Everyone hates Big Brother. And there’s no better example of the unwanted and impersonal technological intrusion of the government into our lives than traffic cameras that bust speeders and red light runners.
Here in Arizona, we had Santas covering speed cameras with holiday wrapping in December. And now, in my old stomping grounds in the DC area, there are high school students putting the technology to nefarious use with an ingenious plan.
According to the Montgomery County Sentinel newspaper’s web site, students at Wooton High School in Rockville, Maryland are exacting revenge on teachers, other students and just about anyone they want by creating counterfeit license plates, pasting them on cars similar to the victims’ and purposefully speeding past law enforcement cameras! They call it the Speed Camera Pimping Game.
I love it! These kids are turning the government’s technology into a tool for crime and, so far, getting away with it. As one parent notes in the article, this scam brings the credibility of the entire camera program into question. Which, in my opinion, is a good thing.
“The practice of sending speeding tickets to faceless recipients without any type of verification is unwarranted and an exploitation of our rights.”
Once the word gets out on this scam, I see it spreading nationwide and am hopeful that it will have a significantly negative effect on the use of these cameras a de facto ATMs for local governments.