Red-light cameras have proven to discourage red-light running, cell-phones will do even more.
I adopted three miles of Las Virgenes Road in the Santa Monica Mountains and have been picking up the litter including cigarette butts, women's panties, syringes, gloves and now face masks, for over three years.
There is a traffic light at the intersection of Las Virgenes Road and Mulholland Highway and I tracked the cigarette butts 1 mile north and south of the intersection.
There is generally significantly less trash and cigarette butts within the 350-foot north and south area of the intersection, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the "litter bugs" are avoiding areas that might have surveillance using "red-light" cameras to capture license plates and images of the driver at intersections.
Intersections have red-light cameras that are legal, with or without a warning sign at the intersection, so that officers of law enforcement do not have to be present on the scene while the crime is in progress.
Citizen cell-phone camera evidence, without requiring any notice, should be legal as well.
The courts have already ruled that cameras don't violate privacy, therefore cell-phone cameras will be an effective cost-effective way to catch the people who violate the IDL&G laws.
I do not recommend a cell-phone strategy as a replacement for the red-light cameras.
A cell-phone ticket based on a video evidence will be like a parking violation; nothing would go on a driving or criminal record. The penalty, a hefty fine and community service, for committing the crime would be seen as the deterrent.
The tip/reward incentive for reporting illegal dumping will remain in place; however there will be no tip/reward incentive for the public to video tape a littering or graffiti crime.
The incentive already exists to keep their neighborhoods clean so they can enjoy their life outdoors.
Communities that are littered experience other problems, such as graffiti, unkempt rights-of-way and a general decline of the physical appearance in the area. Property values in littered neighborhoods can be lowered by as much as 15 percent.
The public will want to volunteer because litter has a significant negative impact on their life.
The law must not give the public any incentive to fake or alter, or record a video while driving.
The law would define that the video capturing someone committing an IDL&G violation taken by a citizen is sufficient proof that the crime took place.
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