Thursday, October 15, 2009

Those Red Light Cameras

Red light cameras were deemed by the city council to be a good idea, to make the city safer, and along the way, make the city a little money. The safety thing is a little controversial*, but other cities have made money from their red light cameras. Well, it turns out that Kansas City is not making any money off the cameras. It is requiring two police officers to review the pictures. People are going to court and contesting the tickets. Something like two hundred cases are pending in the court system.

Now, I am pretty sure that the camera at US 71 and Red Bridge snapped my pic at least twice taking a legal right hand turn on red after a full stop. Now, when I come to that intersection and prepare to turn right on red, I come to a full stop behind the line on the pavement, move a little, stop again and look for traffic, then go. What a pain. Now, I rejoice when I see a green light at the intersection. I'm not the only one: A group of folks who deal with the cameras on the intersections further up 71, at Meyer, 59th and 55th are also saying that they were photographed taking legal right-on-red turns, and got tickets in the mail. That's a big waste of time for the police and courts, having to deal with these inappropriately taken photos.

What to do? How much would it cost just to cancel the contract and turn off the cameras? Because that what ought to be done. Simple as that. If the cameras don't really enhance safety and they apparently aren't producing profit for the city, then the red light camera era should end, ASAP.

*The controversy with the cameras is that while they do seem to cut down on the amount of folks running the lights and possibly causing collisions in the intersection, there is a marked increase in the number of rear end collisions just before these intersections. Maybe these rear enders are less likely to cause fatalities and serious injury, but cars are damaged, and a lot of bullshit whiplash occurs. So the safety advantages may not measure up objectively, only subjectively. If only people would shut up and drive...

1 comment:

The Editors said...

Take a look at what this guy has done - he's written at least 3 posts i could see about the lights, including some strategies to get around the ticketing.