Why I Support “Red Light Cameras”

I am a Conservative and a very strong one.

I believe in individual liberty, economic liberty and small government.  America would be a far better place with much less government entanglements.

Amongst conservatives “red light cameras” are almost universally demonized as a horrible, overreaching improper government intrusion.

I have quite the different view.  Youtube is full of videos showing people running red lights and the carnage that happens because of it.  Because the police can’t be at every intersection, to me, red light cameras are a way of punishing bad drivers that accidentally run a red light and asshole drivers that deliberately run through red lights just because they are assholes.

Below is a video from my dash cam.  This guy was speeding up on my rear and when I started to brake he swerved around me (cutting off a driver in the other lane) and ran the red light.  Thank God there was not an accident.

NO EXCUSE !!!

I can’t express enough how serious a safety issue I think running red lights is.

BONUS FOOTAGE !!!!!

This post was in que and I captured another red light running douche bag:

I am certainly by far not a perfect driver, but because of a driving issue when I was 16, automotive safety is one of the most important daily issues for me. (I drive 70-100 miles daily)

There are a lot of reasons people argue against red light cameras.  I disagree with almost all of them.

Generally, if you don’t want a red light ticket, drive correctly and don’t run red lights.

I once received a red light ticket.  I contested it as a legal “right on red” and won.

My only concern with red light camera use:

CHICAGO GRIFTS DRIVERS WITH SHORTER YELLOW LIGHTS

The Chicago Tribune released findings from their ongoing investigation into the city’s red-light camera program on Thursday, revealing that with the city’s transition to a new camera vendor came a “subtle but significant lowering of the threshold for yellow light times.”

The new vendor, Xerox State & Local Solutions, took over the program in 2013 after Redflex Traffic Systems Inc. was alleged to have paid $2 million in bribes to city transportation official John Bills.

But it seems as though Chicago has simply traded one suspect vendor for another, as disputed tickets issued by the Xerox cameras are 50 times more likely than those issued by Redflex to have resulted from a yellow light shorter than the three-second legal minimum, according to the Tribune.

 

That is a major problem and my biggest concern.

But it shouldn’t mean that there should be no red light cameras.

 

7 comments on “Why I Support “Red Light Cameras”

  1. Leonard Jones says:

    It is not just red light cameras. I had a nerd buddy tell me that the OBD II systems
    had way more bandwidth than necessary. Nearly every new car has built-in cellular
    and GPS systems. He envisioned a future where your car could rat you out to
    the government in real-time. Imagine your car reporting every time you speed
    and transmitting the information to the government to the state government, then
    generating automatic citations.

    Every time your check engine light triggers, receiving a letter from the government.
    How about parking your car where a crime took place or when a driver parks
    out front of a massage parlor? It would be a great way to blackmail one’s political
    opponents.

    It was just reported that surveillance cameras and onboard GPS allows them
    to track your every move, including out of state trips. Someone actually put this
    to the test and sure as hell, the system tracked his every move. I would disable
    the cell system the moment I bought a new car!

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  3. Sailorcurt says:

    I don’t have a problem with red light cameras per se…I have a problem with them used as a revenue generating tool like in Chicago and southern California. They shorten the yellows and then nail people who legitimately couldn’t have stopped because the light turned red .0001 seconds before they entered the intersection or people who stopped with their front bumper 1/2 inch past the stop bar (something I’ve done inadvertently many times by not braking quite hard enough after a light turns yellow).

    They installed a few of them at high accident intersections here in my town in Virginia and I actually applaud them because at the same time they installed the cameras, they increased the yellow durations, which was demonstrated by a study conducted by Virginia State University (IIRC) is significantly more efficacious at reducing accidents at intersections than cameras.

    Here, they decided to sacrifice ticket revenue but actually increase safety and the red light cameras catch the jerks who had no intention of stopping…which are the people that need to be fined.

    • Matthew W says:

      Agreed, when the municipality tweaks the yellow time to increase revenue,many,many bad !! As for the Chicago situation, whooda thunk bribery would be involved???

  4. stine says:

    The problem with red-light cameras is that not all of the light times (length of yellow in particular) are set according to the law. This means that if you are driving the speed limit, and see the green light turn yellow, you may be too close to the intersection to safely stop but too far from the intersection to legally proceed. This has been documented many times in many cities, and until configuring the light-timing this way is a carreer-ending and pension-revoking move, there’s no moralily in supporting red-light cameras.
    I say this as someone who’s been driving since 1983 without a red-light or speeding ticket.

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