Reader says the law is the law any way you slice it

Dear Editor,

The whole argument against red light cameras astounds me in its attempt to wiggle past the bald truth. If you enter the intersection when the light is red, you have broken the law. Period. There is a split second between it being yellow and it being red, and after that split second is over you ran the red light.

Mr. Van Der Grinten was evidently a captain at some time. Whatever he was the captain of, I would be willing to bet a lot of money that he never excused a subordinate for “sort of” breaking the rules, or “just barely” disobeying. Or for breaking a rule that the person should have known about, but didn’t. Yet now he says too many of the tickets given for red light infractions were “barely” an infraction, or that people who get tickets for turning right without stopping at a red light didn’t know it was against the law. It’s still the law, ladies and gentlemen, and if you didn’t know that before you got the ticket, you do now and all your friends and family probably do, too.

The argument against the cameras seems to be dodging the issue … running red lights kills people and breaks the law. If a policeman were there, you’d get a ticket.

So, the argument that the camera doesn’t make excuses for you and that you didn’t really deserve it is out. Next argument, that the red light cameras are a source of income for the city. So? All violation tickets are a source of income for the city. They are also a deterrent to people’s breaking the traffic laws. We all benefit from the drivers following the laws. Why does it matter if the way you got caught was with a camera or by having a policeman sit there?

The problem with insisting that the only way people can be given tickets for traffic violations is if a policeman catches them in the act. A policeman is very expensive and we simply can’t afford enough of them to leave them sitting at the intersections all day when they could be dealing with other crimes.

If people know it’s not a certainty that they will get a ticket if they run the red light, they’re far more likely to take the chance that no one will catch them. Unfortunately, that chance is also a taking a chance with other people’s lives.

I strongly support the red light cameras and should the issue of removing them be placed on the ballot, I will actively campaign against it.

Regards,
Rochelle Hite

Short URL: http://www.fortbendstar.com/?p=28195

Posted by on Feb 22 2013. Filed under Letters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Reader says the law is the law any way you slice it”

  1. Rochelle Hite strongly supports red light cameras and will actively campaign in favor of them. But, where is she coming from? Her residence is not disclosed and she is not a registered voter in Fort Bend County.

    Revenue inspired law enforcement is an abuse of authority that needs to be exposed and opposed because it is not only unfair but it is plainly unjust. This is unfortunately true about red light cameras in Sugar Land.

    I have never gotten a red light camera ticket. If I did get one, and felt that I was caught fair-and- square, I would pay the $75 fine. But, there are three reasons I would refuse to pay.
    1. The ticket is sent to the vehicle owner, not the driver. The owner is automatically assumed to be guilty and must prove his or her innocence to avoid the fine. That is not how it’s supposed to be in this country. The ticket arrives many days after the violation so if there was any doubt in my mind as to who was driving at the time of the violation, I would refuse to pay.
    2. If I violated the red light by less than one second, and the ticket indicates how long the red light was illuminated when the violation occurred, I would refuse to pay. The city knows full well that increasing the yellow time by just one second dramatically reduces the number of violations and my request that this measure be implemented has been denied.
    3. Rolling stop violations on a right turn during a red light account for 60% of the tickets issued by these red light cameras. If I got caught for this I would offer to pay $7.50 because this violation is only one tenth as likely to be the cause of an accident as a straight-through or left turn violation and the fine should reflect the seriousness of the violation. Since that offer would not be accepted I would pay nothing.

    The fact that paying red light camera fines is virtually voluntary is a secret well-kept by the city. There are no consequences for refusal to pay. Vehicle registrations are not denied, credit bureaus are not notified, and no notations are entered into the police criminal data bases for driver or license plate numbers.

    The claims of reducing accidents and saving lives made by red light camera advocates are false. This is proven by nineteen independent studies which are available here:

    http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/studies

    As a ship captain I have never enforced my lawful commands without compassion and a willingness to consider extenuating circumstances. Not so for Ms. Hite who strikes me as being someone who would be quite happy in a world that is ruled by those with the mindset of the Taliban.

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