Health Matters by Dr Charles Fiscella
Red lights not helping drivers - shorter yellow light time means more tickets for drivers
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 01:47 PM
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As many motorists have suspected, the red light cameras located at various intersections, may not be fair to drivers. Motorists have complained that the red lights pop up before they can safely come to a stop. Shortening the yellow light time will obviously cause more drivers to pass a red light. Now, officials from The New Jersey Department of Transportation have found that 21 cities in their state may have done just that.
Investigators have found that 63 of 85 photo ticketing intersections did not meet the legal requirements for the timing of yellow lights, causing drivers to be ticketed. Officials have now prohibited ticketing at these locations until the lights can be recertified.
Speaking of the problem, The New Jersey Department of Transportation issued a statement saying:
"It has come to the attention of the department that the pilot program legislation specifies a formula to determine the proper duration of the yellow light in a traffic signal that differs from the legally required, nationally accepted formula that The New Jersey Department of Transportation or municipalities use when installing traffic signals."
Citizens were told that red light cameras were designed for the purpose of improving public safety. But for all too many municipalities, these devices have become instruments for raising revenue at the expense of public safety. When motorists learn where the photo ticketing intersections are, they either speed up or jam on their brakes at the very site of a yellow light for fear of being cited. This creates a real danger for other drivers and pedestrians.
A Washington Post analysis of crash statistics showed that the number of accidents went up at intersections with the cameras. The increase proved to be the same or worse than at traffic signals without the devices.
Do politicians really think that their constituencies are so stupid as to believe that these cameras are making them safer? Everyone knows that red light cameras are an unsafe scam designed to rob money from many innocent people, some who can ill afford it.
Take note: The New York State Legislature is now considering the use of speed cameras.
Haven’t we had enough?