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The Case for Red Light Cameras

February 12, 2011

This has been posted on Streetsblog, but should be seen by everyone everywhere.  It’s a very hard video to watch, but it’s one of the most effective arguments for speed and red light cameras I can imagine.  It’s telling that most of the angry talking heads in this video probably don’t object to the kinds of cameras that are used to manage traffic.  I visited the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority’s control room in Boston and can tell you that they can easily track your every move through the Big Dig tunnels in order to effective manage traffic and respond to accidents.  It would make Big Brother proud.  But use cameras to capture people doing something illegal and people go nuts.

I live on 4th Avenue and can’t possibly count the number of times I see cars run lights long after they’ve turned red or even stop at a red only to ignore it and keep going.  The rule I have for myself, especially when I’m walking with my daughter, is to never cross 4th Avenue until I’ve actually seen the cars stop and have a sense that they’ve seen me about to cross.  If something could be done to reign in the rampant speeding and red light running on 4th Avenue, I’m all for it.  This video makes the case with great power.

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