Magazine article Insight on the News

Big Brother Hits Speed Bump in Colorado. (Waste & Abuse)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Big Brother Hits Speed Bump in Colorado. (Waste & Abuse)

Article excerpt

In what may come as a relief to those who see the proliferation of automated traffic cameras as another step toward an Orwellian surveillance state, the Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that the state General Assembly can regulate use of such systems by towns and municipalities because the new technologies potentially impact the lives of so many citizens.

Several towns, having found the devices a handy way to cut law-enforcement costs while boosting revenues, had challenged the state's right to pass laws concerning the use, or misuse, of so-called "photo-radar machines." Use of the devices also is the subject of a class-action lawsuit brought by 150,000 individuals ticketed by the machines in Denver, leading the city temporarily to suspend use of the technology.

"The use of automated systems for traffic control represents such a considerable shift in traffic enforcement that these systems alter Colorado citizens' basic expectations about how they will be ticketed for traffic violations," wrote Justice Nancy Rice in explaining the court's 6-1 majority opinion. …

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