Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More about Traffic Cameras

Did you get it yet?
I hate Traffic Cameras.
The more I read about them, the more I think about them, the more they represent a symbol of greed by inefficient government, resourceful when it comes to overwhelm citizens with new and creative types of taxation, stingy when it amounts to services provided. Here is another story on CBS4.com about Red Light Cameras in South Florida:

Hallandale Beach Red Light Cam Generates Big Bucks
The City of Miami Beach is expected to add 15 new red light cameras after a vote Wednesday night. The city currently has 10, and assistant City Manager Robert Middaugh says the cameras reduce traffic crashes and promote safer driving.
"It really does create a heightened awareness as people go up and down the streets to pay attention to the intersections and pay attention to the traffic laws," Middaugh said.
While Miami Beach plans to add cameras, Hallandale Beach Commissioner Keith London wants to get rid of the only red light camera in his city. He calls it a hidden tax.
"It's a speed trap, it's a red light traffic trap. It's about the revenue, it's not about public safety," London said.
CBS4's Natalia Zea did some checking and found that Miami Beach issues an average of 1,000 tickets a month, but that is small potatoes compared to Hallandale Beach's camera at the intersection of US-1 and Hallandale Beach Boulevard.
The one red light camera there is giving out an average of 700 more tickets every month than all 10 of Miami Beach's cameras combined.
Hallandale is making a killing off those tickets to the tune of $1 million since January. Some drivers were furious to learn that.
But Hallandale Beach police said there are simply more drivers making rolling turns on red lights at their intersection. 93 percent of the tickets they've issued were for that violation. CBS4's cameras caught plenty of people rolling right on the red.
Middaugh believes Hallandale officers reviewing the video footage and issuing the tickets are stricter on the rolling right turns than Miami Beach cops.
"We're not writing as many tickets as the others and that's okay. We didn't do this for revenue, we did this to reduce intersection accidents," Middaugh said.
Hallandale police deny that. Either way, some drivers we spoke with like Bob Mendola say no matter the speed, the intersection, or the camera the law is the law.
"If it's the law and you break it, you should be ticketed.

I got it Big Brother.

Henry B. Nathan is a Florida Realtor at United Realty Group Inc.

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