Candid camera returns

28 Feb

redlight-bitch-sizedLet’s see how much you care…

Red
Light
Cameras

Love ’em or hate ’em, everyone has an opinion.

There’s a move afoot to put them back in Honolulu.

We had some at one time but they were never turned on.

It was all part of the “Van Cam” disaster that upset a lot of people.

But red light cameras may be returning.

It’s not a real bad idea considering how many people run red lights while the rest of us were able to stop just fine.

Before you write your fan mail – be aware there’s a down side.

In San Francisco – it turns out a lot of the tickets that result from being caught on camera don’t hold up in court.

A bunch are thrown out before they’re even mailed because of questions about accuracy.

That raises questions about the cameras themselves — how effective are they and are they worth installing when the cities pay so much money for them?

The city doesn’t install them – it signs a contract with a company that installs them.

Someone runs a red light the company sends them a ticket for a lot of money – and keeps a hefty percentage.

It’s a money-maker for everyone.

A good reason to nail a lot of people going down the road.

In San Mateo, almost half of all red light camera tickets are voided without the drivers even knowing.

Forty-two percent are tossed out during the review process by the camera maker and police.

And most other cities with cameras also have similar statistics for tickets that are rejected.

Chicago has cancelled its red light camera contract, but mostly because the camera company got caught spreading money around.

But that’s Chicago, God love ’em.

redLightCamera-stats-sizedSo, do they work?

Yes…

In Florida and New Jersey, the number of intersection crashes went down during the first year cameras were introduced.

And no…

The number rear-end collisions went up.

In both cases, the number of more violent and greater injury-causing accidents increased.

One could draw the conclusion that drivers are acting more stupid around the cameras.

What every city has learned is they forgot to look at the length of yellow lights that came before the red light.

It seems drivers didn’t have enough time to stop before going through a red light, so they slammed on their brakes or ended up running the red light.

Do we need them?

We need something and having a cop on each corner ain’t in the cards.

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