Red-light cameras have monitored some Dallas intersections for about four years now. They’ve also pumped a fairly significant chunk of change in to city coffers.
To the former, I say huzzah. To the later, I say, yeah, so? It ain't my money.
Opponents, according to an article in today’s Dallas Morning News, say cities such as Dallas and Houston use the cameras simply as a revenue-generating mechanism, and all the talk about public safety is just so much blowing of the smoke. At the risk of repeating myself, yeah, so?
State lawmakers plan to try again to ban the cameras after a failed attempt last year, according to the article.
"There is a backlash, for sure," state Rep. Solomon Ortiz Jr., D-Corpus Christi, who co-sponsored the anti-camera push, was quoted as saying. "City budgeters are counting on these fines as a revenue stream and simply using the argument of safety as cover."
I live within about a mile or two from two major intersections covered by the cameras. Just in my unscientific, completely anecdotal, visual research, I’d say the occurrences of running the lights there have dropped by about 25 percent to 30 percent since the cameras went in.
For so long around here, a just-turned red light meant, "OK, only four more cars. Five if I’m the fifth one in line." I’m pretty glad to see that line of thinking at least thought twice now when red-light cameras are present.
Could it be that the people claiming foul also got popped running a red light? Just asking.
Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He always obeys every traffic law as far as you know.