Red Light Special

Before I launch into a rant about traffic measures let me state that I have not been the victim of a ticket. I am stating my righteous indignation over an unjust system that decreases safety and inconveniences many. If you total the time I have spent at unnecessary stop lights it would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 hours 22 minutes. There are 2 unnecessary stoplights that I go through on the way to work to avoid traffic. The purpose of these stop light can be nothing more than to garner revenue and calm traffic, as the predominant traffic flow is in two directions. I invariably have to stop at a stop light on my way to work, regardless of whether there are pedestrians or cars coming from a perpendicular direction. While I do enjoy the time to adjust my radio/cd player (I am to poor to afford an ipod doohickey), is it really necessary. With Maryland pondering putting in automatic cameras that would catch speeders and people who run red lights, this is not simply a personal issue that I am griping about, but a pending legislative issue whose repercussions will be felt throughout the state. Police officers are opposed to the new cameras as they remove the human element of judgement from the equation. The police officers raise a valid point. What if your car is stolen and then photographed going through mutliple red lights while speeding? Because the vehicle is registered in your name you will be made a double victim of unfortunate circumtances. How about if you are pregnant or injured and on your way to the hospital? Then there is the issue of the relativity of what constitutes a criminal act. What is endangering the public as opposed to going over the speed limit? Does driving 3 miles over the limit constitute a crime? What if the spedometer in your car is inaccurate? Is there a margin of error involved in the RFID process? If so what is that margin of error? I am not alone in my concern over this issue and this not just an issue in podunk albeit cultured towns like Annapolis. Union City, CA, Dallas and Lubbock, TX, Nashville and Chatanooga, TN, and Springfield, MO have tampered with the yellow light cycles on cameras placing them below the legal time limit and decreasing public safety for profit. My concern is that my town might one day too start to fall down the slippery slope and use such infernal machinations to generate profit. The cost of insurance, public safety, health care and ticket expenses lumped on the public make this not only a losing venture for the people, but for local governments as well. Consider this my equivalent of a “I slept late and missed the bus post.”