Friday, July 16, 2010

Ol Yeller'

When people are content and happy with the way things are, they tend not to say anything. But when there's a burr under the saddle, oh, yes, they'll let you know.

Based on Wednesday's column questioning the effectiveness of red-light cameras in Amarillo, I received an e-mail from a friend in Southern California who said a $75 ticket is nothing compared to the one she got for -- get this -- $494. See Thursday's blog for that.

Now James Walker of Ann Arbor, Mich., home to the University of Michigan, checks in. He's head of JCW Consulting, and a member of the National Motorists Association, which has gone on record as opposed to red-light cameras.

Walker questions the motives of the camera vendors while saying more problems would be solved if the yellow light intervals were simply longer.

"If the yellow intervals were lengthened, it would be likely to drop the straight through violations down so far that the uselessness of cameras for safety purposes would be even more evident," he said. "The compliance rate would probably go up so far that the fees to ATS would look like a very foolish fiscal commitment for the city.

"Engineering is the answer to most traffic violation issues, NOT either regular or camera enforcement. ATS and the other camera vendors do not care at all about safety. Indeed safety is counter-productive to their business plan. If there are very few violations, there will be very few crashes, and the camera vendors entire reason to exist will vanish."

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