Wednesday, March 23, 2005

It's about the Children . . . (for the billionth time)

Here's an article in my hometown paper the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (affectionately known as the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation) about red-light / speeding cameras. Radley Balko has a response here.

I didn't think his response was strong enough, so let me try to put this succinctly. Speed limits themselves were established to alleviate the gas crisis (at least federal speed limits were), they didn't become a "safety" issue until the government realized how much money it was making by enforcing the speed limits. Speed cameras are, perhaps intentionally, inaccurate and set up in a way that make them the most profitable. Also, speed and red light cameras don't work - people drive just as fast as ever (if not faster), they just figure out where the speed and red-light cameras are. This is simply not a safety issue, and, even if it were, I would hate it because it is a rigid system that fails to allow me to use my own good judgment and fails entirely to allow for differences in driving ability. Speed limits themselves don't make any sense because I'm probably safer going 90 mph on a straightaway on a sunny day than I am going 65 mph all bunched up with the rest of traffic (stuck behind trucks that the law won't let me pass).
My final point is that I don't trust the numbers behind the "speed-related deaths." I mean on the one hand all accidents are related in some way to "speed" in that you have to be moving in order to hit something else. I just see it too often where, for lack of a better explanation, accidents are attributed to speed - in fact, I saw it on the local news last night.

Let us know what you think.

Kid Handsome


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