Bob Barr’s editorial column in the May 30 MDJ takes issue with red light cameras, saying that they are being used primarily to induce fines as sources of revenue for local or state governments. He further states that studies have shown that “ ... As the number of citations issued for running a red light at such locations increased dramatically, so too did accidents.” However, he neglects to add that the same studies have shown that even though the numbers of fender bending accidents have increased, there have been far fewer accidents resulting in injuries and deaths.
When I got my driver’s license, the law stated that when the yellow light is displayed, “one is required to stop if he/she can do so safely.”Anyone who drives in the metro Atlanta area has noted that many drivers ignore the yellow light warning that a red light is about to display, and I have observed that after I have come through a yellow light thinking that I was “stretching things,” in my rear-view mirror I have seen following drivers who ignore the red light for three seconds or more. Accidents that occur at these intersections when speeding vehicles collide often result in severe injuries and/or deaths. My thinking is that if the red light cameras reduce those types of accidents, they definitely serve their purpose.
And in regard to his concern about scofflaws having to pay fines which support local and/or state governments, I would ask what’s wrong with collecting money from lawbreakers rather than taxpayers?
DMD, Col., U.S. Army retired