Geez, with the furor going around about red light cameras, you'd swear the U.S. Supreme Court just legalized both gay marriage and abortion with one fell swoop of the pen.
I really don't know if this extends beyond Illinois at all, but red light cameras have been cropping up in many of Chicago's suburbs over the course of the last couple of years to a mixed lot of praise and condemnation. Some love it because they are supposed to result in increases to driver and pedestrian safety while others hate it because they claim it's both a money grab and can result in sudden stopping at intersections that could cause rear-end collisions.
Let me recap what is going on real quickly...
Cameras have been installed by many municipalities at some of their busier or more accident-prone intersections.
These cameras will catch people who make illegal right turns out of the intersection. Yes, just right turns. Well, I think it's only right turns. The ones that I've seen have been right-turn only, but I suppose usage is dictated by each municipal government.
- If you do not stop at an intersection before turning right on red, you WILL get busted.
- If you stop past the line into a crosswalk thus forcing a pedestrian who is crossing the street to have to move out of the crosswalk, you WILL get busted.
- If you come to a complete stop behind the line and then inch out to see what traffic is like before proceeding, you WILL NOT get busted.
- If you stop a little into the crosswalk, but no pedestrians are present, you WILL NOT get busted.
- If you run a yellow light, you WILL NOT get busted.
(source: City of Geneva, IL)
I really don't see the problem here. Basically, what these towns are saying is that if you drive legally and follow the rules of the road as established by the Secretary of State's office that we were taught in driver's education and tested on prior to obtaining a driver's license, you're fine.
Drive legal, drive safe... what the fuck is the problem here?
Is it a safety measure? Yes. Has it helped? Arguably. Some cities have noted a downturn in accidents, while others have claimed an increase in accidents or just haven't released any data yet.
But the big question on many people's minds... is it a money grab for communities?
And why shouldn't it be?
If you're going to drive illegally, why shouldn't a town benefit from your ignorance? Towns, counties, and states already do when you speed or park illegally or run red lights going straight ahead. Are you going to fight against speed limits and stop lights and stop signs next?
If you don't like that they can make money off you, wanna know what you can do about it? DRIVE LEGALLY! STOP AT INTERSECTIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING! DON'T DRIVE LIKE A DOUCHE!
Think about it like this... if you can ask "would a douche do this?" and the answer is "yes," then don't do it!
I need to make bracelets that say WWADD (What Would A Douche Do) just to remind people to do the opposite.
Follow that simple credo, Timmy, and you'll be fine! You won't owe any money. You definitely won't have caused any accidents. And you can say you "stuck it to tha man!" by not giving them any more of your hard-earned cash.
Yes, in case you couldn't figure it out, I fully support red light cameras.
So what did we do this weekend?
If you didn't see it on Facebook or Twitter, Katie was Hobnobbing With the Stars. Well, actually she only got a picture with them, not really hobnobbing, per se. But it's still pretty cool all the same.
Yes, this is Katie with 2010 Winter Olympic Men's Figure Skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek and his Dancing With the Stars partner Anna Trebunskya.
It's the wallpaper on her iPhone now. I've been trumped.
Here are a couple more of my favorite shots from the event...