Tracy Ward with a Liberty Restoration Project protest against KCMO's red light traffic cameras

On Saturday I caught up a bit with Tracy Ward and a few other members of the Liberty Restoration Project as they held one of their semi-frequent protests of KCMO’s automated ticket issuing cameras.

Tracy is currently campaigning for the Sixth District at Large City Council seat, representing an area of south Kansas City where Tracy and her family reside.

Oh, and to interject my own opinionations here. It was KCMO city government over the years that used anti-pedestrian, car-oriented traffic planning methods that eventually led to traffic sewers like that at 39th and Southwest Trafficway where the protests often take place. And they wonder why red light running happens? It’s because the city allowed over-zealous traffic engineers to screw up the roads, skewed in favor of moving cars as quickly as possible with no thought given to anyone not wearing a car around them. So what does the city government choose to do? Fix the lousy traffic engineering and urban planning decisions that have plagued Kansas City for ages? No. Setup some stupid cameras courtesy of the out of state leeches at American Traffic Solutions in Scottsdale AZ to send legally questionable fines to drivers who not only constitutionally have the right to face their accuser (in this case a robotic camera) but to have the accuser prove that it was the person cited on the ticket who was driving the car.

So, a legacy of idiotic urban planning combined with a populace of two kinds of people: 1) Those normally mad as hell and wouldn’t take it anymore but would have to ask off from their sweatshop low-wage job to go fight the ticket, OR 2) The large number of eyes-wide-shut, non-alert sheeple who consist of the American populace, making brainless statements like “If you don’t run red lights then you won’t have any problem.” Yes, thank you so much for pointing out that complete red herring, and for showing your utter lack of understanding of basic American legal structure.

Given that I’m born and raised in KCMO and thus have some kind of affinity for it, which is probably the reason I spend so much time trying to post flattering pictures of Kansas City on my site, I’ll tell you this: In many ways we’re kind of thought of as the “All American City,” which makes total sense seeing as our solutions to fix our own past screw-ups is to not correct the original mistake but to pile more bureaucratic nonsense on top of the issue in publicity-driven stunts to appear proactive at improving public safety while in reality indulging in a Machiavellian revenue generation scheme to shore up the city’s deficit. That’s Kansas City’s way and that’s the American way.

I normally don’t go off into current-event rants on my photo site, so I’ll clarify my own positions just for general principles. Politically and socially I lean left of center, with some bents of libertarianism on occasion. Those occasions are where Mrs. Ward and I are in full agreement. Also, the fact that I’ve been interested in urban planning issues for a number of years and can pretty much point out with ease all of the screw ups that have taken place here that we eventually end up trying to fix by calling in some out-of-town corporate saviour to the rescue in the false name of the public good.

And to make it clear – this photographer has never been ticketed by a KCMO traffic camera, and has not even had so much as a moving violation in over five years. I simply get annoyed at people so willing to be ignorant of their own rights, and so blase about intrusions against said rights. Not rights to disobey traffic laws (the afore-mentioned red herring), but the rights to face one’s accuser and the right for the burden of proof of guilt to be on the accuser (city government) not the burden of proof of innocence to be on the accused.

In 2004 I was stopped and searched without warrant in London for happening to appear “suspicious” near some ambassador’s private residence while I was hobbling about looking for the London zoo. So please, to anyone saying something like “Just don’t run the light and you won’t get a ticket,” please feel welcome to move to one of the most heavily surveilled countries on Earth. I would think the UK would be a lovely place if not for their government’s paranoia – a paranoia that is increasingly and unwittingly seen in the US to justify half-baked ideas like automated traffic surveillance cameras and full body scanners at airports – both of which one is hard pressed to find actual proof of effectiveness.

2 replies
  1. ernest t, bass
    ernest t, bass says:

    just a few thoughts for the left of center socially, picture taking, tin hat wearing …. geek….

    why would one go to londonn to see the zoo? maybe to visit relatives …. of all the things to see and do in england… wow… the zoo? really?

    by sheeple of course you mean those that have families, jobs, lives!! the kind of people that are more concerned with the safety of their family than whether PR & RLC’s are all about money….. the kind of people honest enough to say that yes… it makes sense that increasing awareness of traffic safety will lead to less a accidents and thus the tragic loss of life or his less evil brother… injury….

    how can one be just left of center socially? what really does that mean? that you are afraid of girls? or boys? whatever the case may be.

    until the 9 judges that make up the supreme court rule on PR there is nothing unconstitutional about it… the accuser is the picture the camera took of one violating a traffic law….

    it sounds like you have issues with the city . state and country you live in…. may i suggest a change of scenery? china. russia and iran would all love to have you as a resident!!!! if you dont like it here.. feel free to find yourself …. but as you go please keep in mind something my grandfather always told me…. dont spped and run red lights and you will have nothing to worry about… he should have secured a trademark for that phrase…. he was so ahead of his time!!!

    Reply
    • Eric
      Eric says:

      Dear Mr. Bass –

      Do try and not be so daft. Yes, I flew to London one day just to visit the zoo and then came back stateside that evening.

      I was visiting Europe for some time, London for a few days, and went to the zoo one afternoon. If you like I can provide you with a detailed account of my whereabouts for the entire trip, though none of it was really out of the ordinary, save for the stupid detention by the London police, of course.

      As for the rest of what you wrote, my argument seems to have gone right over your head (not surprising since your opening line was a stock ad-hominem attack). The suggestion to go live in another country is quite typical from stalwart minded people who are so ideologically hidebound that they take offense whenever other residents of this country see the need to improve life in the United States, so great job you’re doing there of undermining the best interests of this country which you probably otherwise claim to cherish, though only by way of paying lip service evidently. It gets worrisome when calls to fix problems we face for our own nation’s future common good are seen as traitorous.

      Keep on cheering from your off-the-shelf set of predetermined beliefs. Hopefully you and people who think in such singular terms won’t manage to completely ruin the US for the rest of us they way you act determined to, out of blatant apathy and ignorance of American legal precepts.

      And by the way Ernest, how does a robotic traffic camera show up on the court date when the traffic tickets are disputed?

      Reply

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