Thursday, June 21, 2007


In 2003 the city began installing red-light cameras at intersections that had high incidences of traffic accidents. Originally 10 cameras where installed and as of last month 39 exist city wide. There are plans to have 70 cameras operating by years end. There is no doubt these cameras generate enormous amounts of revenue,$19.8 mil in 06, but the primary purpose is to save lives. Or is it?
"We believe that the red-light cameras have been very effective in changing dangerous driver behavior for the better," said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. "We believe they encourage people to drive more safely."

Kevin Smith over at OEMC may truly believe what he is saying, but the aldermen see revenue and nothing is going to get in the way of that. It seems that Cobra has developed a warning device to alert a driver when he is approaching an intersection equipped with a red-light camera. This would appear to have the same effect as the goal stated by Kevin over at OEMC. And that goal is a safer intersection.
Joe Blow has one of these devises in his car and he approaches 55th and Western, "beep-beep-beep" Joe slows down on the yellow and comes to a complete stop on the red. Is this a problem? Damn right it is! If Joe wasn't warned he may have run the light a little late and got himself a nice $90 ticket in the mail.
Ald. Edward Burke (14th) announced Thursday that he will seek to ban the new technology.

And Burke threw off any pretense that the cameras' primary purpose is to reduce the number of traffic accidents at dangerous spots where motorists run reds.

Funny thing is none of us were naive enough to really believe it was about safety, but the intentions of Burke and Co shows their true motives.$$$$$$
Read the whole story in the Tribune

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox ruled last month that cameras cannot be used to ticket drivers. Only police officers who witness violations can write tickets, he ruled.

•Red-light cameras are the subject of litigation in at least three states. In Ohio, an Akron woman's lawsuit alleging that cities using the cameras have turned red-light violations from a criminal to a civil offense is headed to the state Supreme Court.

Oral arguments in the Minnesota Supreme Court over Minneapolis' suspended camera program are scheduled for next month. In North Carolina, Charlotte and several other cities ended their camera programs this year after the state Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's ruling that most proceeds from signal violations must go to local schools. The case is being appealed to the state Supreme Court.

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