we don’t need any cameras

Today I read some disturbing news.  The City of Bellevue has sold out and decided to join many other cities around the country that are installing traffic enforcement cameras.

The biggest problem I have with this is they are doing it under the guise of safety.  Let’s be honest, photo enforcement is never really about safety, it’s all about revenue. And the truth is, most of the revenue will probably go to the outside contractors that the city hires to install and operate the system.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating that you speed thru a school zone or run a red light.  But how does receiving a citation days or weeks later in the mail change your actions.  As a parent I have learned that if the punishment does not occur quickly after the offense it loses it effectiveness.

One of the worst parts about getting a ticket (yes, I’ve gotten a ticket or two in my life) is sitting on the side of the road in front of the cap car, lights alerting everyone around that you’ve done something wrong.

In my opinion if the city is really concerns with safety in School zones, put some people out there.  I’ve seen volunteers outside schools in other areas running radar and it works well to slow down drivers. Show people the error of their way immediately, and put a human face to the eyes that are watching.

As for red light cameras, I have seen a number of studies that indicate traffic accidents at intersections with red light cameras increase in severity.  Many show the most effective way to increase safety at intersections and reduce the number drivers running the red is to simply increase the cycle time of the yellow light.  Oh wait, that solution wouldn’t bring in an additional revenue for the city.

And because it’s really all about the revenue, you’re guilty until proven innocent.  They will simply photograph the license plate and send the ticket to the registered owner of the vehicle.  Never mind if the owner can prove they were somewhere else at the time, until the provide the name of the person who was driving their vehicle at the time, the owner is stuck with the ticket.

Let me know your thoughts.


~ by Michael Sorensen on April 8, 2009.

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