Running red lights is something that we have all been guilty of at some point in our lives. Though we may not want to admit it to our parents, running red lights is something that typically starts at an early age; and once you’ve gotten away with it once, chances are that you will do it again. However, the planning and implementation or red light cameras has slowed many of us down. But is this a good idea?
Red signal cameras first started popping up a few years ago. It was ingenious idea really. The thought behind these light cameras was that police officers and other local law enforcement officials would be able to catch people who were speeding through red lights even if they weren’t actually there to witness it themselves. In order for the red light cameras to work, the wheels of your car have to be over a certain point in the intersection or at the start of the intersection. It is at this point in the intersection that there is a sensor underneath the roadway that trips a sensor in the camera for the red light. As the light turns red and the sensor is tripped, a strategically placed camera goes off and takes a crystal clear picture of your vehicle going through the stop light as well as a picture of your license plate to confirm that it is, in fact, your car that was breaking the law.
The downsides to the red light camera idea are numerous. For starters, be careful of who you loan your car out to. In the event that your family member borrows your car and runs a light that is red, if they get caught by the red signal camera, then you can expect to receive a bill in the mail along with a picture of your vehicle running the red light. The bill is sent to whatever address is listed with the license plate registration, making it insignificant as to whether or not you were actually driving your car.
In recent years, in addition to the sudden influx of signal light cameras, there are now sections of highway such as along the infamous I-95 through way that will actually record how fast you are traveling in a particular lane. As with the red light cameras, you will usually be forewarned when you are entering the “danger zone” and furthermore, you are also warned that your speed will be recorded. These types of set ups can now be seen in construction areas along the highway where speeding fines are doubled and breaking the law is taken seriously.
Another negative to the red signal camera situation is that it has had the opposite effect of what it was originally intended for. For example, red light cameras were supposed to help people slow down, but in many instances, when the light turns yellow, some people slam on their brakes while others simply take their chance at not getting zapped by increasing their rate of speed through the intersection. Which one is safer?