Red Light Cameras Save Lives
This belongs in the “DUUUHHH!!!” file, next to “birds fly” and “bears shit in the woods.” The obvious has been confirmed in a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
In fourteen cities with red light cameras, traffic fatalities were reduced by 24%. This includes a reduction in ALL categories of fatal crashes at intersections with a traffic signal; not just crashes caused by red light running. The Institute president said:
“We think that they are just paying more attention to intersections as they come up on them because they are more certain that if they violate the red light that they will get a ticket.”
However, some people think saving lives is a much lower priority than protecting a motorist’s God-given Constitutional right to crash into people without paying any consequences. Take the National Motorists Association (please!). The ACLU also has reservations about red light cameras. Oh well, they can’t get it right on every issue.
One argument is that these cameras are a privacy violation. I disagree. I think you give up a certain expectation of privacy when you get behind the wheel or get on a plane. They’re also condemned as being more of a “revenue generator” than a safety measure. That’s probably true. So if you don’t want to contribute extra revenue to your local government, stop at red lights.
Washington State’s favorite cut-services-to-the-marrow teabagger — Tim Eyman — has set his crosshairs on red light cameras. He probably figures he’s already closed enough schools and libraries and derailed enough mass transit projects, and red light cameras could prolong his fifteen minutes of fame just a little longer.