Saturday, August 30, 2008

Smile! You're on Traffic Light Camera

By Kate

Click, click. Ha! Caught you!

The big debate in my hometown this past week has been whether the city should install cameras at major intersections. It's a hot topic because some say the cameras are an invasion of privacy. Some claim it's just another way to make revenue for the city. But the city says it cuts down on accidents and fatalities. I was leaning towards the latter just because it made good sense.

Then today, the big headline in the newspaper was that an accident had claimed the life of a forty-one-year-old woman, an Indiana University Northwest associate vice chancellor, a wife and mother. Her death was caused by a semi-truck driver who barreled through a red light. The driver responsible for the woman's death wasn't injured, but did receive citations for disregarding an automatic signal and failure to yield. The woman is dead.

For me, the debate is over. Install those cameras. Now! I don't want to be the next victim of a careless driver. I'm not saying the cameras are a sure-fire way to stop people from running red lights, but I can't help thinking it will cut the number way down, especially if the fines are hefty enough. People will think twice, hopefully, before continuing on through.

My husband was nearly clipped yesterday when a semi-truck ran through an intersection. He could have been a fatality, too. I don't know about you, but I feel pretty darn vulnerable around big trucks. If there is any driver who should be taking every precaution, it should be a big rig driver.

Does your city or town use cameras? How do you feel about it?

Have a safe week and a great Labor Day holiday. And please be careful if you plan to travel this weekend. Take a moment to check the intersection before you start across it.