Thursday, August 07, 2008

Red Light Camera Lies
While the implementation of red light cameras may vary in the many cities in the 30+ states that use them, this is about Cincinnati.
There was a presentation to the Law and Public Safety Committee on the topic on 8-5-08. It can be found on CitiCable.
#1 The city will use valuable tax dollars to purchase the expensive cameras.
The cameras and their installation will be free.
#2 The ticketing process is entirely automated.
All evidence is reviewed by a Cincinnati law enforcement officer before a citation is issued.
#3 You must pay a fine before you can challenge a ticket.
When you are notified by mail, you will have the option to pay or challenge.
An estimate of 2% of citations are challenged. No number was given on the success rate of challenges.
#4 If someone else is driving the car and runs a light, the owner will be held responsible.
This can also be challenged.
(honestly, if the person you loaned the car to won't stand up and defend you, you have more serious problems than a traffic ticket)
#5 People stopping for red lights cause accidents.
This was dismissed in the meeting but a national study by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration was cited that said, nationwide, minor rear end collisions increased slightly while "T-bone" collisions that incurred greater damage and injury as well as death and dismemberment decreased significantly at intersections monitored with cameras.
#6 Cameras will be placed in predominantly black neighborhoods in an attempt to harass, control and generally victimize black people.
The intersections chosen will be picked by looking at traffic accident data only.
The notion that photographing a driver out on public roadways is somehow a violation of his civil rights and that using the cameras would open up the city to expensive lawsuits are pretty wild and were not even discussed.
The idea that photographing a person steals their soul was not discussed either.
A study was recently conducted that said 77% of the local population would vote against a referendum to prohibit the cameras. Part of the survey asked the 23% of respondents who were against the cameras if they would change their minds if they knew the cameras were provided and and installed for free. Approximately 25% of them said they would.
Apparently the spreading of the red light camera lies is going well.

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