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Will Red Light Cameras Lead to More Government Intrusion Through Increased Use of Photo Technologies

Bakersfield is home to over a dozen intersections with red light cameras that regularly film local drivers and lead to them being issued tickets for violations of Vehicle Code 21453.

Both ends of the political spectrum, from small government conservatives to liberal civil rights groups, have expressed concern about the due process associated with red light tickets and potential right to privacy issues. The potential for further controversial use of cameras is once again in issue because of a new automated license plate recognition (ALPR) camera system in use by the Los Angeles Police Department.

ALPR can be used to automatically check license plates of citizens who are not suspected of any wrongdoing and potentially track the drivers' time and locations through the system of cameras.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently sued the LAPD to release the details of how the so called spy camera system is being used to track citizens without a warrant or probable cause. Los Angeles has already collected 160 million pieces of information through the machines. Privacy rights activists want to make sure that due process is observed and what kind of information is being captured and stored.

The increased use of technology to track citizens is a reminder that we should understand our rights under the constitution when confronted with potential due process violations from law enforcement cameras. Red light camera tickets continue to be controversial, even as local governments rely on them more for revenue. Contact my office for any questions you may have on red light camera enforcement in Bakersfield.