OP: Red-light camera system is unnecessary and ineffective

23 April 2019

Travis Boren

tboren@uccs.edu

    Colorado Springs has previously implemented red light camera systems to reduce red-light runners, in an attempt to lower car crashes, and it failed. Following their normal level of good judgment, the city has decided to try again.

    The first red light program was implemented in the fall of 2010 and was removed after a year because of a police officer shortage according to KRDO.

    American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (ATS), now known as Vera Mobility — the company overseeing our new cameras — only found a 30 percent reduction in red light violations overall in a month, and certain intersections saw an increase in violations (mainly downtown), according to a 2011 release from the city when announcing the previous shut down.

    In the same report, they show that there was no reduction in front-to-side collisions where the cameras were, which is supposedly what a red light camera is supposed to prevent.

    The new cameras are being installed at Northbound Academy Boulevard and Carefree Circle, Eastbound Platte Avenue and Chelton Road, Westbound Briargate Boulevard and Lexington Drive and Southbound Academy and Dublin Boulevard.

    The connection between these four intersections? Not one had a fatal traffic accident as of November 2018.

    This plan to turn over ticketing proof to an outside agency is being conducted by the city who is currently being sued by Fourth Estate News LLC for denying releasing land sale data after a Colorado Open Records Act request.

    Black told KRDO that speeding, impairment and distracted driving were the biggest factors in traffic fatalities. None of which inherently include red lights.

    Red light cameras are an ineffective bandage on the greater issue of decades of unchecked urban sprawl with no real city planning efforts.

    This is just another step to fully embracing the surveillance culture. We already have license plate readers along Nevada Avenue and Academy Boulevard according to photoenforced.com.

    Any acceptance of surveillance culture puts a free society in danger because those tools leave us vulnerable to malicious intent.

    There is no way to guarantee that malicious intent will never gain control of the tools created by those with good intentions, and each time we accept a bit of surveillance culture, it normalizes further steps.

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