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.
Sarah Palin laid bare
Hopefully this will be my last Sarah Palin post. I just wanted to make sure to point out today’s New York Times front page article on her record in Alaska. Nobody who’s read it can argue that she’s anything but the typical Alaska politician. She’s a pursuer of vendettas, hirer of cronies, and tinpot autocrat, and there’s a damn good chance she’ll be the next Vice President of the United States.
Oh, and to an address a talking point I’m tired of hearing, running against an incumbent from your own party doesn’t make you anything other than ambitious. How do people think Barack Obama got his start in politics?
Finally, if you have an insatiable appetite for criticism of John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, read Andrew Sullivan.