I wonder if a car exceeds the speed limit on a highway but there is no one there to clock it using traffic cameras is it still speeding? In Louisiana currently the answer is yes. Representative Jeff Arnold of Algiers aims to change this Orwellian auto-world we Who-Dats live in by issuing a statewide ban on the devices. Arnold correctly points out that the cameras “…are not about policing. They’re about fleecing… your constituents’ wallets.” This elicits predictable scorn from revenue hungry pols like East Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden. “People have lost their loved ones” the mayor bellowed as if the existence of cameras deters reckless driving.
In the last decade many towns in Europe have begun REMOVING their traffic devices and I’m not just talking about the spy-cameras. In the Danish town of Drachen, all traffic signs, lights and lane markers were removed. This forced motorists to be constantly aware of nearby traffic. They even built a children’s playground in the middle of one of Drachen’s busiest roads. The result was a reduction in accidents, a reduction in costs and better traffic flow. This experiment has been copied hundreds of times across Europe producing similar results.
When I visited Scotland last year, I marveled at the lack of American-style, child-like traffic signs issuing nanny-state edicts to pampered, lazy drivers. The roundabout replaces most red lights and there are almost no stop, yield or merge signs. One designer of naked roads. as they are called, explains the approach. “A wide road with a lot of signs is telling a story. It’s saying, go ahead, don’t worry, go as fast as you want, there’s no need to pay attention to your surroundings. And that’s a very dangerous message.”
The only thing made safe by Louisiana’s traffic cameras are the jobs performed by those who install, maintain, then profit by the traffic cameras and that is dangerous, to our liberty.