They… told you it was for your safety. They… told you it was for your own good. They… told you it was never for revenue. They… told me I could still graduate on time. They… told me this would not show up on my permanent record. They lied, and we have the proof.
‘It’ are red light cameras.
Guess what, these folks say you are not safer. Who are these folks? Gee… only the National Motherfucking Motorist Association.** How is it not safer to have red light cameras? Because you shitty drivers are looking up too late, and slamming on the brakes. Worse? You aren’t slamming on the brakes to avoid breaking the law. Nope. You aren’t slamming on the brakes to keep the intersection safe and clear. Were that the case, these cameras would have no impact. No, people are slamming on their brakes to avoid getting the ticket. This, then, causes a collision behind you… from the other dumbasses driving too fast and following too close.
Some reports, like this one, go so far as to say:
Convincing, right? Not remotely! This is the internet. That means I can find a guy who can prove that they do save lives. Aw heck, this is the internet. I can find a guy who can prove red light cameras cause herpes. Sorry, that is what I told my high school girlfriend. Back to my point, these guys say it’s a FACT that red light cameras save lives.
It’s just like everyone says, you can’t trust the media. My sources, though, are aces. I no longer use my buddy Brad. Despite that fact that Brad claims his facts are “100% factual, actual, and snactual, bro”… I have begun looking for better citations, lest people not take me seriously. That top one… it’s from the Washington Post. That is a seriously respected newspaper… if nothing else because it lives in DC… where our lawmakers live. This means, by default, it is the newspaper that influences congress. So, let’s look closely at this seeming contradiction. We’ll get to congress soon enough. Maybe it was just a reprint from the AP.
Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. The WaPo staff writers say these cameras fail to reduce accidents. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking stuff out of context. Let’s look at the other side, now.
Well, we have established this much… the Washington Post is an asshole. You know who they should hire? Brad! The reason I was writing this piece is an indictment against red light cameras. That whole Washington Post thing really just happened as I was researching the National Motorist Association angle. It was so absurd I had to share it with you… and it literally unfolded in process.
THIS is the story I wanted to tell. I read it today in the Denver Post, but it’s from a newswire service. It’s about communities where red light cameras were banned by voters. Those police departments are BROKE. Dead broke. How broke? Like… you don’t even want to live there because they had to sell off their police cars because they could not afford them after they lost red light camera revenue. Don’t believe me? You shouldn’t. Believe these guys, though. (Crap, I was really hoping I could source WaPo again, but they don’t use this press service. L )
Nassau County on Long Island ended its program after speed cameras led to the issuance of more than 400,000 tickets in less than two months, opening a $90 million budget hole over the next three years. In Ohio, Dayton is cutting in half its number of police cruisers, and Linden, New Jersey, is shelving plans to hire more cops after both states effectively ended camera systems following a backlash from motorists.
400,000 tickets in 2 months? What the fucking fuck? That has NOTHING IN THE WORLD to do with public safety. I can prove it, because now that these communities can’t use photo radar, they went broke. They stopped buying cop cars and hiring cops. Ironically, if you had more cops and cruisers you could write more tickets.
My personal feelings about them? I am ambivalent, and here is why; I don’t run red lights, ever. EVER. I am not patting myself on the back, or even calling myself a good driver. I speed, I drive aggressively, and I tailgate constantly. I am not a good driver. Still, though, I don’t ever ever run red lights. Neither should you, asshole. I am calling you an asshole because the reason to not run red lights isn’t about getting a ticket. It is about not fucking killing someone. If you are running red lights at your own discretion, I want you to get tickets. More, I want you in jail. You don’t get to drive. This is what happens. Still, though, these cameras are bullshit and pure revenue generators.
Will anyone take a stand and make an empirical decision on red light cameras, before I have to? Let’s ask Congress:
That little gem is from senator Bill Seitz.*** “Some” and “perhaps” are pretty big qualifiers. That much hedging basically negates the premise, watch; “there is some evidence that alcohol causes pregnancy”. That is true. In a very round about way, alcohol consumption contributes to similar reckless behavior like unprotected sex. However, alcohol itself does not make babies. Trust me, I tried it in a petri dish years ago, after mis-reading a Biology presentation. It’s a slippery slope, indeed.
In closing, I have an editorial aside. These communities clearly voted down red light cameras? How did they do that? Is that really something we should get to vote on? Isn’t everyone going to say no? Can we vote on speeding tickets, too? Let’s vote on parking tickets, as well. Oooh, and people who burn microwave popcorn (Tanya C, I am looking in your direction).
** for reasons of journalistic integrity, I confess that I added the ‘motherfucking’ to their title.
*** remember that scene in ‘That Thing you Do’ where Tom Hanks says about the local promoter “that guy is the biggest cootie I have ever seen”? This photo reminds me of that. I didn’t try and pick an unflattering photo, either. This is this guy’s official congressional head shot.