Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by
yourself as a mighty one. . . . the being a force of nature, instead of a
feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the
world will not devote itself to making you happy.

		George Bernard Shaw

2006.10.04

Law Enforcement As A For Profit Venture

Seems the city planners in Clive, Iowa, were banking on 1) catching lawbreakers 2) lawbreakers being plentiful and 3) lawbreakers not changing their ways – ever. (H/T State 29 via Instapundit)

Clive’s stoplight camera system fell well short of revenue expectations for the second consecutive month.

Based on preliminary estimates provided to city officials by the cameras’ operator, Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, the system was expected to generate about $85,000 per month initially.

September’s revenue was less than $700, based on statistics compiled by the Clive Police Department. The number of citations issued was down about 10 percent from August, the first full month of operation.

Clive City Manager Dennis Henderson said glitches are still being corrected in the system, and that he’s been satisfied that area residents are driving more safely.

Ouch. That’s 0.8% of projections. Just a little off, don’t you think? Come on, you Clivers, get with it and start running those red lights! Your city needs you!

Actually, State 29 has it right: “Shouldn’t the revenue expectation be zero?

I’m left with uneasy feelings anytime I hear of governments employing this type of technology principally for the purpose of raising revenue. I say “principally” because, as it appears to be in this case, the argument in favor of using the technology is based on revenue expectations rather than the decreased violations. I’ve read other articles where this type of revenue expectation was actually included in annual budgets.

Bad idea, this. As technology improves and becomes less expensive, the full range of statutes become available for automatically issuing citations for violations. Because, you know, ignorance of the law is not a defence. Remember this little gem from Houston? Couple Chief Harold Hurtt’s attitude with micro-surveillance and you’ve got yourself a right profitable proposition. If Big Brother were only watching us, perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. Being pinned under the fat ass of a revenue hungry Big Brother is a bit more disconcerting.

[Edit History]

2006.10.05

I’ve been wondering. What are City Manager Dennis Henderson’s “glitches” to be “corrected”? Is the yellow light too long? Perhaps he should eliminate it all together? Or how about flashing from green to red for a few seconds right in the middle of the green cycle? Photograph vehicles as they drive away from the intersection just after the light turns red. After all, they almost ran a red light and they just might do it for real next time. They’re just building up the confidence to do it. There they go, fleeing the scene of a red light. That’s got to be good for some extra violation cash. Come on, guys. If the Clivers aren’t cooperating with Redflex Trafffic Systems’ sales pitch, you gotta think outside the box, or intersection in this case.

Several grammar changes.