Traffic Monitoring Camera Systems

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Abstract With the significant increase of traffic monitoring camera systems, the debate on their safety, effectiveness and Constitutionality has increased. The purpose of this research is to present arguments from each side of the issue and then compare statistics on the subject in order to make a determination of whether these systems are more beneficial or detrimental to public safety, and whether public interest or financial gain is the core component in the implementation of the camera systems. Over the past decade, American citizens have seen an increasingly common sight: the onslaught of electronic monitoring devices being placed at traffic lights and intersections with the sole purpose of recording driver behavior to issue citations; all in the name of safety (Federal Highway Administration Safety, n.d.). The proliferation of these traffic safety cameras, which has spread in unprecedented numbers to ever-smaller towns ("Smile, you’re on camera", 2009), is undoubtedly controversial, and has sparked much debate between citizens, legislatures, police departments, federal agencies, and civil rights groups (Burnett, 1998). Besides the debate on whether or not the cameras, and the citations that are issued to the registered vehicle owner based upon the recorded information, are constitutional, (or whether they simply constitute an Orwellian invasion of privacy), the widely-accepted premise that the cameras decrease the severity of and/or prevent automobile accidents is also intensely contested. Advocates for the implementation of red light and speed cameras are adamant that the use of such devices deters traffic violations and decreases accidents (City of Johnson City, TN, n.d.). Research supports these claims ... ... middle of paper ... ...guson, S. A., & Farmer, C. M. (2007). Reducing red light running through longer yellow signal timing and red light camera enforcement: Results of a field investigation. Retrieved from http://www.stopredlightrunning.com Ruby, D. E., & Hobeika, A. G. (2003, Summer). Assessment of red light running cameras in Fairfax County, Virginia. Transportation Quarterly, 57(3), 33-48. Shifflett, G., & Owen, J. (2008, September 22). Red light cameras in the Volunteer State: Unsafe, unconstitutional, and unnecessary (Tennessee Center for Policy Research Policy Brief 04-08). Retrieved from The Newspaper: www.thenewspaper.com Smile, you’re on camera. (2009, November). State Legislatures, 35(2), 11. Retrieved from http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.etsu.edu: The red-light camera never lies. (2009, November 13). The Hotline. Retrieved from http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.etsu.edu.

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