Adapting the video patrol for the car-pool lanes (Jan. 8) needs to be thought out more carefully. I disagree that the "Robocops" would be able to secure convictions without a reasonable doubt.
First, the technology is not good enough yet to catch the guilty motorists. The positioning of the cameras does not allow for short and tall cars. It is also questionable whether the pictures could identify passengers riding in the car, especially babies and people sleeping in the back seat. The other restriction is the fact that the weather could impair the camera's pictures. Technology needs to address the challenge of pictures at night, in the rain and in bright glare.
The video cameras will encourage creative ways to evade the law. Mannequin sales would soar. Some people may try baby seats with dolls in them to make it look like there is another person in the car. The only way to catch these people is with the old-fashioned police officer. No doubt some destructive motorist would resort to vandalism to combat the cameras, leading to higher maintenance costs.
I think the main problem of the car-pool lane video cameras is their inability to catch the actual driver of the car. The cameras would give the ticket to the owner of the car.
As mentioned in the article, this poses a problem to families with more than one driver. This also is a problem for rental car agencies. Would they get the ticket since they own the car?
Caltrans should wait for the technology to catch up before it spends any more money on this proposal.
Corona del Mar