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.