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Red Light Cameras

Tried to post this as a comment to this entry at gritsforbreakfast but blogspot's comment server crashed. Reproducing here for posterity.

I agree completely with steamboat lion, and also find it very disingenuous to claim that all people who want red light cameras have a financial motivation. (I, obviously, don't, for instance).

Those who oppose red light cameras should be banging the drum to get more cops out on the street enforcing the law. How much effort have you put into this? I certainly doubt very much whether it's feasible - it appears too easy to contest these types of tickets in court by shady means, but I'd like to hear your suggestion as well, since the idea that because red light cameras are often abused that we should just continue to do what we do now - basically allow red-light running with no consequences - is ridiculously inappropriate.

This entry was posted in the following categories: Driving in Austin

Comments

Responding to: all people who want red light cameras have a financial motivation. (I, obviously, don't, for instance)

For me the correct statement is that most cities and local governments who want red light cameras have a financial motivation. Plenty of private citizens are motivated by a genuine concern for safety. But when you look at the deals struck in places like San Diego, it's hard to argue that maximizing revenue wasn't Job #1, at least as far as the city is concerned.

Put another way, I simply don't trust money-hungry cities to implement RLCs in a just and beneficial way. There's got to be a better method. I think one of steamboat lion's points was a good one--put the system entirely in the hands of the police, and don't give the vendors a chance to game the system so as to increase revenue. That would be a good start.

On a personal note, while I see plenty of red light runners when I go to D/FW, I see very few in Austin. Is it your experience that red light running is a serious problem in Austin?

Good point! When I first read this, I was thinking...why would a person who does not run red lights be opposed to these cameras? But, I can see how there is a discrepancy between the private citizens motivation, and the cities' desire for money.