Vigorous enforcement of traffic laws is a necessity. Abusive enforcement prompted by incentives other than public safety is not. The use of speed cameras in Ridgeland along Interstate 95 is abusive.
Some local officials tout a study showing traffic accidents on I-95 are down since camera usage began, even though that period is too short to draw any statistically valid conclusions. Others justify the cameras as a deterrent, even though little has been done to alert out-of-state drivers.
What can be said of an enforcement regime that issues tickets to the owners of cars without absolute certainty the owner was driving? What can be said of a system relying on for-profit enterprise for enforcement?
What is to prevent Ridgeland from reducing the miles-per-hour over the speed limit threshold used for issuing a ticket?
Sadly, what really drives the use of speed cameras is the revenue generated for Ridgeland and its private contractor.
The South Carolina legislature was wise in its last session to approve a statewide ban on use of such cameras, and the state should enforce compliance.
Paul S. EganSun City Hilton Head