City and county officials announced today that they have contracted with Safer Traffic, Inc. out of Indianapolis to install mini cameras on stoplights and stop signs throughout Noblesville and Hamilton County. According to officials, these cameras will record license plate numbers of any vehicles that do not come to complete stops before entering the intersection.
"This system not only takes a picture of the license plate, it then e-mails coordinated dispatch so that a moving traffic violation can be mailed to that person's home," said Joe Miller of Safer Traffic. "We anticipate that this alone will create enough revenue so that municipalities can look at a potential tax cut to residents; so this is a win for everybody."
Beth Barker of Central Traffic Command for Hamilton County said that the ticket will cost violators $95.
"We know that rolling stops are a problem here," Barker said. "This is a real safety issue and getting people to come to a full and complete stop is only what the law requires. I don't see why anyone would have a problem with this."
But the Indiana Civil Liberties Confederation does.
"This is an outrage," William Wadsworth, state director for the ICLC, said. "There is no due process here. You're telling me that an arbitrary camera is going to be judge, jury and executioner all in one and the accused has no say in the matter?"
"Pictures don't lie," Barker countered. "If drivers simply stop, they won't have a problem. I don't see why or how anyone can be upset."
The cameras are about the size of a quarter and are mounted either above the stoplight or on the pole above the octagonal stop sign. They are solar powered and wireless so after the photo of an offender is taken, the camera automatically e-mails the photo to Central Command where a county employee will match the license plate to the registration and send the ticket in the mail.
Miller said that even then, accused drivers have the right to appeal.
"Yeah, they have the right, but we have the picture proof," he explained. "So good luck with that."
"Typical bureaucratic arrogance," he said. "We would expect nothing less from someone when it involves an April Fool's prank. So I must now ask, did you notice the reporter's first name from the byline and the jumbled last name? Did you notice the date today? Did we fool you?"