Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Red Light Scam comes to Shreveport

The Times published an editorial this morning favoring cameras at intersections for red light enforcement. Councilman Calvin Lester is pushing the initiative. Here is an excerpt from the Times editorial.

"Motorists who feel the need to speed through red lights could be in for a rude awakening if the Shreveport City Council approves the use of red-light cameras at busy intersections.Indeed, drivers who run red lights consistently jeopardize the safety and lives of others. Strategies that can pass constitutional and fairness standards are worthy of review in order to improve safety on city streets.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 22 percent of all traffic accidents in the United States are caused by drivers running red lights. Not only that, these accidents kill nearly 1,000 people yearly and cost an estimated $7 billion dollars in property damage, medical bills, lost productivity and insurance hikes.Though many motorists wouldn't balk at a police officer at problem intersections, skeptics and those who hold technology suspect have sidelined attempts to install the cameras — a policing tool — in some cities.In 2001, House Bill 1591, which would have allowed Louisiana municipalities to install cameras to take pictures of traffic violators' license plates, died a quick death.Some House members objected, saying Big Brother would essentially be enforcing laws by remote control, giving the public little if any means with which to defend themselves."

This has been a real problem for several municipalities already. Check out some of these from We Saw That.

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