Sen. Tom Davis is my favorite Sanfordista, because while he believes some unlikely things with which I disagree, he at least takes a reasonable approach to things. He has a laudable willingness to engage with people with other views, and to avoid letting his ideology blind him:
BEAUFORT, SC (AP) – Beaufort Sen. Tom Davis wants a commission to study automated traffic cameras like the ones being used in Ridgeland on Interstate 95.
Ridgeland’s use of the cameras to catch speeders has prompted a senator to offer a bill to outlaw the cameras, as well as a federal lawsuit challenging the use of the cameras.
Davis wants a panel of members of state government, law enforcement and the South Carolina Bar Association to report to lawmakers by Nov. 1.
Bonneau Sen. Larry Grooms wants to ban traffic tickets based on photos and to require police to give tickets to drivers within an hour of a violation.
Ridgeland has mailed tickets to more than 8,000 drivers since last summer.
Some Beaufort County House members have offered a bill to ensure the traffic cameras are legal.
Yes, study it. While I vehemently defend the local government’s right to do this without being stepped on by the state (that subsidiarity thing again), I’d like to know more. I have my own reservations. For instance, don’t you lose a deterrent effect when the speeder is not stopped at the time of the offense (which tends to slow him down, at least for a time). Is that deterrent loss offset by the signage warning drivers of the camera’s presence? I don’t know.
But the standard should be, What works? Not vague anti-gummint ideology, or the preferences of the defense lawyers who represent speeders, or the perverse urge to frustrate local communities’ desire to govern themselves without state interference, or any of the other factors that tend to predominate in our XGR.