This release came in last night; I just noticed it:
COLUMBIA, S.C., June 14, 2011 — In a 32-0 vote, the South Carolina Senate today passed a measure halting the use of video cameras in the enforcement of speed limits. Passage of S.336 came after months of debate in both the House and Senate. The Town of Ridgeland had placed automatic cameras along I-95, issuing thousands of camera-assisted traffic citations in the process.
“This is a hard-fought win for liberty, and a well-deserved loss for Big Brother,” says Senator Larry Grooms, Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and author of the bill. “Good riddance to what was nothing more than a small-town money grab and a menace to motorists.”
The bill now heads to the Governor.
Remember when I wrote about this before? (My headline was, “Everything that’s wrong with the SC Legislature.”) OK, I get it that some people, infected with all this nonsensical fear of Big Brother (and as you know, I love Big Brother, and hope he knows it), would object to the perfectly commonsense idea of using cameras to enforce the speed laws.
I can even see rational objections to the practice. For instance, if the speeder doesn’t get stopped, and doesn’t even see a cop car, there is no immediate deterrent effect. Sure, you can post the fact that the speed is monitored by cameras, but does that work as well. (The obvious presence of police is a more effective deterrent, affecting more drivers, than the actual issuance of tickets.)
But what I have trouble processing is that NO ONE in the Senate would object to this, yet another case of the bullying General Assembly stepping on the throats of local governments. Yeah, I know that once all the discussion has occurred, things tend to pass unanimously in the Senate — which is another thing — but sheesh.