Cities Put Revenue Over Driver Safety
from the looking-out-for-us dept
Several studies have shown that red light cameras, designed to catch people who run red lights, are in fact dangerous themselves. Drivers approaching yellow lights instinctively slam on their brakes when they see a camera (just to be on the safe side), which then leads to more accidents. Of course, this hasn't stopped cities from installing them, particularly since they represent a lucrative source of revenue. In fact, the pursuit of more revenue has led some places to shorten the length of yellow lights to increase the chances of someone getting caught running a red. Disturbingly, this practice looks like it might be somewhat common. In Lubbock, Texas, it was found that most of the intersections where the city was planning on installing cameras had shorter yellow lights than safety guidelines suggested. And this doesn't appear to be a coincidence. The city engineer actually told the city council that he would not increase the length of yellow lights, so as not to eat into the city's ticket revenue. There's really no other way to view this than to say that the city doesn't mind if more people die in accidents, as long as its ticket revenue stays high.