Letters to the Editor: Can we reduce pedestrian deaths while keeping right turns on red?
March 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM EDT
I was watching a news program on the local CBS news channel recently, this one a local station in my area. The reporter was talking about the “red-light” camera program in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is a town in western Michigan, near Lake Michigan (a beautiful town, actually… if you don’t believe me you can Google it). Apparently, Ann Arbor’s police department went all out on this program, running around the town in their police cruiser with lights flashing, the doors open, and a police car parked right behind the person who was being recorded… for one hour a day.
This program has resulted in police officers in Ann Arbor running into pedestrians they had never seen before, and that is why they are afraid to walk through Ann Arbor and don’t use the “yellow” street lamps… but, apparently we have a problem in Ann Arbor.
I was going to say that I have a problem with this program, that I believe Ann Arbor has a problem with the “red-light” camera program. But that isn’t really true. The problem with all these programs is that they cost municipalities a lot of money in tickets and lawsuits. And what that does is it makes everyone who uses the program more cautious. It makes people drive more carefully, and it makes everyone in the program more careful.
But when I say “red-light” camera, I really mean traffic cameras, like the one in Oakland County. Traffic cameras go on in Oakland County, along the US Highway 40 corridor along the US highway 20 (the M-20). I just read a brief story in the Detroit Free Press about Oakland County and the traffic cameras… at least they used to be the only police department in the area with a traffic camera, until now. (Thanks to the Free Press).
The Detroit Free Press story reported that Oakland County’s police department now has more than 50 traffic cameras (this is a small town in Michigan