Reasons Not to Have Cameras at Red Lights


I don't really care what the motivation is behind the cameras, I'm just astonished that anyone can object. Okay, maybe I'd like to argue against it. What if I accidentally run the light, and I promise to slow down earlier at the next intersection? What if I'm late to something really important, like to the airport, and I promise that next time I'll leave earlier? What if I can tell that the person behind me isn't going to stop, so I promise that at the next light, I'll slow down earlier so he knows to stop, too? But then you're at a party, and you get a shiver listening to a stranger tell how he never stops for red lights. It makes me glad that my car has air bags. But I also can't help but remember one of the scariest things I've seen on the roads, at Bissonnet and Gessner, so not out in the middle of nowhere. I'd stopped at a red light. A good three seconds after the other light had turned green, a cement mixer sped through the red light. A CEMENT MIXER! It doesn't matter if you've got air bags or if you're driving an SUV or even if you ride a bus, not if you get hit by a cement mixer. And I don't feel that it wouldn't have mattered if the yellow light was four, eight, or eighteen seconds long; this guy was in a hurry and wasn't going to let a stoplight keep him from his delivery.

Sure, someone makes money off of this proposal, but we're in a capitalist society; we often need monetary incentives to do the right thing. Like to monitor who runs red lights. Like to get people to change their driving habits. And, maybe, that's the part we really object to, having to change our own habits, but I will. So install the lights, test them at lots of spots to make sure they work right, test them again at other spots to be "for sure," and then require the company that gets the receipts to contribute to an awareness campaign. I look forward to that day when I won't have to stop at green lights, because the cars going the other direction will finally stop for the red ones.

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