Department of Duh

Justin, a loyal MR reader, writes to me:

new story
. Near the end it mentions citizen's group that wants to
remove cameras from a highway because, in their words, "It's nothing
but a speed tax".

I liked the opening paragraph of the piece:

A driver has racked up dozens of speeding tickets in photo-radar zones on Phoenix-area freeways while sporting monkey and
giraffe masks, and is fighting every one by claiming the costumes make
it impossible for authorities to prove he was behind the wheel.

Monkey masks I can see.  But giraffe masks?  That's good enough for a markets in everything.  Who, other than this guy, buys a giraffe mask?  And how is this for governmental wisdom?

…It took Arizona state police months to realize the same driver was involved

And the guy's car?

…has black-and-white checkered racing stickers on its sides and a sticker on the windshield that reads "Bucktooth Racin'."

The state now has surveillance photos of him putting on a mask before driving but vonTesmar, the driver, offers up a novel defense:

…[he] said if the Department of Public Safety
does have surveillance photos of him on the road, it proves he's not a
danger to other drivers. If he were, officers would have pulled him
over, he said.

The cameras remain unpopular in Arizona:

Arizonans have used sticky notes, Silly String and even a pickax to sabotage the cameras.

believe the shooting death of speed-enforcement van operator Doug
Georgianni on April 19 on a Phoenix freeway was a result of anger over
the cameras, although authorities haven't made that direct allegation.

Three separate citizens groups are targeting the cameras in initiatives for the 2010 ballot.

As you can see, the local government blogging marathon continues.  Soon I'll offer up some posts on crime.


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