New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks he has a solution to sharply reduce New York's chronic speeders and red light runners: Public shame. That's right... he wants to post the names and photos of speeders publicly to keep them from breaking the law.
Frustrated by the state legislature’s unwillingness to vote on proposed speed-cameras that would be placed in the city’s most dangerous intersections, Bloomberg voiced his idea on his radio show in order to slow down speeders and keep residents safe, according to published reports.
“We’ll put up their names and pictures someplace,” he said. “Maybe we can shame them, and we should look at that, because if Albany is not going to let us do this stuff, we’ve got to save lives.”
As we know, speed cameras are already in use in many communities throughout the U.S. While many communities oppose them and they are often criticized as another form of local taxation, when administered properly and managed by police rather than agents working for the camera vendors, they do reduce speeding and enable some communities that cannot afford additional policing to have a measure of speed control and enforcement.
They record the speed of a car and can take a picture of the license plate and issue a citation to the offender if they were going over the limit. NYC hopes to issues fines of up to $100,
but can’t until the legislature gives permission to do so.
And that's not likely to happen any time soon. So Bloomberg wants to publicize the names of the offenders. In New York that could mean anything. It might mean running the names and photos on cable TV, or in high-traffic landmarks like Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center or Wall Street. It might be online exposure in any number of city-operated or city-sponsored websites.
But, whatever way it publicized the offenders, would such public shaming discourage people from speeding? Or would it encourage some of these lawbreakers to actually try to get their photo on the NYC wall of notoriety, whatever that might be?
What do you think? If you knew your local newspaper, TV or radio station and a local government website would post your name and photo as a speeder or red-light runner, would that act as a deterrent?