Friday, September 23, 2005

Traffic Cameras

I have posted on traffic cameras before as policy, and if I remember right I thought it was bad policy, caused more problems than it solved, and wasted tax payer money. Basically it's a revenue booster, but does it improve traffic safety?
A Virginia study says no, which I think came out a year or two ago. However, there is also this study, done recently in Florida, that simply providing better pavement markings before intersections reduces accidents by 74 percent.
I'm quite bitter about this as we recently got a ticket for speeding that was automatically issued by a camera and radar system in town here. I'm not fighting this, we were speeding. We paid the ticket. However we were going just about 5 miles over the limit, but the radar systems are absolute, apparently. It doesn't matter if everyone else on that road was also going 7 or 8 miles over. A cop in a squad car wouldn't even bat an eye at that, knowing that all traffic moving together is safer than one car moving faster (or slower) than the rest of the flow. To me that makes automated systems, not taking into account traffic conditions at the time, more dangerous than not having it there.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

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