The proposed legislation — An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Vision Zero Council — unacceptably violates individuals’ property and personal rights.
The bill gives the commissioner of the state Department of Transportation the ability to “take any land” to create bike paths and hands municipalities the proverbial green light to install “automatic traffic enforcement safety devices” (i.e., surveillance cameras) to monitor motorists.
The bill demonstrates no public need to take private property. These bike paths are to meet the recreational needs of a single group: cyclists. And a theoretical, de minimis reduction in carbon emissions can’t justify the real seizure of real people’s real property.
Abusing eminent domain to benefit elite groups or political causes is exactly what prompted the public backlash in the Kelo case. It shouldn’t happen again.
“Automatic traffic enforcement safety devices” are completely at odds with the equity agenda embraced by many at the Capitol. ProPublica and others claim that such cameras have a racially disparate impact. Studies likewise suggest that cameras can increase the number and severity of traffic accidents.
And constant surveillance by law enforcement is unbecoming a free people.
The residents of Connecticut have the right to be secure in their property — and to go about their lawful business without being watched. An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Vision Zero Council runs counter to the way Americans should expect to live.