Everyone’s experienced the scare of crossing beneath a yellow light the moment it turns red.
Was there a camera? Better hope not — unless you have ‘nophoto’ technology on your licence plate.
The website TechDirt recently covered an ingenious gentleman by the name of Jonathan Dandrow who developed a technology that blocks red light photos. The way the tech works is that a flash detector mounted to the plate detects when a red light camera is about to snap a shot, and it sends out a counter flash, which blocks the numbers on the targeted licence plate.
And as U.S. News and World Report reported earlier this year, the cameras are not about deterrence, they’re about revenue. Furthermore, they violate citizens rights to defend themselves in court, since no credible witness of the crime can possibly be cross examined.
The New Jersey Star Ledger actually covered a case in which one woman had her licence taken away based on a mistaken identity provided by a red light camera. The car photographed was obviously not hers, and she had not been in New Jersey for a 18 months when the incident occurred.
Regardless, she was issued a ticket from Edison New Jersey dated August 2011, and subsequently lost her licence.
Since the advent of red-light police cameras, there have been several red-light blocking tools, some do it yourself, other prefabbed (like Dandrow’s), and still others bottled up in a spray can (though those have a less than stellar job performance).
As far as whether these tools are illegal, at the time, we here at Military and defence couldn’t find any precedent of someone issued a ticket for having a ‘red light blocking’ licence plate — though, to be fair, they’re not nearly as recognisable as a radar detector or too-dark tinted windows.
Generally, tickets for running red lights run anywhere between $200 and $500. The flash blocking plate costs $300.
The other option, of course, is obvious: try not to speed under yellow lights.
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