Letter to the editor
I read with great interest the article "Battle lines form over red-light cameras" in the September issue of Government
We worked with the Texas legislature to change the laws this session
to allow the cameras in Texas, but we were not successful this time. Red-light
cameras are a cost-effective way to prevent collisions, save lives, reduce
injuries, save money and increase voluntary compliance, which are all goals
of an effective traffic safety program in a community. Now, some people
want to cite privacy concerns. What privacy is being violated when an OFFENDER
is photographed on a public street? If you don't want to be photographed,
don't run the light!
Another criticism for the camera systems was that they cause an increase
in rear-end collisions. The real reason for a rear-end collision is failure
of the following driver to control his speed, and following too closely.
Busy intersections are difficult areas in which to enforce the law regarding
red lights. Many times, an officer in a car or on a motorcycle attempting
to enforce the law creates a greater danger to the public than the harm
he is seeking to prevent. There are some other issues raised in the article
that require thought, but the systems are beneficial and seem to have public
support. The thorny issues can be worked out, and it is time to do that.
James Nowak Lufkin, Texas, Police Department