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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Outrage of the Day: Police Chief Calls Traffic Camera Monitoring "Cowardly"

District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier called iPhone users who monitor the location of traffic cameras and speed traps "cowardly."

Chief Lanier appears to have totally forgotten the official purpose of the traffic cameras and speed traps, which is to get drivers to follow traffic regulations.

People who stick to the speed limit because their iPhone app told them a speed trap is coming up are not any less safe than people who stick to the speed limit because they see a police car on the shoulder.

In fact, they may be safer, as the pre-warned iPhone users probably don't suddenly hit the brakes as do so many drivers when they see a police car (even if they aren't speeding in the first place -- ever notice that?).

I'm an iPhone user who drives in D.C. I had no interest in getting this app until Chief Lanier made this comment. Now I intend to find out what it is called and get it just because she said this. Few things are more annoying than a public servant abusing citizens for exercising their constitutional rights (unless it is a public servant with the power to make arrests doing it).

I will toss the chief a bone, however: When I start routinely seeing police cars -- the ones that don't have their sirens on or show any sign that they are responding to an emergency -- routinely following the speed limits and other traffic rules, I'll delete the app.

Care to tell your own officers to slow down, Chief?


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 8:31 AM

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