Government Should Serve Citizens

Houston has been promoting the draconian measure of red light cameras in the city “to increase safety”.

While many of us may be annoyed at that last person squeezing through a red light at 20 miles per hour during rush hour, there have not been any rashes of deadly accidents caused by red light runners.

There are lots of accidents in the city every day. But in a world where we allow people to take a test once at 15 years of age, and to drive with cell phones, hamburgers, make-up, and video displays (not to mentioned unmuzzled children) we are to expect some distracted and incapable drivers.

There was a recent study showing a slight rise in accidents due to red-light running, with a shift from side-on to rear-end.

Also, extending the yellow light duration has a much greater safety effect.

Now, the National Motorist Association (via shows that in 6 cities (two in Texas), the yellow light duration was shorter than the minimum suggested by state traffic safety organizations. Not really surprising. The only goal of red-light cameras is revenue generation.

Municipalities are given a hard sell by the companies who make them (and administer, for a cut of the profit) shaming or forcing our pliable “leaders” to decide to buy them “for the safety of the people”. Houston has even talked about expanding it to people “rolling the red light to turn right”. This is not a major problem!

Traffic lights, signals, and signs have 2 goals: to facilitate traffic flow, and to do so safely. They are not there to punish us, they are not installed to provide revenue. Any camera to surveil the populace is one too many!