Monday, August 3, 2009

Red light camera objections

Little did I know when I wrote a column a few weeks ago on red light cameras how many emails I would receive from folks expressing reservations.

In many of the emails, the writer claims to actually support cameras to stop red light runners, but has some concerns: Do I get a ticket if I'm almost through the intersection and the light turns red?

Also, aren't the cameras just a revenue generator for local government? And do they apply equally to those who blatantly roar straight through an intersection and those who make a right turn on red, but never quite come to a complete halt?

There's also concern that red light cameras make for more rear-end collisions. Folks will try so hard to stop that they will get crunched from behind.

Here are a couple of thoughts in response:

Drivers making a right turn on red are required to come to a complete halt, look, and then proceed. That's the law. But so often, drivers do a roll-through on right-hand turns on red. There are also more than a few that barely slow down for the red as they make that right-hand turn.

As to the risk of creating more rear-end collisions because people slow down and prepare to stop on red? It's pretty self-evident, isn't it, that too many folks are following too closely? We need to stay a safe interval behind the car ahead of us.

One of the emailers asked why couldn't cops just do their job and ticket bad drivers? Good point. The police often say it's because they don't have enough resources, not enough money or officers on the road. The result is inconsistent law enforcement that leads some drivers to think they can speed with impunity or ignore those traffic signals.

Can all the bad behavior be unlearned? Good question.


1 comment:

  1. ...or, we might ask, can all bad behavior be legislated against! Topic for next lunch.