Friday, September 26, 2008
Lately I have noticed several traffic lights being installed in the Austin area where I live. The lights are being installed with a surveillance camera to provide a deterrent against motorist running red lights. As much as politicians want to argue for the safety of the children, red light cameras do not deter people from running red lights. The truth is that red light cameras increase accidents.
Five independent studies have all concluded that traffic signal cameras actually cause more accidents than they help prevent. That’s right red light camera’s are ineffective in deterring motorist from running the signal when red. I have included a link to the National Motorist Associations website that explains the studies.
If the elected officials really want to deter accidents there are five ways that are MUCH safer than cameras and less expensive.
1. Increase yellow light times – proven to work in California and Virginia.
2. Add an all red clearance interval – this is a brief period where all lights are red. This is being used in Detroit.
3. Make all traffic lights more visible by making them larger – Michigan made some of their lights 50% larger and has seen great results.
4. Improve intersections – repaint markings, improve signage, add more traffic lights, build new turn lanes, add advanced warning lights at high speed intersections.
5. Re time Traffic signals
Local officials are assuming more power these days then ever before. They are violating our privacy and using surveillance cameras to generate revenue instead of actually making our roads safer. The Chief of Police in Austin, TX recently made a statement saying that he was going to push for his officers to be able to draw blood from suspected DWI/DUI offenders. Without search warrants and involuntarily. He said it would save tax payers money. Do not be fooled with this or red light camera's. The Constitution is not here to protect you but rather you are here to protect the Constitution.