Nashville, TN — Representative Andy Holt from Dresden, Tennessee gets it. He understands that issuing citations to citizens with threats to pay exorbitant fines for photographing their vehicle travelling down the roadway — removes not only human discretion but due process as well.
Holt has been fighting these unconstitutional private traffic companies for some time now in Tennessee, and as he explained on Wednesday, he’s been somewhat successful.
In the 2015 legislative session, I sought to outlaw all speed and red light cameras in the State of Tennessee. It was an incredibly hard battle against cities and private companies that have become literally addicted to tax-payer dollars. I was only partly successful in this battle. I managed to outlaw the future installation of speed cameras. However, cities that had existing contracts had to be allowed to let those contract expire. Most of them happened to be expiring within the next year. Like typical addicts, they rushed to their dealers. Multiple cities across the state extended their contracts for 20+ years just days before the law went into effective.
On Wednesday, this brave lawmaker took to Facebook Live to make a powerful statement — stop paying these tickets.
Holt opens the video by stating his outright disdain with photo-enforced traffic tickets and then pulls out a folder containing a myriad of citations from multiple towns.
“I want everyone to know what to do with this right here,” Holt says as he removes the stack of citations from a folder.
Holt goes on to explain the arbitrary nature of the ticketing system itself which sends out the tickets without proof of who the driver was.
“It could have been my dog driving the vehicle,” Holt says in jest.
After time passes without payment, Holt explains, you will “get a delinquent notice of violation, reminding me that ‘hey, hey, hey. You broke the law.'”
Holt notes that the threatening letters are deliberately ‘coercive’ and ‘intimidating’ to force the suspected violator into paying without question.
If the person issued the citation refuses to pay the fine on the second warning, Holt explains that they will get two more warnings from supposed attorneys for “failure to pay a civil penalty.”
But that is it, Holt said. After these four letters, absolutely nothing happens. Holt then proceeds to expose the dirty truth about traffic camera tickets that the companies do not want you to know.
“The only power that these camera companies have is their coercive words and things that they want to intimidate you with. There is nothing here that’s enforceable. There is nothing here that can affect your credit score. It can’t affect your driver’s license points. It cannot affect your insurance rates — because this is not a REAL citation.”
When giving advice on what to do when you get a traffic ticket in the mail, Holt says, “My suggestion is this, right here.”
Holt then pulls out a lighter and sets his tickets on fire.
Although Holt resides in Tennessee, the nature of privately enforced red light camera tickets is similar in all states who still allow them.
It is, however, important to note that some municipalities employ these unconstitutional cameras themselves and enforce their citations with police action. So, before you make the decision to burn your tickets, it’s a good idea to check who’s issued it to you.
Also, there is the chance that these companies could take you to court in an attempt to collect their fine. Although it’s unlikely that they would take you to court over such a trivial amount, it is still possible. Even then, however, they’d be hard pressed to convince a judge that you agreed to pay them money. The people you need to worry about most are the greedy politicians who’ve become addicted to the revenue generated from these cameras.
In April, the Free Thought Project conducted an exclusive interview with New York resident Stephen Ruth — aka Red Light Robin Hood.
Ruth has recently become targeted by local politicians in his community who are ‘addicted’ to the funds from these red light cameras.
Unwilling to sacrifice innocent lives for millions of dollars in gross revenue, this nonviolent vigilante admittedly sabotaged traffic cameras in order to call attention to drastically shortened yellow lights endangering lives in his community. He now faces arrest, threats, break-ins, and more.
While Ruth is not a politician, his and Holt’s sentiment toward unconstitutional red light cameras represents a growing resistance in this country. As with any tyrannical or fascist regime, these private red light camera companies rely on your compliance for their very existence.
As more people refuse to comply, these companies, who rely on corrupt and greedy politicians willing to sell out their citizens for a buck, will begin to fail. And, when they lose — freedom wins.