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jrockway's Journal: Red-Light Cameras 1

Journal by jrockway

Well, I've just heard of a plan that should be a good use of taxpayer money. Local governments want to install cameras on stoplights that take a picture of people who are stuck in the middle of the intersection (in hopes of turning left), so that the "offending" party may be ticketed. Rather than funding schools, our wonderful government wants to buy cameras to ticket non-criminals.

Now, to be fair, it is illegal for people to go out into the middle of the intersection. But it's really a non-problem. The light turns red; the people going the other way wait for the 'offender' to get out of the way. Things work themselves out.

This annoys me for two reasons:

1) Throwing money at a non-problem.
    As I said, when a situation arises that the "traffic control device" did not anticipate [someone inside the intersection when the light changes], the drivers around it will work it out. It may not be the most efficent thing in the world, but certainly 3 seconds isn't going to make a difference in anyone's commute/day.

2) The government preying on it's own citizens.
    I don't like it when the governemnt uses my money to get my money. If they need money to build something, they can ask for it rather than just take it when they see I'm doing something slightly illegal. And when was I asked whether I thought the red-light-left-turn-thing was illegal or not? Never. It was some law passed for no apparent reason (other than to be a source of income).

So if you get a ticket in the mail for this program, claim it got lost. What ticket?

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Red-Light Cameras

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  • You have obviously never been in true gridlock traffic in downtown metropolitan areas (Chicago, NYC, Boston, etc.). The problem arises from when cars enter an intersection and the light at the next block turns red. The car in the intersection will be sitting there until the light at the next block turns green again. This can be on the time scale of several minutes. Indeed, it can be long enough that traffic flowing perpendicular to the now-stuck car can have their entire green light cycle through.

    One or tw

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