Friday, November 20, 2009

Red lights, Cameras and Stops Signs

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.

In 1981 a red-light runner slammed into my 1979 Pontiac Bonneville at Decker Drive and Bayway. He hit me broadside doing 60 mph as he flew through. He was in a smaller Pontiac station wagon and it totaled his car. My family was slammed sideways inside the much larger car, but basically okay. We never saw him coming due to a larger truck next to us.

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.


Anonymous said...

I agree!! I don't see the big deal with them. It makes people think twice about running red lights in return avoiding accidents... CR

Anonymous said...

BB --> BBB? Big Brother Bert? Ike

Anonymous said...

Bert, I read your blog regarding this issue and agree 100%. Your City government welcomes being held accountable, but traffic safety has been pleaded for since I arrived,

We appreciate the debate and hope it is based on fact not fantasy.

Garry Brumback

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with the red light cameras ,,its the turning right on red and the stupid thing doesn't think I STOP LONG ENOUGH before I turn.........Barb

H. F. Van Der Grinten said...

The only 100% sure way to beat a red light camera is to be already stopped when the light turns yellow. No matter how slow you go its always a stop or go crap-shoot. Since RLCs do not reduce accidents they amount to nothing more than taxation by the method of random selection. Sooner or later nearly everyone will get a ticket.

Founder, Houston Coalition Against Red Light Cameras

WarHawk said...

Remember when they shorted the yellows to "nail more drivers"
Yah...its there for our safety..uh huh.

Red light cameras are just another way to tax us w/o calling it a tax

Taxation thru Citation has GOT TO STOP!

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...