The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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Throw your traffic-camera speeding tickets in the trashcan!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/31/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 593 times Debate No: 78255
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
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I got a ticket from driving too fast in an instersection, the camera caught me, sent me a bill. Should I pay it? Nah, throw it in the trash(in the US)! Bop shared, the opponent should argue that its my responsibility to pay this ticket.... first round acceptance, apply in comments.

no new arguments in the last speech


Thank you for allowing me to accept this challenge. I accept your terms and am eager to hear your argument
Debate Round No. 1


The reason you should discard your traffic light speeding tickets is that the government actually has no authority to enforce them. In fact those traffic lights you see in the streets are probably owned by a foreign bussiness which has no legal ground to charge you for breaking the law. What happens? The local government signs a contract with the bussiness for taking the photos and then the bussiness cuts the police in, usually at about 30% the pay. So here is why you throw away your traffic camera speeding tickets:

You haven't agreed to attend court for the violation

When you get pulled over you are made to sign the ticket, and the reason you sign is because you are agreeing to several things, one of which is that you will appear in court. Thus, being that you never officially agreed to go to court for your violation, the law cannot hold you liable for your ticket, or showing up at court to pay your ticket, and they will simply ignore your absense. Thus you can save hundreds of dollars by simply throwing these tickets in the trash and forgetting that they ever existed. A federal judge has ruled you dont have to show because of that reason.




Traffic speed cameras detect traffic regulation violations, such as speeding, vehicles going through a red traffic light, unauthorized use of a bus lane, and recording vehicles inside a congestion area. There are some groups, such as the National Motorsists Association (NMA) in the USA which claim that the systems "encourage revenue-driven enforcement" rather than the declared objectives. The NMA are in my opinion simply mad, they oppose the installation of red light cameras, encourage motorists to challenge all trafic tickets in court and have even encouraged many drivers to be inconsiderate by asking them to stay in an overtaking lane in a caravan at the posted speed limit on a few local highways leaving the far left lane open in an attempt to prove the speed limit was unreasonably low [1]

If people obeyed the law and followed sensible advice then roads would be much safer and journey times would be improved. Anybody who puts lives at risk by speeding etc needs to be punished to help them adopt the correct attitude. Traffic cameras do the work of police but 24/7 on sections of roads where traffic calming measures would be unsuitable. I'm not sure goverments sign contracts with businesses who cut the police in at 30% but if I am totally honest I was suprised to find America has speed cameras because I always thought they chopped them down when they were introduced. I ask my opponent to provide a reliable source to show how the law cannot hold you liable for a ticket.

"It’s commonly believed signing the ticket is an admission of guilt, but this is false. It’s simply a confirmation that you received it" [2] So, you are not agreeing to anything! And people can dispute the charge later.

There is also a myth that you can just throw traffic tickets away due to traffic tickets not transferring to other states. However "the Driver Licence Pact is an agreement among 46 member states that makes it virtually impossible to shirk the law. Disregarding tickets can lead to further criminal charges" [2] You can't even escape speeding fines gained on holiday by just ignoring them, as British drivers are finding out after coming home from Spain [3]

If you could actually save hundreds of dollars by simply ignoring speeding tickets or throwing them in the bin you'd believe your driving is acceptable and then continue to drive recklessly, which could result in serious injuries or loss of life. This is the main reason why I think you should pay it.


[1] www.wikipedia
Debate Round No. 2


How the system works
Law enforcement agencies have neither the recources nor the capabilites to produce such technologies as these red light cameras subsequently they also lack the ability to maintain them, and also to operate them and view their results. All of this is headed by the company they contract with. Many of these aren't even based in the US. There are 3 main US providers of traffic lights: American Traffic Solutions, Redflex traffic systems, and Affiliated Computer Services. These providers have no legal authority and yet they are the ones who send out these traffic signals. They collect revenue of up to 87 percent of the ticket cost and together gross over several billion dollars from the US alone. After some employee gets the report they send it to the address of the licence plate, however this is a shifty scheme, and it turns out you simply do not have to pay. It is possible that you proverbially get struck by lighting and they send you a warrant to attend court, but even if this happens you are covered, and even if you aren't covered, you win in court and save somewhere around 500 dollars.

Reasons you don't repond to these tickets

My opponent's own quote
"It’s commonly believed signing the ticket is an admission of guilt, but this is false. It’s simply a confirmation that you received it"
This only proves my point. If you simply throw the ticket away how will the government know you recieved it? They won't and therefore, unless they put a GPS tracker inside of the ticket, they can't know or prove that, say, a mail person accidentally dropped it out of their car while driving, or that you speak another language and dont understand what it is. Therefore it stands to reason that legally they can't hold you to appearing in court.

Your right to confront your accuser, no witness
In these cases there are usually no witnesses and your accuser is a camera, meaning that you are robbed of your constiutional right to face your accuser. [2]

Burden of Proof
Its on the government to prove that you commited the crime. traffic cameras usually don't detect the face, meaning there is no way to incriminate you as the person doing the crime. It could be that your son took the car for a joy ride or that someone temporarily stole your car.

Paying encourages profit based law enforcement
its a clear case of reward pyschology that when you can milk the money out of something you will try to milk as much money as possible out of it. This means that our local governments are becoming incitivezed to increase the amount of people the cameras photograph, this leads to governments lowering yellow light length...ect, especially because they recieve such a small cut of the ticket profit. You shouldn't support such an immoral incentive scheme.

Thus these companies can send you the ticket and hope you respond with your information, which means you then have to go to court. So don't pay, throw them away. In some juristictions though, they will send you yet another one which summons you to court, this is highly unlikely, but in the event that this happens you simply have to send this letter: The local governments know that they won't win on their evidence especially after you seem to show youare willing to fight, and will simply drop it. In the microscopic chance they actually do care. you still win the dispute in court because of constitutionality arguments. Furthermore, traffic cams violate physics which must be there to actually prove youwere speeding, as seen in the letter. Just keep in ming that almost always, it doesn't: go on your credit, and again, is very unlikely they send you a warrant.

red light cameras have actually been found to increase traffic accidents becasue although the number of T-bone accidents go down, the number of rear end collisions go up due to people stopping too fast becasue they fear the camera.[1] But either way, you're the one who's really getting T-boned here, just look at the prices of these tickets, they are outrageous, save yourself some money.

Also, appealing to people by saying that we should punish ourselves for doing bad and speeding assumes that there are two types of people, those who don't care about doing good and those who do care and thus want to reinforce good driving behabior, thus anyone who will agree with this logic is one who values the good practice of not speeding, however, clearly, by virtue of being that type of person they don't need to 'punish themselve', their conscious is already doing this for them. This view also doesn't take into account accidentally going through these lights.

So this round is very very easy to evaluate at this point.

These companies don't have the authority to ticket you. They can't garuntee you recieve the ticket, and thus you're best bet is to pretend you never got it and throw it in the trash.

Furthermore there are a ton of other reasons that this just won't hold up in court, meaning in the astronomical chance that you actually do get summoned you still win and can claim you simply didn't recieve the ticket.

Pro's responses just aren't cutting it. Some of his points actually prove mine!

So don't respond to these fake tickets.





1. How it works

I'm not from the U.S. so correct me if I'm wrong but these US providers of traffic lights from what you say seem to be like the Private Parking Companies in the U.K. such as "UK Parking Control - UKPC" who issue tickets on privately owned land even though they are not backed explicitly by law (a grey area of law), and because many people can't tell whether they were issued by the council or police they often believe they must pay. Such companies can make millions each year by managing one or two car parks, and are often called cowboys because they wait to pounce on someone for leaving their car unattended for a second even to help someone who's collapsed [1].

Should you pay speeding, red light fines or any other fine if you don't have to? I don't believe you should pay if you are tricked in some way, or given a ticket unfairly. But I suspect the US providers of red light and speed cameras are not as shifty as you make them out to be. I have taken the following extract from a source of yours:

"Overall, people like them: In a 2011 poll conducted by the insurance institute, two-thirds of drivers in 14 big cities with cameras expressed support for them. And last November, voters in Longview, Wash., and Pohatcong, N.J., rejected ballot measures to remove the cameras" [2]

The cameras are not just a revenue raiser, they reduce the number of serious accidents, though it should be noted an increased number of accidents have occured due to drivers braking harshly to avoid getting a ticket. However furthur extracts below from the same source as above show the cameras are managed in a fair way.

"State legislation typically sets the ground rules for the use of the cameras, and then cities negotiate the specifics of the deal with the camera vendors. The vendors, which include American Traffic Solutions and Redflex Traffic Systems, install the cameras and generally charge communities a flat fee for camera rental each month"

"The camera shoots video of the offender and sends it to analysts at the camera company for closer examination. If the analysts think the situation merits a ticket, they forward the video to local law enforcement agents, who review it again. Law enforcement officers have the final say about whether or not a driver receives a ticket"

If you are captured breaking the law on a video belonging to an official provider, which you can even view after committing an offence, you should pay. There is no good reason why someone other than an emergency vehicle should go through a red light. Drivers have a responsibility to keep their self safe, their passengers safe and other drivers safe via being medically and physically fit, not being distracted and not exceeding the speed limit etc.

Apparently the yellow light have been shortened to increase violations and profit at the expense of causing more accidents. But on roads with limits of 25mph they last for 3 seconds, and at 55mphlimits they last for 5 seconds, see extract below

Yellow light times will be increased from 3 seconds to 3.4 seconds on roads with speed limits of 25 miles per hour and increased from 5 to 5.5 seconds on roads with speed limits of 55 miles per hour. [2]

I've done some smple caluclations, when travelling at 25mph (11.176m per sec) your car will travel 33.53m in 3 seconds. Your overall stopping will be between 12m and 23m (20mph - 30mph). When travelling at 55mph (24.59m per sec) your car will travel 122.94m in 5 seconds. Your overall stopping distance will be between 53m and 73m (50mph - 60mph). So, if you drove at a speed that allows you stop within the distance you can see to be clear and only go on at a yellow light if it appears after you have crossed the stop line or when you are so close to it that stopping might cause an accident, you wouldn't have a ticket, or an accident. Since you have recieved a ticket which you say was due to driving too fast then you have not taken responsibility and should pay.

2. Reasons you don't respond to these tickets

The people who decide whether you should have a ticket or not after reviewing the video or photos will know if you've not paidbecause it will be held on a computer, and I'm sure you will recieve a number of letters or phonecalls reminding you if you haven't. Also video/photo evidence is reliable, and is reviewed by the police. I don't believe someone should not pay just because someone else could take their car, get caught on camera speeding and return the car, as people should be responsible for their own car but anyway this is not something that happened to you as you say you sped.

The time length of yellow lights is being increased, and red light cameras are being removed in areas where low violations occured before the installations due to causing more accidents. This shows that safety is their main concern.

3. Safety

Though more accidents have occured when red light cameras have been introduced, it is due to drivers inability to anticipate, and drive at an appropiate speed, so they are having to make split second decisions to brake or not at interesctions with lights designed for the speed limit, which is something they wouldn't need to do if they simply followed the law. If you accidentally go through a red light due to being tired, upset, angry, feeling unwell, distracted by kids in the back seat etc then you should have taken measures to prevent that.

Unfortunately I can't read the letter my oppoent has provided as the writing is too small, I ask my opponent to provide a link to this. It would be great to read what it says about a formula to ensure motorist safety and adequate time to stop safely. I'd like to know why you think "traffic cams violate physics which must be there to actually prove you were speeding, as seen in the letter"

Con does explain that it unlikely for anyone to be punished if they choose to ignore a speeding fine and this is a reason for not paying, but I believe that if you make a mistake you should pay for it, because if you don't accept you've done something seriously wrong like running a red light then you may end up killing yourself, killing others, or injurying yourself or others. Since the cameras operate fairly, there is no good reason not to pay.



Debate Round No. 3


So this match is pretty simple to evaluate now:

Becuse silence is compliance is debate, my opponent has conceded a lot of my points, these include:

- The government has burden of proof, they can't know you're the driver.
- Because you aren't signing a ticket they don't know you recieved it; the government cannot and will not hold you to showing up in court, or paying the ticket. In the astronomical chance that they do summon you, the other reasons I give mean you win in court.
- Infringes your right to confront your accuser.
- He concedes one other thing I'll get to in a second.

Because these things must now be considered facts we can now conclude that if you get a red light traffic camera ticket and throw it away you won't get punished.....but should you pay it? this is the question my opponent questions.

He argues that if you do something wrong you should be punished. However, the last thing he concedes is my argument against his case which states that this argument is unneccesary and contradictory. It assumes there are two types of people, good and bad, thus because you should be good you should punish yourself for doing bad, however, those people who are bad would not and do not care, thus they would reject that argument in favor of not caring about breaking the law. Then there are the people who value good, in this case, they already caes about doing good and their conscious punishes them enough. My opponent never establishes why it must be this form of punishment, fine, instead of you're own conscious. Thus even if you but his argument, rethink it, prefer your own conscious to reinforce good behavior. Being that this argument you shouldn't even be considering it from the start though....Also keep in mind that these tickets are kinda immoral because they encourage profit based law enforcement which is bad, this is another reason not to pay these tickets, you don't want to support such a system.

Thus, what the judge knows for sure is that you can throw them away with no legal, punishment, I say this is good enough to affirm, however taking into account what we should do, this position has been refuted by me and my reponse hasn't been attacked, thus, since silence is compliance this argument is already conceded, but to take it a step further, keep in mind that there are alternatives to punishing yourself through giving money to the government, conscious suffices. This has been my summary round. I thank my opponent for an interesting round. Oh and as far as the picture, I can't find the link but if you zoom your screen in you may see it much better.




Thank you for having this debate with me, it has been interesting for me too

The majority of people support safety cameras, which I have shown are not shifty because their aim is to reduce serious incidents which they accomplish, and police do review and make the final decision on all the videos captured by them including those from U.S. providers such as Redflex traffic systems. Also offenders are welcome to view the reliable evidence against them. The increased number of minor accidents caused after installing these cameras are explained by the behaviour of drivers who travel above the speed limit, and who fail to stop within the distance they see clear due to failing to anticipate events ahead and thus panic. If these people took the gradient, road condition and other factors affecting the stopping distance, like they are supposed to, then they would not recieve a ticket, and less people would die or become seriously injuried.

In round 1 he says "I got a ticket from driving too fast in an instersection, the camera caught me, sent me a bill", so he admits he was speeding i.e. breaking the law. This is why I think my opponent should pay the bill sent to him.

My main argument from the start was this: if you believe your driving is acceptable and continue to drive recklessly, it results in serious injury or loss of life. Can we rely on people's conscious? I believe my opponent simply disagrees with the way in which he was caught breaking the law. I've now read the letter by holding ctrl and moving my mouse button up to zoom in, and know now he was driving too fast in a 40mph zone and caught because the yellow light lasted 3 seconds instead of 4.5 seconds, which confirms this belief.

Although it may be unlikely he will have to pay if he went to court due to the police being unable to prove he was sitting in the driver seat, the speed limit changing and the yellow light time not being adjusted resulting in the wrong yellow light time, and similar things, I do believe if you do break the law you should be punished by the law, in your case the punishment is paying a fine, if you leave it to your conscious to punish you you might just continue driving dangerously. It is therefore important to accept a punishment when you have broken the law no matter how you are caught.

Thanks for reading, Kirk

Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by mostlogical 1 year ago
I would accept just to know why you think you shouldn't pay a speeding fine. It seems obvious you should pay otherwise for several reasons
Posted by Rami 1 year ago

In that case, you stuck it in your skin.
Posted by WAM 1 year ago
This depends on in which country he lives... In Australia for example, the fine will go to the owner of the car
no matter if there can be a person identified driving the vehicle or not. Not paying the fine will not make it go away, when your license expires you can't get a new one until all accumulated fines are paid. But as said, I don't know in which country he lives....
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago

I'm not wearing a shirt
Posted by Rami 1 year ago
@Lannan, I warn you: this is not going to be as easy as you think. @TheJuniorVarsityNovice probably has a trick up his sleeves.
Posted by lannan13 1 year ago
Applied. Counter-plan ready, lol.
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