Last week, NewsChannel 11 broke the news that just as city leaders are set to install red light cameras, some of the yellow lights at these intersections are too short.
Why do I care? There are two reasons.
First, it seems to me the shorter the yellow light, the more dangerous the intersection. That means we've put drivers at a higher risk of running into each other by setting yellow light times shorter than the national standard.
Second, the credibility of the entire traffic system is now in question. As a driver, I wonder what other unnecessary dangers I am facing out there. I'm sure all of the traffic engineers and city council would agree that we want safer intersections, not the opposite.
However, there is another factor here...money! According to this budget ordinance, city hall has already planned to make at least $1.5 million a year on red light tickets, at the very intersections that are now in question. It's scary to think the city stands to make big money off a flawed and possibly dangerous traffic system.
So consider this, I suggest not one single camera be installed until they can guarantee that every single intersection not just meet, but exceed, the national safety standard. This, according to our traffic engineer, is one second for every 10 miles an hour of the posted speed limit. It is clear that is not the case now.
Perhaps the result would be, Heaven forbid, safer streets and less money for city hall.
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