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How Much Should Big Brother Be Watching?

Is camera enforcement of traffic laws falling out of favor?

For the first time since they were introduced in the 1980s, the areas that use red-light cameras decreased from 700 in 2011 to 500 in 2013. Some cities in California recently floated the idea of using cameras to enforce speeding laws. One proposal had fixed camera mounted at various places, especially those spots known for speeders. Another proposal would have used mobile cameras in police vans. Opposition, sometimes in the form of a lawsuit, killed these plans.

Law enforcement agencies in Lamont and Shafter are currently considering other high-tech options.

The unique nature of speeding enforcement, with its two goals of roadway safety and revenue generation, has led many cities to consider a lower-cost way of enforcing the speed limit. It is only natural that cameras are on the agenda: they have a low operating cost, are reliable and present an effective visual deterrent.

Cameras have been touted as a practical way to enforce speeding laws and some cities, Phoenix, Arizona among them, use speed-enforcement cameras.