More red light camera news (involving prohibitorily expensive but “mistaken” filing fees to contest the tickets) via a link from Glenn Reynolds, who provided plenty of evidence last year as to why these things do not work.
The red light cameras, while they have increased revenue, have not stopped carnage in Philadelphia. (Probably because people drive like hell to avoid the yellow lights, then slam to a stop if they turn.) Nevertheless, the Philadelphia Inquirer supports extending them, and in a recent editorial, is now calling for the much more intrusive speed cameras:

The red-light cameras, though, have not stopped the carnage along the 12-lane highway through Northeast Philadelphia. In the last year or so, a dozen pedestrians have been killed along the road. So it makes sense for city officials to look at further measures to make the Boulevard safer, as well as other traffic trouble spots.
Earlier this year, Council entertained a range of costly safety strategies – from adding more pedestrian bridges, to closing traffic lanes, to boosting patrols and safety programs.
All good ideas, but the first one to be tried could provide another “cameo” for reckless drivers: State Rep. George T. Kenney Jr. (R., Phila.) proposes legalizing speed-detection cameras.
As with red-light cameras, the speed cameras would snap vehicle tag numbers of speeders, with appropriately hefty fines to follow.

Great. And the guy sponsoring it is a Republican, no less. The party of small government?
People need to stand up to this tyranny, and exercise their constitutional right to see and confront their so-called “accusers” in court.
I’m sick of living in a world in which legal trouble can be generated by robots.
UPDATE: In case anyone was wondering where the red light camera revenue money goes, today’s Inquirer has a front page story titled “‘Running amok’ at the PPA” (Philadelphia Parking AUthority, which runs the cameras). The PPA uses the money to fuel a gigantic political “patronage machine, pinching drivers for $192 million a year while giving only a pittance to the city’s general fund”:

All told, the authority now squeezes $192 million a year out of Philadelphia drivers.
That’s tough enough for many to take, even assuming that the cash is being used for a clear public good: hiring teachers, say, or paving city streets.
But as an Inquirer analysis shows, the Parking Authority has become a self-replicating patronage machine that has used its new revenue principally to double the size of its staff and to inflate the salaries of its myriad managers.
Despite revenue growth of 54.5 percent since fiscal 2001, the authority has delivered only a pittance of extra help for the city’s general fund: an average of $740,000 a year, or 4 percent, when adjusted for inflation.
“The city is sucking air in a lot of areas, and we look and see a Parking Authority that’s twice as big, that’s seen a wild running-up in staffing numbers,” said Joyce Wilkerson, Mayor Street’s chief of staff. “I’m not sure the Parking Authority should have first dibs on that revenue when we have trouble keeping libraries open.”
Others share that view. Parent organizations are calling on the agency to write a $20 million check to the public schools. City Controller Alan Butkovitz is poring over the organization’s books. Gov. Rendell plans to grill the authority’s board of directors, and lawmakers in Harrisburg may call for hearings.
“It appears that it’s running amok,” said State Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.), who has been a longtime supporter of the authority.

But it takes a lot of money to run amok!
(No wonder they’re clamoring for speed cameras…)
UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking and for quoting this post! A warm welcome to all.
I’m especially honored to be linked in the same post that links an important article by Glenn (“Stop, in the Name of ‘Bots“) which discusses the use of robots in a much more sinister context.
Don’t miss it.
I especially liked the conclusion:

When the power to enforce the law is delegated to software employed by people who don’t — or can’t be bothered to — understand it, no one is safe. When you hear that people are using machines to enforce the law, remember the old computer-geek saying: “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”