My question is this – are the posted speed limits and traffic lights merely a suggestion that the public can choose to ignore? If that is not the case, if they are used to protect the public, then what is the argument against photo enforcement? I have heard they “generate revenue” for cities or states? Correct me if I am wrong, but the only way the cameras are generating revenue is when people break the law. If you are driving the speed limit and stopping at red lights then the cameras should be a non-issue.
I have heard arguments that technology should not be used, but that police officers should be doing this work. Are we not much better served if officers are focusing on drunk drivers, and other serious crimes? The use of technology to assist us to become more efficient and effective in our work and in our personal lives is commonplace. Technology is used in every field imaginable. Do the folks that argue against cameras, also choose not to go to a doctor that employs technology in their practice?
I am the President of the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance. I am an advocate of traffic safety measures and I am the owner of a driving school. Many of our student’s are young teenagers learning how to drive. We offer classes to provide the parents of these young drivers information about teenage driving and to help prepare them for the task of practicing with their children. My message to those parents is, “condoning speeding with these young drivers is unacceptable.” Speed kills, running a red light kills. When the light turns yellow, it does not mean step on the gas and get through the light. It means slow down and prepare to stop; and quite simply, red means stop, even if you are turning right on red, you MUST still stop and check for pedestrians and traffic and then make your turn.
Limits and laws are set for a reason, and teaching our kids that it is ok to “ignore” the law is sending the absolute wrong message to these young people. If we teach our children it’s ok to break these laws, where does it stop? Is it ok for them to cheat on a test as long as the teacher doesn’t catch them? This is a dangerous cycle that truly chips away at our society’s moral fiber. Do we really want to promote and encourage a generation taught to do “what you want” because you can. I don’t know about you, but as I look around this great country of ours, it seems we have too much of that going on already.
The Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance has been “accused” of being bankrolled by camera companies. We have accepted donations from camera companies. We have also accepted donations from hospitals, lawyers association, insurance companies, to name a few. We have accepted in-kind donations in order to have our web site overhauled and to have our video produced, and we accept donations from individuals who support our cause. Our organization participates in over 30 events a year to spread the word about red light running and other traffic safety concerns such as distracted driving and speeding to the general public.
There is data that supports the fact that cameras do the job of slowing people down and get people to stop at red lights. To those that say, “I haven’t seen the data.” I suggest you look at it because it is available. Studies have also been done that indicate the majority of the public are in favor of cameras. I for one am tired of “obeying the laws” and being concerned for public safety, while others are flying by me “because they can.” If cameras can help slow these people down and save even one life – then I am all for the use of technology in this effort. I support both speed and red light cameras. The organizations I represent support the use of cameras. We do not endorse any particular camera company, but we do appreciate the technology that assists our law enforcement officers to help keep the public safe.