Monday, June 8, 2009

Uninsured Drivers caught Red-Lighted!!?

The article I found talks about how the older technology of red-light cameras is being combined with new more up to date cameras as a way to catch uninsured drivers. An insurance checking camera company in Chicago presented the idea to the city as a way to increase revenue for the local government during the current economic crisis. These cameras which are currently used to catch drivers whom run red-lights could produce upwards of $150,000 revenue for the city. The idea of these cameras bring to mind massive privacy invasions however the creators of these new cameras promise them to be totally non-invasive and will ensure all drivers complete protection.

It's true these cameras could quite possibly be very worth while in terms of revenue for the city however how much would they cost initially to install and what would the yearly expense of keeping this program be?

The internet program that would keep this running is called InsureNet and said they would “only” charge “just” about 30% of the total revenue in exchange for their services. Also...just how legitimate is this program? Sure, it sounds fantastic to be able to catch all the uninsured drivers in Chicago without pressing into others privacy but if you have a system that can check all license plates for insurance plans automatically there is a constant privacy invasion of all those who drive through these intersections.

InsureNet seems to be able to offer quite a bit as well and it all looks good on paper but the questions of how good it actually is comes up among everyone that seems to look at the proposal. In addition to these questions of the legitimacy of the company the idea of who actually is unemployed in the city of Chicago is worry some as well. When you consider the population of people who would be uninsured you have to think of why they are uninsured. Generally these are people who don’t have a job and are collecting unemployment, so this leads to the idea of the “extra” money being collected by the Chicago government which is coming directly from unemployment checks that were sent out the week before.

As questionable as this idea may or may not be I think that in theory it would be a good idea. Even if not all the money that could be collected actually gets collected this could combat the fact that so many people drive uninsured. The “threat” of having these cameras at major intersections may just be what we need to insure a majority of people continue to renew their insurance. In my opinion the biggest problems that would come about with these cameras would be the cost of installing them. If in some way they could use the cameras that already exist this may be their best bet at keeping cost down but you have to keep in mind people’s privacy regardless of who they are.


  1. So the new innovative technology is this technology that takes photos of drivers and their license plates?
    I think that there could also be different uses for this instead of just catching uninsured drivers. In my hometown on Long Island, cameras are being installed into EVERY light in the twon to photograph people who run red lights, which I personally think is a better usage of this type of technology.

  2. This is very interesting. In my economics course last semester, we discussed the concept of moral hazard in regards to insurance. We discussed the fact that most people who are insured are so because they are risky drivers and those who are insured are safer drivers. Those who are insured are riskier because they are insured. If this is indeed the truth, this technology may or may not stop the risk involved with those who are risky drivers.

  3. I heard that read light cameras,speeding cameras etc. are illegal to use since the accused driver is not able to face his or her accuser in court(the camera), but haven't really researched this claim to be 100% sure.