Even More Caution in Using Red Light Cameras
More data has been revealed that, in my mind, ought to persuade lawmakers to discontinue the use of red light cameras. My opposition to red light cameras is no secret as I have written about it, both in publications and this blog, many times before: here, here, here, here, and here.
If it was not bad enough, as stated in my previous pieces linked above, that red light cameras are potentially unconstitutional, a violation of our civil rights, and making driving more dangerous, it now turns out that what we all suspected may be true, namely: regardless of the pretense of “safety” or keeping people driving appropriately (or whatever else lawmakers say), red light cameras are merely an attempt at making money for the state/commonwealth/government at the expense of motorists.
A new study has now shown that the time duration for an illuminated yellow/caution light on many traffic lights outfitted with red light cameras may have been shortened (shorter than typically expected by an average motorist), presumably in order to cause more drivers to run red lights, get caught by the red light cameras, and drive up the number of tickets issued (and the fines associated with the same).
To make matters worse, there are reports that the red light cameras in Chicago have increased red light tickets by the thousands under, according to the report, “questionable circumstances.” As a result, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is offering additional time to appeal tickets and issuing refunds of fines and penalties.
So, not only do these red light cameras have questionable constitutionality, they are now a rather overt money grab on unsuspecting drivers who are, more or less, being entrapped by local law enforcement.
As the months pass, more and more reasons to discontinue the red light camera program are revealed. When will our legislators do something? I, for one, will pass this along to State Rep. Brian Sims (out of Center City Philadelphia) who is my friend and former co-worker at my law office, as part of my effort to end the red light camera program.