I have no problem with the red light cameras, because I made up my mind a long time ago to come to a complete stop before turning right or gauge the distance to the light to give myself time to stop before the yellow light changes.
Without the red light cameras it goes back to the free-for-all attitude we’ve witnessed for years and that is one thing I do not want to see return.
This town has been subject to poor driving habits for years and when the Baytown Concerned Citizens first met at El Toro’s on Garth road, we asked the city to crack down on crime and do whatever it takes to bring law and order back. I stood before a very hostile crowd along with city officials and BPD and asked them to crack down on traffic problems.
As the spokesman for BCC, I plainly stated the well-known fact that the easiest way to catch a criminal is through moving vehicle violations. Criminals have no regard for the law and routinely break traffic laws. That explains why someone hauling 50 pounds of cocaine will get pulled over for speeding.
One of the ways the city responded was to install red light cameras and if there is a learning curve, then so be it. Speeding through red lights or turning on red without stopping first is a crime and guess what? - it has consequences. We are getting what we asked for - a return to law and order.
The reason there has been a slight increase in accidents related to the red light cameras is the character behind the one that decides to stop instead of risking a ticket, has every intention of going through the light and is going too fast and too close to stop.
Call it any way you want, but the fault lies in the second driver’s poor skills and habits, not the camera, the stopping motorist, the speed limit or the light’s timing.
If the speed limit is 40 or 45mph, the driver still has the responsibility to reduce their speed to accommodate the lights. That’s basic driving education and this fact has gone out the window with the advent of better brakes and more hemi-powered cars. It appears the accelerator trumps the brake pedal, doesn’t it?
A Baytonian has set up a website to force the city through petition to take down the red light cameras. It is located here. You decide.
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