Speed cameras give no license to kill

Some applications of technology just seem to get under people's skin, in a big way.One of them is cameras on streets and highways aimed at license plates.

Some applications of technology just seem to get under people's skin, in a big way.

One of them is cameras on streets and highways aimed at license plates. Go even one mile over the speed limit (goes the fear) and you might find a ticket in your mail at home a few days later.

Resistance aimed at undermining this new system of law enforcement has been taking various forms, to avoid this traffic tax. Kind of like tossing tea into a harbor.

In Maryland, high school students late last year were reported to have made fake license plates, to fool the cameras, and send tickets astray. In Connecticut, the legislature knocked down Gov. Jodi Rell's attempt to install speed cameras on freeways, in spite of a $165 million budget deficit. One Wallingford, CT, commenter on a forum discussing the Hartford Courant's stance on speed camera legislation -- saying "automated law enforcement is a bad idea" -- warned of radar-detector-like devices that would tell motorists when they were approaching speed cameras and of the possibility that device-haters would put the cameras "in the cross hairs" and give them "a fair shot."

In Arizona, where Gov. Janet Napolitano had been expecting to raise, ironically, $165 million in new revenue from speed cameras, the "cross hairs" have already gone too far. A 51-year-old technician for a traffic systems company was gunned down in Phoenix while sitting in his photo radar van on Sunday night, April 19. The assailant has apologized, but ... that doesn't help.

Purchasing an "anti-photo radar shield" for your license plate is one thing. Wielding sticky notes, Silly String or even a pickax to fight a law or a technology you don't like is dumb, as well. Killing for it, whether intended or not, is way over the line.

Whatever happened to calling your legislator, to change things? Or, simply slowing down?