Red light cameras have been a series of debate since its debut in September of last year. The cameras, which are used in other states such as California, have been a constant headache city council and drivers because of the technical problems that went into the proposal.
While the mayor and city officials felt that placing red light cameras in the most accident- prone areas in Houston is a life- saver, many drivers are feeling that the city are trying to find more ways to dwindle money of their checkbooks. The $75 dollar fine, which is mailed to the owner of the vehicle photographed, has generated over 40,000 violations since the cameras been put up. Makes you wonder why people just don't stop at the red light. One man, Michael Kubosh, a bails bondman, was so disgruntled by the whole camera dilemma, took his case to court after he was stopped by an officer for running a red light. Kubosh states he ran the light to "contest a ticket in court." I guess he's one of those drivers that feel the city is only looking out for themselves and not to improve drivers' safety. If a person decides not to pay the violation, she could be facing calls from collection agencies wanting their money. People were outraged by this notion because how could a traffic ticket be placed on a credit report. Officials are reconsidering the collections option and now passed a bill to not force traffic violations to appear on a person's credit. That action won't start until September 1st.
Even though placing red light cameras at the busiest and most dangerous intersections are a valuable factor that city officials could have thought of, there are a few concerns that should be looked upon. For starters, accidents. The city claims that having cameras will avoid accidents at intersections. But have it occurred to officers or officials that an accident can happen when a driver is trying to avoid the camera and not going through a light. A person can easily cause a collision if he slams on his brakes to avoid running the light. So officials should propose a better system with traffic lights, that way it would not lead to an accident. Statistics from Houston Police taken from 11 intersections from the start of the project conclude that accidents in seven intersections have decreased, while four increased. Even though red light cameras are used to protect drivers, it shows that people will still disobey the law no matter what's in front of them.
Now suburbs are joining in the camera craze and putting lights in areas where drivers violate the most. The city of Sugar Land announced Wednesday that they approved a bill to install four red-light cameras at Highway 6 and Highway 59, Highway 6 at Lexington Boulevard, Highway 59 and Williams Trace Boulevard, West Airport Boulevard at Eldridge Parkway. A trial period will begin on September 1st, and tickets will be issued to violators in October.
As for the money being collected, it is going toward worthwhile causes. Half of the fine paid goes into the state and into the city to enforce more traffic programs to improve our city streets. So the money is not being put into officials' pockets or into useless projects.
So are red-light cameras improving our streets and preventing people from getting involved in fatalities that could end deadly? Well the city made be on the right track, but it going to take a lot more than a few cameras in random areas to end the problem with reckless driving.
WORLD - CITY LIVING
Copyright © 2010 Sheena B
Red Light Cameras: Accident Reductor or Money- Maker
Copyright © 2010 Sheena B
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