Every time we cover anything having to do with speed enforcement cameras, some people decide to educate us on their positive impact on road safety. What these people fail to understand is we’ve been monitoring the growing use of cameras and other sensors to supposedly improve conditions in different countries, only to see cases like this one in Australia where a driver was fined for a passenger supposedly not wearing their seatbelt properly.
If that sounds ridiculous to you, well congratulations because you’re using your mind! It is ridiculous, but this enforcement of seatbelt laws through cameras has been a practice in Australia for several years now.
We’ve also covered how speed enforcement cameras are also being used in some areas like New York to cite vehicles which are supposedly too loud. Or how in London they’re being utilized to fine people for driving cars that are too old. Perhaps that’s why some people have decided the only justice is to cut the cameras down?
Back to the case in Australia, a man in Queensland posted on Reddit about how he received a citation for $1,161 and had four demerit points added to his license all thanks to a camera deciding his front passenger wasn’t wearing a seatbelt correctly.
The thing is the camera’s algorithm screwed up, assuming since the seatbelt wasn’t visible across the woman’s chest that it wasn’t present. Instead, it was obscured by a zip-up jacket. In other words, there was no violation, but the driver still got cited.
Now the guy is wondering if it’s worth fighting the citation. And this is where we have a problem with this automated traffic laws enforcement strategy. These cameras have been known to make mistakes, like citing cars for speeding as they’re riding on the back of a wrecker. Fighting the tickets can be difficult, so many times citizens just give up and pay the fine, even though they did nothing wrong.
Government officials love these cameras since they mean more revenue for municipalities, etc. After all, cops can only write so many citations in an hour, but these cameras can just be snapping photos and sending off fines in the mail like crazy.
Aside from that, we think these cameras will be used to enforce more and more laws other than what we’re seeing right now. Most Americans would probably be shocked to learn they’re used for seatbelt enforcement in Australia, even as they cheer on the placement of more and more cameras where they live. Just what will they be fining people for in five or ten years?
Images via Reddit
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