Red Light Cameras… Mr. Orwell I am ready for my closeup
Ironically, in a culture of ego satisfying selfie-sticks, Americans are getting more and more paranoid about having their photo taken, especially if it’s at an intersection that they just blew through while texting their pal about tonight’s game or “Liking” what a friend just had for breakfast on Facebook. Bottom line is, if Big Brother is the photographer, American’s aren’t ready to order an 8 by 10 glossy with a wallet size pic to go with it.
But what if these Red Light Cameras are reducing traffic accidents, increasing traffic flow and at the same time adding to the coffers of local cities? Can’t you simply adhere to the sage advice of Jim Morrison of The Doors and Keep Your Eyes On The Road, Your Hands Upon The Wheel? And not on your Phone, Pad, Pod or Droid?
Let’s go to Chicago, a city with more cameras on their drivers than Caitlyn, Kanye and the rest of the Kardashian clan combined or about 350 shutters to be precise. The people behind the cameras claim an almost 50% reduction in T-Bone crashes while a Chicago Tribune Study put the number around 15% or about the same you would tip for a T-Bone at a below average steakhouse. (please refer to this excellent article from The Chicago Tribune http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-red-light-camera-ticket-spikes-met-20140717-story.html#page=1) While we are not trying to diminish the 15% reduction in these dangerous accidents, the study goes on to point out that other types of accidents may actually be increased.
Now let’s go from paranoia to pocketbooks… in Chicago a red light camera ticket can nail you for 100 dollars or about 40 Venti’s at Starbucks with a bit left for the tip jar. In California the fine is around 450 dollars for running the red or about the cost of a colonoscopy if you have a decent deductible.
There have also been allegations of wide spread fraud and corruption when it comes to where the Red Light Money goes, kind of a turn-your-head-and-coffer deal where us adverse taxpayers all end up taking it in the shorts. Once again please refer to the Tribune article.
The best bet is to follow Mr. Mojo Risin’s words, and be careful… turn the radio up, hands on the wheel and leave the Phone, Pod, Pad and Droid to moments that are appropriate, like at dinner with your family. Don’t get those Roadhouse or Courthouse Blues and be sure to make your thoughts on Red Light Cameras clear to your local lawmakers and to us at horsepoweronline.com. Let’s roll baby roll.