Reading the Opinion Column in Mondays April 15 edition of The Times Union Jacksonville Florida, I was surprised to see diane dimond (sic) of creators syndicate advocating the removal of automated stop light camera ticketing use in areas that apparently (according to her own testimony) need them the most. She started by admitting that she has broken the law at least three times by running red lights and was unaware of her transgressions until the automated system notified her. As I understand things, that is exactly the reason for installing the systems in the first place. People are developing dangerously poor driving habits while oblivious to the fact that they are endangering the lives of other drivers and pedestrians through their careless disregard for traffic signals.
diane(sic) cites an administration study concluding that red light cameras cause more rear end collisions “as wary drivers suddenly slam on their brakes at intersections.” My dictionary defines wary as -cautious and alert for problems-, not suddenly surprised to find you are operating a moving vehicle too fast to react to a traffic signal changing from green to yellow so that you can slow down safely.
Driving on public highways has always been a dynamic environment requiring a driver to pay attention to all circumstances that may present danger. The privilege of driving usually starts with instruction about approaching a stale green light before you can pass a test proving you have the skills to operate a moving vehicle in public. Red light cameras do not cause the collisions; drivers who were not paying attention and panic cause the collisions. The cameras were placed at those intersections for the express purpose of notifying drivers with poor skills or negligent habits that they are a danger to the rest of the public that shares those roads.
Perhaps shorter yellow light time is what is needed to knock some sense into people that continuously disregard the system of traffic signals. Signals that are needed to allow for a safe flow of traffic should not be circumvented for the convenience of a few drivers that wrongly feel they have a right to disregard my safety. Many times I hear that people do what they know to be wrong because it was not convenient to do the right thing. Selfish is what selfish does if you catch my meaning.
The closing remark of her opinion was “Drivers beware”; in the context of her writing apparently meaning you need to watch out you do not get a ticket for doing the things you normally do all the time. Endangering the lives of school children and other drivers is not something you should be doing all the time. Better to start taking responsibility for your actions and change how you operate a moving vehicle. I say “Drivers be AWARE!”
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