Bruce Schneier flags a post about the ineffectiveness of red light cameras. Unfortunately, because cities find the cameras to be a useful source of revenue, I doubt we’ll be seeing them disappear anytime soon. I’ve seriously considered running for city council or county commissioner on the sole issue of getting rid of them.
Not only do I hate the general level of anxiety they cause for drivers at the intersections where they’re posted, but I also hate that they condition people to accept being constantly, passively observed for potential violations of the law.
Big companies and the government both suck, particularly when they work together. The insurance companies are evil:
The IIHS, funded by automobile insurance companies, is the leading advocate for red-light cameras since insurance companies can profit from red-light cameras by way of higher premiums due to increased crashes and citations.
And so are city governments:
In fact, six U.S. cities have been found guilty of shortening the yellow light cycles below what is allowed by law on intersections equipped with cameras meant to catch red-light runners. Those local governments have completely ignored the safety benefit of increasing the yellow light time and decided to install red-light cameras, shorten the yellow light duration, and collect the profits instead.
More people will die thanks to red light cameras, but surely that’s justified by increasing government revenue without “raising taxes” and more profit for the auto insurance industry.
Here are more details on the six cities that have been caught shortening yellow lights to raise red light camera revenue.