What's One More Robo-Smokey at This Point?

I’m trying to remain slightly pissed about the increasing presence of  24-hour photographic traffic enforcement because 1.) I don’t trust the technology not to screw me and 2.) the whole thing seems a bit Orwellian to me.

Now, I discover the quaint little town of Jonesborough is planning to jump on the bandwagon?

Yep.  The Times-News reports the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved on first reading Monday an ordinance for a traffic control photographic system on at least one traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. Highway 11-E and Boone Street.

According to Town Administrator Bob Browning, the device will determine how many vehicles may be violating traffic regulations by running red lights and speeding through intersections.

More here.

Another comment worth pulling: Browning says “A digital video system is installed that tracks speed and motorists that run through red lights. A digital signal is transmitted along with something like a violation alarm, and the monitoring station reads the license number, copies the videotape and actually issues the citation. They have to provide the documentation necessary in court to prove the violation occurred.”

You know, I’ve gotta tell ya’ll – with every city, town, and slightly populated area with an intersection making kissy-faces at Redflex, my rebellious streak has gotten worn down.  Let’s face it. Robo-Smokey is the unstoppable wave of the future.

Therefore, I should just accept things as they are and have faith that the amber cycle isn’t shortened or the radars mis-calibrated.  Seriously, what other options do I have? Illegal counter-technology? Secretly buying a second car, leaving it unregistered/untagged, hiring local race car driver, Mark Catron, to disguise himself as an ugly woman and speed through electronically-enforced areas while I hang from the trunk (in a $15 task-appropriate mask) giving Big Brother a middle-fingered salute?

I mean not that I’ve given this a lot of thought or anything.

6 thoughts on “What's One More Robo-Smokey at This Point?

  1. Pingback: SayUncle » Giving up

  2. Maybe they ought to consult with the City of Dallas. They are right now considering pulling their traffic cameras. Seems that they work so well that revenues are off significantly and they can’t afford the cameras.

    Found it in a Dallas newspaper site somewhere. Forget where. Google it and you’ll prolly find it.

  3. That’s the thing. To these municipalities, this has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with revenue. It’s been pointed out that rear-end collisions and the number of accidents over all always increase after these cameras are installed because people who just noticed it is yellow will slam on their brakes rather than do the right thing, which is to go through if you can’t stop safely and it is yellow. Every town that installs them sees it as an easy cash cow and the mayor ordering the police to tweak the yellow to increase revenue AND accidents happens in almost every single place they have been put in.

    Also, it’s just one small step before the cameras are adjusted to scan for license plates of interest and provide tracking of citizens. The usual group of police state advocates cheers this because they are highly ignorant of history and where this always leads to.

  4. Oh and in today’s paper, Greeneville is now planning to install them. I have a feeling that the company that makes the systems is doing a lot of wining and dining of our local officials.

  5. Deborah, you are absolutely correct. Under normal conditions, a driver who sees the light change to yellow will normally stop if possible or go on through to clear the intersection. It is incumbent on drivers in the cross street to judge when it is safe to proceed, which includes the verifying that the intersection is now clear. Too much emphasis is placed on “punishing” drivers who move on through after the light has changed to red. We should, instead of thinking about offense and punishment, think about smooth and safe traffic flow.

    I personally advocate getting rid of the yellow altogether and having a go or no-go situation. With the cross traffic held a few seconds longer during the time the yellow would have been on, drivers can clear the intersection. Some would go on through even after it has gone red, but within a few vehicles one will stop and hold those behind it. Remember, we rarely intentionally run red lights. We only try to outrun the yellow.

    Setting up and maintaining such a money making system requires complicity of a number of people, right down to the technician who must go out and physically tweak the yellow and possibly get the news later that day that his mother was run over from behind by a fully loaded gravel truck.

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