Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Resistance to speed cameras in the US

Aaron Martin just pointed me in the direction of this Washington Times article about vandalism of speed cameras in Maryland. As the use of speed cameras seems to be fairly minor in the US compared with the UK, it'll be interesting to see if and how this type of resistance develops.

I would imagine that it could be potentially quite different to the discourse of the resistance to speed cameras here that Helen Wells and I wrote about in our Surveillance and Society article. However, the opposition here in the UK has primarily been from right-libertarian groups, which might map relatively well onto US political discourse. We found that one of the main problems resisters percieved with speed camera technology was the way that it challenged their self-ascribed 'normal, non-criminal' identity in an automatic technocratic process.

The article doesn't say if the speed cameras are the older type that are triggered by a sensor detecting the vehicle travelling over the speed limit, or the increasingly more common ANPR 'smart' cameras. Helen's identified some substantial differences between opposition to the two types in the UK, at least in part due to police forces learning from the experience of the older cameras and marketing ANPR a little more subtly.

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