Insurance Cameras Uncalled For

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If you’re currently taking detours around streets when you spot cops far in advance or writing off that overdue insurance payment as something you’ll eventually get around to, it might be time to rethink your driving game plan.

Three weeks ago, Chicago, Ill. became the first U.S. city to discuss the possibility of using the city’s red light cameras to check for uninsured drivers.

City officials are working with InsureNet, a company that provides instant insurance verification, to help set up the system that could potentially rake in $100 million a year for the windy city, according to the company’s vice president Rowland Day.

If all works well, you can bet the system will be coming to a city near you, wherever you are.

InsureNet is jumping on struggling city economies throughout the nation.

They plan on having four cities signed in the next 90 days, proposing the plan as a way to dig failing city economies out of their graves.

But economies depend on people spending for stimulation.

Is pinching the pockets of people who already do not have enough disposable income to keep the economy afloat really the best solution for economic stimulation?

People who do not have insurance are more often than not uninsured because they cannot afford it.

How feasible is it that cities will actually be able to collect these electronic fines, and will the amount the city actually collects be worth the cost of installing the new devices in a large city like Chicago?

The entire idea of it is disingenuous. How fortuitous that the device is now available at a time when cities need money the most.

The company has undoubtedly been sitting on the insurance catcher for months, waiting for the perfect time to pounce on desperate cities and unleash their new gadget on unsuspecting motorists.

Yes, all 50 states require motorists to be insured and it’s not exactly a threat to someone’s privacy, as the ACLU is claiming, but c’mon. Give us a fighting chance at least.

I’m still not okay with getting a redlight ticket in the mail. Let’s take a step back and see this for what it really is: a money grab for cities that have run out of options and good ideas.

The initial plan was to only check insurance on cars that run red lights and are caught by the cameras. But Donal Quinlan, press secretary for Chicago Alderman Edward Burke, said the city would consider checking all vehicles “in the interest of making money.” Not in the interest of the safety of other motorists, but in the interest of making money.

Nicholas Mukhar is a media studies major and journalism and legal studies minor.

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