Red Light Cameras

League City is moving forward, towards 1984 with the addition of red light cameras. Apparently, the city council and the police chief drank the Kool-aid and were swayed by the thought of profits. Many of the intersections chosen are the worst in the state. However, red light cameras won’t fix that problem. These intersections are a problem because the city council has, over many many years, allowed uncontrolled growth and done little to update the infrastructure. Now that they’ve created the problem, they plan on profiting from it.
Red light cameras just aren’t a good idea. They create a shady relationship between a vendor and the city where a vendor gets some level of power in working with public works light street lights. They encourage the shortening of yellow lights to increase profits. They also discourage cities from bothering to fix bad intersections. In Mississippi they just passed a ban on red light cameras. Studies showed the cameras were dangerous and increased accidents. One study, conducting by Texas’ department of transportation showed increasing the yellow light time one second dropped accidents by 40%. Of course doing that doesn’t bring any profits.
In Houston people timed the lights that had photo enforcement and discovered many of them were below the TXDOT recommended yellow light length. Surprised? Why should you be, using the correct length stops profits. Not every city has seen profits. This has led many of them to scrap the plan. But wait, if the whole point is actually safety should profits matter? No they shouldn’t, which just proves what the motivation was all along.
In Texas the money is set aside for a specific purpose. Problem is the state can’t even get their act together to spend it.
It seems like the cameras cause more problems than they fix. They create conflicts of interest, safety risks and other problems. Why do we have them, why the money of course. I don’t run red lights myself because of the danger involved. I really don’t think most people do it on purpose. It just happens in the rush. Doing this “solution” doesn’t really help. It just causes people to rush to the intersection and then slam on their brakes. Rather than come up with shady bandaid solutions why don’t we work to fix our intersections and set up proper timing on the lights? Oh right, no profits from that. Thanks politicians, way to look out for your constituents.

Posted in Politicians, politics, rants, red light cameras

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