The Biden administration is embracing a vision of the United States that turns the nation into a massive speed trap, according to critics of a plan to put speed cameras on American highways.
Saying that Americans “need a national change of mentality,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week called for increasing the use of speed cameras as part of his national transportation plan, which decides how much of the massive infrastructure bill passed by Congress last year will be spent.
“Today we commit that our goal is this: zero. Our goal is zero deaths” from traffic accidents, Buttigieg said Thursday, according to The Associated Press. “The decision to commit to that goal in a serious way at a national level changes the way cities and towns design roads, changes the way companies build cars, changes the way people drive.”
The plan, which calls for using physical law enforcement less to manage speeding, says the job can also be done by what the plan calls “re-engineering roads.”
“The strategy recommends pilot programs to study and promote greater use of speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops,” the AP reported.
Speed cameras – fixed devices posted by the side of the road to monitor every car every minute – have long been a fixture of British highways.
The anger British drivers experience with these led Britain’s Daily Mail to proclaim Saturday that: “The speed camera nightmare that’s coming to America: How the UK’s hated war on motorists – costing drivers $56M in fines every year – provides a chilling glimpse of what’s in store under Pete Buttigieg’s plan.”
The Daily Mail noted that with 7,000 cameras monitoring British roads, “speed cameras have been a way of life over the last 30 years and are widely despised, offering a grim warning to Americans of what the future may hold.”
The report included a statement from the National Motorists Association saying that the cameras “can actually make our roads less safe.”
Claire Armstrong, co-founder of the anti-camera U.K. group Safe Speed, said, according to the Daily Mail: ‘We have been calling for the removal of all automated speed cameras. They are not intelligent, they are not proper, they are not proportionate and there is no place for them in road safety policy.
“Speed cameras have been a flawed concept from the very beginning and they don’t catch the drivers that the police need to and stop them – we need to have well-trained police officers back on the road. They have done nothing for road safety, but are catching hundreds of thousands of drivers of which the majority are otherwise driving safely,” she said.
On the American side of the Atlantic, Fox News host Tucker Carlson vehemently agreed.
“Pete Buttigieg would like to quote promote greater use of speed cameras, which the department says could provide more equitable enforcement than police traffic stops,” he wrote in a commentary published by Fox News on Friday, based on Carlson’s opening monologue on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday.
“Got that? So because of equity, you’re about to get a lot more speeding tickets from robots. See how that works? Shut up, racist, pay the fine. The government does need the money for infrastructure even after $1.2 trillion,” he said.