Fleet Management

Representative Criticizes Radar Cameras

May 10, 2001

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Dick Armey (R-Texas), majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, says using radar cameras to enforce speed limits is too close to "a Big Brother surveillance state."

At issue are two cameras the National Park Service recently installed along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Northern Virginia.
"I'm committed to doing what it takes to make our roads safe, but not at the cost of our fundamental rights," Armey wrote in a letter to the Interior Department. "I am concerned that this may be seen as a step toward a Big Brother surveillance state, where the government monitors the comings and goings of its citizens."
Richard Diamond, a spokesman for Armey, asked, "Where does it go from here?" According to The Washington Times, Diamond said, "What's next for us: seat belt cameras? Cell phone usage cameras? Anti-smoking cameras?"
Armey pointed out that enforcement cameras are not infallible. For instance, he pointed out in his letter, last year officials in the District of Columbia wrongfully issued tickets to at least 20,000 motorists caught by one red-light camera.

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