Stop the Traffic Camera RoboCops

House Bill 5750 would authorize state and local police to installed automated ticketing machines on Michigan roads. Drivers would be monitored, and those accused would be presumed guilty until proven innocent, with no ability to prove that the machine was working improperly. Traffic cameras like these have been shown in other states to increase the rate of accidents, as drivers slam the brakes when they see the cameras. Defend highway safety and the rights of drivers to due process of law. Tell your lawmakers to say NO to traffic cameras!

Text of Petition

Whereas, traffic cameras violate the Fifth Amendment right to due process of law. Tickets are issued by officers that do not identify the driver of the vehicle to its owner, who is then hauled into court to prove his or her innocence with a presumption of guilt. Motorists who receive photo tickets are at a severe disadvantage to make a defense due to the weeks or months that may lapse before a driver is served with a citation. Weeks or months after a "violation," a driver is unlikely to be able to recall the details of the "violation." Furthermore, drivers are unable to collect evidence to defend themselves because it is unlikely that signs and road conditions are the same as they were when the alleged violation occurred; and

Whereas, traffic cameras violate the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause gives the accused the right to be confronted by witnesses against them. Under HB5750, the driver is never confronted by a police officer ticketing him. The accused are not being provided with the opportunity to cross-examine or subpoena all camera equipment operators along with anyone who handled the evidence or the officer who issued the citation. Nor are they being provided with the opportunity to examine the design and operation of the equipment itself; and

Whereas, traffic cameras provide no remedy for those wrongly accused of traffic violations. Drivers must miss work to appear in court, and therefore even if they win, they often lose more money anyway; and

Whereas, traffic cameras cause accidents, not prevent them. Traffic cameras are a serious distraction that triggers an emergency response. Motorists frequently slam their brakes to avoid tickets, creating additional collisions; and

Whereas, traffic cameras enrich out-of-state corporations like Australia-based Redflex and Arizona-based American traffic solutions and incentivize officials to tamper with speed limits, alter traffic light timings, and accept bribes from camera companies. Twenty politicians, lobbyists, and photo enforcement company executives have been convicted of felonies like bribery and forgery for contract-related incidents; and

Whereas, cameras are high-resolution video devices that run 24 hours a day. According to officer King with Arizona DPS, "We can just about zoom in and see stuff on the dash." These cameras violate drivers' basic expectation of privacy on the road; and

Whereas, traffic cameras create distrust and animosity for local officials, law enforcement departments, and makes a mockery of our judicial system;

THEREFORE, we the undersigned call upon our state lawmakers to OPPOSE House Bill 5750, which would authorize traffic cameras on Michigan state and local roads for the first time.

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