Letters to the editor in “Star’s” 02-20-13 letters to the editor express unqualified support for Sugar Land’s red light cameras. They ignore the fact that overzealous law enforcement must not be allowed to go unchallenged. Strict enforcement of the law should always be tempered by compassion, a willingness to consider extenuating circumstances and the American tradition of deeming all accused persons to be innocent until proven guilty. These caveats are ignored by the advocates for this enforcement program.
The city provides no assistance to drivers in always making a 100% correct stop or go decision at the moment a traffic light changes from green to yellow. The city was found using a short yellow for many months at the RLC enforced traffic light on westbound W Airport and Eldridge. This error was corrected but the city refused to refund the fines paid on account of the short yellow. The number of violations at this intersection decreased by 20% when the yellow time was increased by half a second.
Increasing yellow times by one second above the state required minimum is known to significantly reduce the number of violations but the city has refused to implement this measure.
Rolling stop violations on a right turn are only one tenth as likely to be the cause of an accident compared to straight through or left turn violations. Many traffic engineers recognize that this full-stop requirement is too restrictive and could be safely modified. My request to have the fine reduced for this violation has been denied.
This enforcement program assumes that the owner of the offending vehicle is guilty of the violation and must prove otherwise to avoid the fine. This directly subverts our American tradition of justice.
The city refuses to temper its RLC enforcement program. So, to safeguard our freedom we must oppose this abuse.
H.F. Van Der Gritten