The Red Light Running Crisis|
Is it Intentional?
Office of the Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
1. Something Funny
2. Camera Revenue
3. The Theory
4. The Fact
5. Code Changes
6. Cameras Ineffective
(200k, PDF format)
View the Documents
The subject of signal timing can be difficult and obscure. And for that reason, the proponents of red light cameras have been able to escape close scrutiny.
Transportation officials and engineers know that the yellow signal timing is essential to safety. The data showing this to be the case are found in their studies. Nonetheless, some have systematically and intentionally ignored the inescapable engineering fact that longer yellows would solve the so-called crisis caused by shortened yellows.
Red light cameras present a perverse disincentive for local jurisdictions to fix intersections with excessive red light entries. It's hard to fix a “problem” that brings in millions in revenue.
In other words, red light cameras aren't fixing a safety problem, they're creating one.
And, with the federal government's assistance, state and local governments are undermining the vital constitutional protections our Founders put in place. The right to face one's accuser in court and the presumption of innocence form the bedrock of our judicial system.
Camera-based law enforcement can only work when these principles are ignored.
We should never have allowed the personal privacy of our citizens to be undermined by these Big Brother devices. In the name of safety, we sacrificed our privacy. But now it is clear that we have been asked to relinquish our cherished freedoms for an entirely empty promise.
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