Getting There: Lawmakers weigh safety against privacy with cameras - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Getting There: Lawmakers weigh safety against privacy with cameras

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Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2009 5:21 pm | Updated: 12:47 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The Republican-controlled Legislature might not like this comparison, but in its battle against speed-enforcement cameras I heard the echo of a Democrat’s speech.

Speed cameras record streaming video 24/7

Poll finds support for red light, speed cameras

“We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,” President Obama, in his inaugural address last week, told America.

Here in Arizona, the Department of Public Safety says these cameras on our highways keep us safe. And lawmakers, learning these cameras take not just snapshots of speeders but movies of everyone, reply this is a violation of our small-L libertarian principles.

According to a Capitol Media Services report, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, pointed out the company hired to operate the cameras advertises it has technology that can read the license plates of every vehicle passing by.

That, said Biggs, could allow the state to create a database to determine where drivers have been at any given time.

“This is more invasive than ever experienced,” Biggs said.

And if the state can find out where you’ve been, then so can attorneys, employers and anyone else armed with a subpoena.

Heck, the government could give out the information for free — it’s a reality with airplanes: http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KPHX.

How about this scenario I’ve cooked up? The cameras collect license plate information, and if your vehicle passes a second camera in such a time that you could only reached Point B from Point A by speeding … Smile, you’re on camera, even if you are well below the speed limit at that moment.

(This can be done right now with toll roads and vehicles’ auto-pay transponders; I’m surprised no state has yet put this into place.)

Your safety or your ideals? It’s your call.

Buses to become canvas for teens

The Valley’s mass-transit agency is offering high school art students an opportunity to show off their talents on a moving canvas.

Valley Metro’s ninth annual Bus Wrap contest now is taking submissions. The competition is open to all high school students currently anywhere in Maricopa County.

The winning design will be reproduced as a bus wrap on the entire length of a 40-foot Valley Metro bus. Also, a special unveiling will be held at the winning student’s school in April.

In addition, cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third places.

Entries must be submitted to an art teacher by Feb. 13. For final delivery of the artwork, teachers should contact Dolores Nolan at dnolan@valleymetro.org or by calling (602) 262-4001.

Park-and-ride opened in Chandler

Chandler’s first park-and-ride lot will be dedicated in a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon.

The $6.4 million facility, at the southwest corner of Germann Road and Hamilton Street, opened on Jan. 28. It supports express bus service to and from Phoenix, Tempe and Scottsdale, and adds 445 needed parking spaces for weekend events at Tumbleweed Park.

Mayor Boyd W. Dunn will speak during the ceremony, which begins at 3 p.m., as will Valley Metro executive director Dave Boggs.

For more information, call (480) 782-3440.

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