Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Light Hypocrisy

Irony in real life never escapes my attention. In some cases, it can also earn my appreciation. There is a situation in Los Angeles that fits this description perfectly. It involves illegal aliens, the Arizona Law, and the hypocrisy of the liberals and progressives in government agencies.

It seems that Los Angeles contracted with a private company to install red-light cameras at 32 of its 4,300 intersections. The original company went bankrupt and now is owned by a firm from Arizona (which the city is boycotting), and its contract is up. In five years, the program has chalked up a $1.5 million loss for the city because two-thirds of the $466 fine goes to the state and county and nearly one in five of the tickets for red-light crashing -- 50,000 of them worth nearly $6 million -- have gone unpaid.

Now remember, you can't renew your license or car registration if you have unpaid tickets.

One final fact to consider: The Council took the boycott issue off the table and clearly intended to extend the contract for 10 months although accidents are actually up or the same at half the 32 intersections.

So, how come 50,000 motorists haven't paid their tickets?

The answer is simple: Most of them are illegal aliens driving without a license and don't register their cars. They can laugh at the law and us law-abiding citizens and there is very little anyone can do about it.

For the most part, they can't get licenses or register their cars because they are illegal immigrants -- the class of people Arizona is cracking down on and the reason why LA is boycotting our good neighboring state. Some estimates are as high as 25 percent of motorists here are unlicensed, unregistered and uninsured.

The Council, in it’s typical bureaucratic style, debated the issue for 45 minutes of questioning the LAPD. Their focus was mostly on public safety and whether the cameras help or hurt. The answer was largely mixed and certainly far from definitive.

Yet no one ever asked how come 50,000 motorists haven't paid their tickets.

The answer, of course, would have made the boycott as silly as the red-light cameras that lose money every year, persecute the law-abiding and don't prevent accidents significantly even in the handful of places were they are installed.

For all their talk about public safety, the same Council resisted sending four helicopter officers to a training conference in Arizona last week and forced the Chief of Police to cancel it.

So much for “public safety is all that matters.”

The vote was 13-0 to extend the contract in spite of the ineffectiveness of the cameras, the loss of the revenue and the fact the company is in Arizona and subject to their own boycott. Hypocrisy on display.

Now, another of my favorite songs:


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