"...and I will dwell in the House of the LORD forever!"

Monday, March 28, 2011

Convicted by a Camera?

As we watch the news, we quickly learn that national conversation drowns with debates. Different issues are tossed around like dust in the wind. Statements like "What's Your Opinion" or "What's Your Stance" control most discussions. Some of these debates are important, others are pointless, but this debate in South Carolina grabbed my attention.

On Intersate 95, South Carolina Law Enforcement has installed High Definition cameras that catch speeding cars. These cameras have caught thousands of motorists and won countless awards for highway safety, but they have also attracted heated opposition from law makers and angry drivers. Last month, a Mercedes with South Carolina license plates sped by a camera going 83 mph, 13 mph over the speed limit. The camera fired pictures of the license plate and driver to a computer monitor viewed by Law Enforcement. The driver of the Mercedes happily continued north, only to find a ticket in the mail two weeks later for $133.00. Larry Grooms, South Carolina Senator and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee said, "We're absolutely shutting the cameras down." Grooms claimed the camera was promoting Unconstitutional Selective Law Enforcement. Convicted drivers agreed with Grooms and added these thoughts to the discussion, "If you get a ticket you should be stopped by an officer, informed why you have have been stopped, and have an opportunity to state your case." I see why they're frustrated, but it's hard to justify their frustration when I see the statistical results from the cameras. From January to July of 2010, before the cameras were installed, there were 55 crashes and 4 fatalities in South Carolina on Interstate 95. Since August of 2010, there have been 38 crashes and no deaths. There has also been a 50% decline in the number of motorists driving 81 mph or more. Numbers don't lie. The cameras seem to be doing their job!

I don't care to get in the middle of the "lion's den", but these cameras do "capture" some truths about the Christian life. We often ask, "Is it right to do this? Is it wrong to do that?" Well, here's the answer: If you behave like you should, you don't have to worry about what cameras or people "catch" you doing. Perhaps that's what Paul meant when he wrote in Romans 13:13, "Let us behave decently, as in the day time..." If we truly seek God's will for our life, we shouldn't worry about being "Convicted by a Camera", but with confidence we should say, "Go ahead. Take the picture. You'll like what you see."