August 21, 2013Since I'm living in Escondido until my cabin on Palomar Mountain can be rebuilt, I've been following with interest the vote that the Escondido City Council will take this week on a proposal to end the pernicious red light cameras that the city has at several of its busier intersections.
Several other cities in the county have voted to get rid of these evil devices, which I place right up there with the NSA spying on all of our telephone calls and emails.
Red cameras, despite the statements of their cheerleaders (usually big government types who justify any and all intrusive spying in the name of "safety") actually tend to cause rear-end collisions because people who are coming up on the intersections will take evasive action, such as slamming on the brakes, in order to avoid being caught in the intersection when the light turns red. I personally like to drive up on the sidewalks out of the sight of the cameras and cross the street outside of their lens (don't try this at home!). However, not everyone has a 4x4 Jeep, so everyone else faces big fines.
I know, people drive too fast on city streets. However, being hit with fines that often are more than $300 or more just for the "crime" of getting caught in the intersection is overkill. The only justification for such fines is to scrape up more money for the city. It has nothing to do with safety.
I'm glad to see that Escondido's Police Department agrees that it's time to end the red cameras, which have been on their little brother perches for a decade now. I'm sure that most of us who drive on Escondido's city streets will be happy to see the cameras gone and replaced by smiling Escondido officers.
Bottom line, the city has been losing money on its contract with Redflex Traffic Systems. There is some justice in the world!