Nanny State

Step One: Accept the Surveillance State. Step Two: Profit!


The Washington Post has a fun piece on an entrepreneur who's capitalizing on the D.C.-area's proliferation of speed cameras:

The system, known as PhantomAlert, feeds the locations of speed cameras and red-light cameras into standard Global Positioning System devices and prompts the devices to warn drivers when they are near one. PhantomAlert has subscribers throughout the nation, including more than 2,000 in the Washington region, said the company's owner, District resident Joseph Scott.

Scott said he expects that number to rise because of a new Maryland law that permits cameras, now allowed only in Montgomery, to be installed in work zones and near schools throughout the state. "It's going to be very good for us," he said.

Scott correctly points out that if government officials are serious when they say speed cameras are about safety, not revenue, they should have no objections to his business. It does after all get motorists to slow down in areas where officials say speed cameras are needed to slow motorists down in the interest of public safety.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in Virginia, the only state where radar detectors are illegal. In fact, it's illegal to even have one in your car. Scott's system isn't technically a radar detector, but it serves the same purpose.