Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Citizens Should Remain Ignorant, Says Government

The top headline in Wednesday's Washington Times reads: "Loophole threatens Virginia red-light program."

The article explains that, according to current law, in order for a ticket issued upon evidence of red-light running acquired by a red-light robot-camera, the summons must be delivered by hand to the accused motorist, not by mail. As the Times puts it, "tickets can be sent by mail, but the state law requires that an official hand-deliver the ticket before the motorist can be arrested or considered in contempt of court."

Most Virginians do not know this, and the government wants it to remain that way.

In a taxpayer-funded $95,000 report commissioned by VDOT (the Virginia Department of Transportation) but kept under wraps until the Washington Times discovered it, officials express fear that widespread knowledge of the law could "undermine" the program's effectiveness.

The report cautions, according to the Times:

"The average citizen is probably not aware of this ... but if word were widely disseminated, such knowledge could completely undermine the effectiveness of red-light camera programs."

Translation: Citizens should remain ignorant of the law so they are unable to assert their rights under it. It's our job to make sure they don't find out.

Lesson to us ignorant subjects: The government is our servant, not our master. The time when slaves were forbidden to read and to learn was long ago. We must learn the law, and the government must obey it.