Monday, February 15, 2010

Republican House Candidate Organizes Protest Which Seems To Advocate Dangerous Driving

Some Chicagoans stood outside yesterday, braving the cold (but presumably warmed by moral outrage) to protest something they felt strongly about: getting ticketed for running red lights. Huh!? That's right, according to the Chicago Tribune, on Valentine's Day about two dozen (lonely?) people "armed with posters took over the southeast corner of Addison Street and Western Avenue" to protest the City's use of intersection cameras to catch motorists running red lights. The protest was organized by Scott Tucker, the Republican candidate for the 11th District state House seat who supports pending legislation to rid Illinois of the cameras and automated ticketing machines. I guess all of the important issues were taken. I mean really; protesting reasonable measures taken to reduce accidents and discourage dangerous driving? Nobody likes getting a ticket, but we all learned the rules when we turned 16, didn't we? If you run a red light you'll probably get a ticket so slow down and, I don't know, Stop At Red Lights!

Here are some statistics regarding the effectiveness of red light cameras in reducing dangerous driving.


  1. Not only that, they are advocating dangerous driving right where the Lane Tech high school students wait for the buses at the end of the day. What utter humanitarians we have here.

  2. Thanks so much Lucy, and to all who have visited this blog!

  3. I'd be for them if the cities also increased yellow light times. Every study on yellow light times has shown increasing them causes accidents to go down, and decreasing them causes accidents to go up.

    The problem with the cameras is it provides an immediate reward to a municipality to decrease yellow light times, and in fact some have been caught lowering the time to levels that are even below state mandated minimums. There are certainly a few intersections where the yellow is so fast (like Ashland and Clybourn) where you have to slam on the brakes because you can't make it through.

    And the increase in accidents that this causes are sometime in the future and the costs not born directly by the city, so they don't care about it or think about it. This lowering of yellow light time is probably the prime reason almost every study on red light cameras shows an increase in accidents, rather than decrease.

    So it's not the cameras themselves, it's the incentives to put safety below revenue that they provide the city, that is the problem.

    Sure let's have the cameras, IF AND ONLY IF we also have stronger laws mandating longer yellow light times at intersections with cameras.

    If we are intrested in safety, we must also be interested in increasing the yellows, it's the only proven way.

  4. Oh here are some studies for you to check out, since I didn't provide a link. Obviously these are all one sided, but just to provide you with some details. Some show decrease in red light running, but even those STILL show an increase in injuries and accidents.

    I think this study is especially interesting: they changed infrastructure and showed a marked decrease in red light running and a decrease in accidents, superior to any pro-red light camera study i ever read. Though it does not produce revenue, just like changing infrastructure to accomodate us cyclists does not add revenue only increase saftey, so no one does it.


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