Speed and red light cameras were the subjects of a wonderful article in “Epoch Times”
There was an incredibly informative article written by Catherine Yang about speed and red light cameras. Ms. Yang provided gold nuggets of knowledge we ought to know about. Here are some common misconceptions we may harbor about these candid cameras.
- New York City’s was allotted 20-speed cameras
- NYC has a number of red light cameras that need reauthorization from the state this year [Did you know it was a pilot program that required reauthorization?]
- Currently, the city is allowed red light cameras at 150 intersections with undisclosed locations [Did you know the NY Legislature sets a limit?]
- According to the New York Department of Transportation, there was a 56 percent decrease in serious injuries and a 40–60 percent drop in red-light violations at intersections with red light cameras [Did you think red light cameras really worked? What about the danger of rear-end accidents when the lead car stops suddenly to obey the red light?]
- Two state bills were passed last month to the Transportation committees in the Senate and Assembly. Assemblyman Carl Heastie proposed an amendment to increase the 150 intersections to 225 and to reauthorize the program. Sen. Tony Avella proposed to increase the number of cameras to 250 and later stated that he will seek to make this “pilot program” permanent [I didn’t know that, did you?]
- The red light pilot program is scheduled to expire in 2014, without reauthorization [Do you think the red light program will expire?]
- New York was the first city in the United States to use red light cameras as traffic enforcement in 1992. From 1994 to 2009, NYC earned $89 million from the program [The first and probably the richest return on its investment. [Maybe the cameras should hook up to Instagram or Snapchat and post on social media?]
- In the past two weeks, 900 speeding tickets were generated by the six-speed cameras, the DOT announced on Jan. 31. The city is permitted to install 20 in total as a pilot program, but residents said it is not enough [Do you want more speed cameras?]
- At a community board meeting with the DOT in January, residents had asked for a traffic camera at the recently dangerous intersection of West 96th Street and Broadway. Ryan Russo with the DOT had responded that would mean taking a camera away from another intersection [Since there is a limit set by Albany, to add a camera at one location requires removing a camera from another intersection]
- “This is another clear example of where NYC needs home rule,” said Keegan Stephan of Right of Way. “If … drivers knew they would get tickets when they speed or run red lights, these rampant, deadly traffic violations would finally come to an end” [Why should Albany set the speed limits for NYC?]
Here’s a link to the full article, which is well-worth your valuable time to peruse.
You may recall how Mayor Bloomberg spent years battling with Albany for authorization to install traffic cameras. I lost sight of the fact that New York State not New York City controls:
- Permission to use traffic camera’s
- The number of intersections where cameras can be installed
- Whether or not to reauthorize the “pilot program”
- The speed limits in New York City
It seems that red light and speed cameras are ubiquitous in cities all over the world. But, many people to this day remain uncomfortable with a “big brother is watching” approach to city living.
What do you think? Do the benefits bestowed upon law enforcement and the chilling effect these cameras have on bad behavior trump privacy considerations? (Think Boston Marathon).
Can you beat a red light camera? Read about how one driver did the impossible.
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