Ed Driscoll

HAWAII 5-0 (MPH): Back on

HAWAII 5-0 (MPH): Back on January 28, Instapundit had the following entry:

FIGHT THE POWER: Hawaii has installed traffic cameras, and ignited a rebellion:

The response has been swift. Rebellious drivers have snapped up several thousand license covers that illegally obscure plates, owners of automobile-accessory shops say. They have sent angry letters to the local papers urging people not to pay their tickets. Cellphone brigades call morning radio shows to relay the vans’ locations, and reports abound of drivers hurling obscene gestures, insults and even trash at the vans.

Some officials are even saying that the program may be working too well. “People are now driving too slow,” said Carol Costa, a spokeswoman for the City of Honolulu “They’re driving in packs so their plates can’t be seen by the cameras. There are people who speed around the packs of cars. And the vans, of course, themselves are being targeted by drivers.”

“Of course” is right. This is America. We’re willing to pull together against terrorists, but not to be Good Germans. Keep that straight, pols, or forget it at your peril.

On Thursday, Matt Drudge linked to the following article, titled Hawaii Halts Use of Traffic Cameras:

HONOLULU – Gov. Ben Cayetano on Wednesday ordered a halt to the use of cameras to catch speeders, a safety measure many Hawaii motorists considered so underhanded they tried to subvert the system.

Cayetano said the Legislature was about to repeal the program anyway. “The traffic van cam law is the creation of the Legislature, and if they want to now cancel the program it will be canceled,” he said in a statement.

The van-mounted cameras, introduced on Oahu two months ago and operated by a private company, were coupled with radar and automatically photographed a speeder’s license plate. A ticket was then issued by mail to the car’s owner.

Some drivers mockingly called them the “talivans.”

The House late Tuesday tentatively decided to abandon the system, and Cayetano said he would allow the repeal bill to become law without his signature. He maintained, though, that the program’s aims were good.

“Driving at faster speeds has become a habit for many drivers and explains, at least in part, why there was so much opposition to the traffic van cam,” he said.

As I recall, from staying with friends on the big Island in November of 2000, most of the speeds on Hawaiian roads are set ridiculously low. Might that have led to an increase in the speeds of drivers? Nahh…