At least two states
are looking into whether Big Brother’s watchful eye is enough to issue a
In Minneapolis, a
city where 16 red light cameras were installed at 12 intersections as a pilot
program, only about 40 percent of drivers caught by the cameras were actually
According to the Minneapolis
Star Tribune, about 11,500 drivers were caught on film between July 7 – a
month after the cameras were installed and the first day tickets began being
issued – and Aug. 6. But due to technical problems with the cameras such as
blocked views from tree branches and larger vehicles, and legal right turns,
only about 4,500 drivers were issued tickets.
“We’re not happy
because that means there are a lot of people going through red lights,” Lt.
Gregory Reinhardt of the Minneapolis Police Department told the Star Tribune. “It’s new, people are aware of it, but they haven’t changed their behavior.
It’ll take a number of months for them to change their behavior.”
Missouri, state Attorney General Jay Nixon is questioning whether the
photographs provide enough proof to hand out tickets to motorists.
“I think it’s pretty
clear these pictures can’t be the sole or only evidence to cite drivers for
violating state traffic laws,” Nixon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I have deep concern whether taking someone’s picture rolling through a stop
light is adequate evidence in and of itself to uphold a state traffic law.”
Several towns in
Missouri have already installed the cameras, and more are expected in the near
future. Officials in the towns say the cameras would help enforce local
ordinances, and would be out of the jurisdiction of statewide laws, according
to the Post-Dispatch.