Thursday, June 09, 2011

Red Light Cameras Part IV: A New Hope

Saw this story today and felt the need to pass it along.

OK so it's California, they do lots of crazy stuff, but between this and medicinal marijuana they have gotten some stuff almost right.

We need to have a serious conversation about the future of these "traffic control" devices in our city before, or perhaps during, the next election. I plan on asking all of the candidates, the ones who will respond at least, about their philosophical stance on red light/ speed cameras and how they plan on changing policy in the future.

Let me reiterate. These cameras are a sham of law enforcement. They make a company in Arizona millions in revenue by taking from our pockets. The tickets are not really tickets and are not reflected on your driving record and they cite the owner of the vehicle for a moving violation as opposed to the operator as in every other similar conviction. Finally, the whole thing just reeks of rampant big brother-ness and government opportunism to squeeze revenue out of the citizenry by any means possible.

Let's make sure this issue stays at the fore in the upcoming political season as it is a telling sign of how a leader views our small governmental world.

8 comments:

Chris Eaker said...

Here, here! I totally agree. It amazes me how politicians can be blinded to believe that these disgraceful things are actually a safety measure. They see dollar signs, and then forget all about the right thing to do. In my mind, Haslam is to blame for our scameras. Does Knoxville have a referendum procedure? If so, we need to get this on the ballot. Traffic scameras have never survived a direct vote by the citizens.

Erin @ Brownie Bites said...

If anything, the cameras make monitored intersections more of a safety hazard. How many times have you almost rear-ended someone after they slam on their brakes as soon as the light turns yellow?

Esther Peden said...

I'm with you-- I totally agree that they're not necessarily making these intersections safer as far as accidents go, and that it's lining the pockets of people that don't even live in this state. However, I drive through 2 camera intersections every day on my way home from work (Cedar Bluff at I-40), and let me tell you: the traffic craziness at these intersections is basically gone. Before, people would drive through yellow lights (in hopes that they wouldn't get stuck at the red light) and get stacked up in the middle of the intersection, blocking the other directions from going while they had green lights. It was the most gigantic cluster in the morning, during lunch, and on the drive home. Post-camera installation, traffic flows so much better, and it's very rare that I see someone block the intersection. If they take away these cameras, how do you propose they keep this traffic jam from beginning again?

cmmoxley said...

As someone who for 8 years had to turn right onto Kingston Pike from Scenic Drive, I saw someone blow thru the red light there several times every week. It was so bad, that I made a point of not hitting the gas until I saw the oncoming car actually stop. And I advised all my visitors to take the same precautions. I would have loved to have seen a red light camera installed at that intersection. I am confident it would have cut down on the problem as it has at Henley Street and Summit Hill Drive.

Lil Miserable said...

You get 'em Big Papa

Mickey said...

As time goes by, I feel more and more ashamed of having actually paid my red-light camera "ticket." Damn the man.

Chris Eaker said...

Are you going to post anything about the mayoral candidates and their stances on ticket cameras? Unfortunately, I don't live in the city limits, but I can encourage my friends who do, so please let us know their responses.

Anonymous said...

Was in a class this week where a former public safety official gave us his thoughts. They made sense.

If the cameras go up at locations where there are high crash rates, it's for a good cause. If the fines are attention-getting but not extortion-like, it's effective. If you put them everywhere you can (regardless of crash rate), charge exorbitant fees, and contract them out to a company that profits from it, you're not doing it for the right reasons.

Just my two cents - I'm not from Knoxville, but we have similar controversy in my home city. These are a good tool in the crash reduction toolkit, but they're used all to often as a revenue-generating ploy. They need to be about saving lives and reducing injuries, not the general fund.