know that mail NEVER gets lost or delivered to the wrong address. Question: What if I don’t get my ticket. They send a second notice, but if the address was wrong the first time, I’m not going to get that one either. If an officer hands me the ticket, there’s no question the right person got it.

When my youngest was three he was playing in the back of the house when we heard a crash. Conversation follows:

Me: “Sweetie, what are you doing back there?”

Him: “Nothing.” (Pause) “Did you see me?”

He had it right. If someone didn’t see me do it, how can you be sure it was me?


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