Editorial

Ban automated ticketing

Monday, January 9, 2017

Iowa lawmakers could possibly put an end to traffic-enforcement cameras soon. The automated systems result in tickets to owners of vehicles involved in speeding or traffic light violations.

Since these automated systems do not identify the driver, the ticket does not result in points against a driver's license, but the fine against the car owner is hard to refute unless it was established that the car was stolen or the speed was the result of a medical emergency.

The automated ticketing generates revenue from minimal expense. That, rather than safety, seems to be the primary motivation for the system.

In at least one Iowa city, Fort Dodge, the police department reveals the current location to local radio stations so locals and savvy regular visitors to Fort Dodge can avoid speeding at that particular location.

To the extent that a human function is being replaced by an automated one, there is a potential that public safety and public order will be diminished by a reduction of a law enforcement presence.

Automated ticketing is simply bad policy and should be eliminated.