Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Red lights

In a car, I stop at stop signs and red lights. For many drivers around here, that isn't a very popular habit. I used to be against red light cameras, because I thought they were an invasion of some kind of privacy. I think it's mostly my opposition generally to surveillance cameras. I first gave this some thought when West Hartford foolishly installed them everywhere, while state law forbade their employment for issuing tickets. That might have been like 2004 or '05. I ride my bike a lot more than I did then and the threat of cars running lights is more existential. So, my position has shifted to favor stop light cameras. What do you think? There was an article about it, because the legislation is being reintroduced. See here.

On a bike, I'm much more of an Idaho stop kind of person.


Tony C said...

I'm generally for stoplight cameras, although they can be set up to be unforgiving. I'm a pretty cautious driver (when behind he wheel) and do stop at lights and signs, but depending on how they are set up there is very little give. If you closely watch an intersection the "complete" stop before a right turn really doesn't exist.

Primarily I'm for stoplight cameras because I think its silly to pay a police officer $70k to sit in a car an watch an intersection. That officer should be walking a beat or investigating more important crimes.

Also agree that for bicycles the Idaho stop approach makes sense.

Anonymous said...

As an LCI, I'm in favor of everyone obeying road signs and signals. That includes cyclists as well as motorists. If a camera helps enforce that, well, yeah.

I've also long thought that all motor vehicles should be equipped with a black box, similar to those on airplanes, which would record a 5 or 10-minute loop with position, direction, acceleration/deceleration and mechanical data. Such tools would take the "accident" out of crash.

Schleppi Longstocking said...

The stoplight cameras seem as useless as the cops who are paid to sit and watch an intersection. Daily experience: nearly getting hit by a car turning right on red while a cop idles nearby, doing not a fucking thing. It's bullshit. How about we hold the police accountable also for turning a blind eye while cyclists and pedestrians are needlessly endangered? This complicity is as unethical as those who drive with no regard to other humans.

Chris V said...

The only way to get people to drive correctly is to make them pay or ride a bike. I have problems with people turning into me when I am going to pass them in traffic. Just the other day I kicked a door on a Volvo heading up Farmington Ave because they turned in on me twice!

I always wondered why there were camaras on top of all the intersections in W. Hartford.

Brendan said...

At first I thought Chris V wrote, "pay to ride a bike." I don't think that'd be a very good solution.

Then I reread it.