by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 17th 2009 6:31pm
We've seen that, thanks to the economy, states like Maryland and New York are ramping up programs for speed and red light cameras. However, that's not true of all places. Mississippi recently went the other direction and banned such traffic cameras, following a similar backlash in Arizona. A recent Wall Street Journal article takes a look at all of this (including the fact that some of the bigger traffic camera companies are based in Arizona) and raises the key question: why won't local governments just increase the length of yellow lights on traffic signals. That, alone, would save numerous accidents (and lives). Yet, many governments have been doing the exact opposite: putting lives at risk, just to bring in more revenue (often to pay off those private companies that installed the cameras). On top of that, there are still plenty of locations that don't leave any pause between switching lights between cross traffic. Here in California, for example, it's quite rare for there to be any pause between a light turning red in one direction, and the perpendicular traffic light turning green. Studies have shown that a slight pause -- where all directions are red -- decreases the number of accidents as well. And yet... governments focus on using traffic cameras solely to increase revenue.
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