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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Shut up and pay

The State Board of Accounts, the Indiana Supreme Court and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles all want to see a copy of Hammond's red-light-camera ordinance, and they're all concerned about the same provision:

Tickets will be issued through the mail by the private company operating the system after a review by police. By ordinance, fines of $100 will be assessed and treated like parking tickets unless contested, when they become moving violations.

Kind of a strong-arm tactic, isn't it? Just shut up and pay, and no points. But have the nerve to question us, and it becomes a moving violation. But it IS a moving violation because, you know, the cars are actually moving when they run the red lights. And Hammond made the mistake of using a private company, which will increase the chances this will become more about the money than public safety.


Kevin Knuth
Wed, 06/18/2008 - 9:05am

Discounting a "moving violation" is somewhat similar to what we do here in Fort Wayne.

Get a speeding ticket? No problem- pay an extra fee and the city won't tell your insurance company. Sure, we call it "pre-trial diversion" but it is really just buying your way out of trouble.

Great lesson to teach kids- if you have money, you can get out of it.

Wed, 06/18/2008 - 10:20am

I'm sure Hammond will do exactly what its neighbor, Chicago, did: Rig the signals to operate so quickly that a multitude of innocent drivers will get busted with every change of the light. Then rake in exponentially increased revenues for a few years or however long it takes until the courts finally put an end to the game.

Harl Delos
Wed, 06/18/2008 - 10:23am

The car is moving when they run the red light, but you can't charge the car with a moving violation, because the car doesn't have a driver's license.

Instead of ticketing the driver, they're charging the owner of the car. Whether the car is moving or not is not the issue. It's in the intersection when it ought not be there, whether it's moving or not.

I don't like those cameras, either. Some cities are shortening the yellow in order to generate more income - and it's resulting in more accidents as well.