Monday, March 12, 2012

Take The Poll On Red Light Cameras.

Today the Connecticut General Assembly is conducting public hearings on allowing the major cities in Connecticut the ability to install cameras that would snap a picture of a car running a red light. Once the picture is processed, a ticket is mailed to the car owner in the amount of $65.

Of the $65, $50 would be kept by the municipality, and $15 would  be forwarded to the company that processes the tickets.

While red light camera systems are fairly common in other areas of the United States, it would be new to Connecticut. Proponents have argued that these cameras are a much needed safety tool that can reduce accidents while at the same time provide new revenue to the host municipality.

Opponents have argued that this is an egregious expansion of big government, and that the measure is simply another way to tax residents.

The Hartford Courant did a pretty good piece on this idea last week outlining the experiences of Nassau County on Long Island.

I have not taken a position on the issue, mainly because I see merit to both sides of the argument. But, should this initiative pass, Danbury will have a decision to make. So I am asking you, what do you think? Should Danbury install red light cameras? Click the poll on the left, or feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy motoring!


  1. Seems strange that the *only* positive press, and all 'polls' showing that the public is in favor of red light cameras come from a non-profit group 100% funded by the company that would financially stand to benefit from this legislation.

    The lobbying effort is somewhat less than transparent.

    The company would get to choose locations based on where they can profit most. From a government perspective, it's just another way to extract revenue at the expense of taxpayers.

  2. My biggest issue with red light cameras is the Constitutional issue of being able to face your accuser. A camera cannot put in a court appearance. Additionally, an automated system is fallible and requires regular maintenance. Additionally, none of the independent studies I've seen have ever shown a net increase in safety (independent = not funded by red-light companies or those who stand to benefit).

    If this were truly and purely a safety issue, why not increase the length of the yellow light by 0.2 seconds and have all sides red for at least 0.5 seconds. While I understand the change would slow traffic, isn't that worth the increase in safety?

    Of course, ultimately, it comes down to the drivers too. Just this past weekend, my wife sat and watched FOUR CARS in front of her take a LEFT turn on a red light. Maybe instead of red light cameras, we need to require people to pay for and retake the road test every other time they renew their license. Personally, I'd be happy to do that if it meant getting some of the worst drivers off the road.

  3. Wait until the technology is available to install "Stop Sign Cameras".
    Until then can it!!