MMS Friends

Monday, June 13, 2005

Red light camera update

The lovely and talented Anne Linehan points out a number of intersections that are likely candidates for red light cameras under Mayor Bill White's latest revenue grab safety initiative:
There are plenty of possibilities for the city, but the top ten intersections for red light citations are: •Southwest Freeway feeder at Hillcroft •Federal @ Dorwayne •Southwest Freeway at Bellaire •the feeder at Bellaire and at Beechnut •Beltway 8 at Bellaire •Wayside at Market •Waugh at D'Amico •Jefferson at Chenevert downtown and topping all intersections, with 882 citations issued, •Harwin and Hillcroft in southwest Houston
And:
Here are the most dangerous intersections for the first three months of this year: * Tomball Parkway and FM 1960 * 59 and Beechnut * 59 and Hillcroft * 59 and Chimney Rock * I-10 and Gessner * 59 and Beltway 8 * Westheimer and Highway 6 * Bissonnet and Beltway 8 Topping the list is the Katy Freeway and Highway 6 with 25 accidents just in the last 90 days. Beechnut and Beltway 8 ranks second with 23 accidents there in just the last three months.
One clear problem with red light cameras is that the camera identifies the car, not the driver. Therefore, the fine is assessed against the car's registered owner, not necessarily the person who allegedly committed the offense. The situation could be as simple as letting your kid borrow the car, and junior blows through a red light. Or you could have your car stolen, and get dinged for some scumbag's joyride. Some police departments are even issuing scam tickets to trick vehicle owners into singing. However, with the increasing decriminalization of traffic tickets, the burden of proof is shifting to the defendant -- guilty until proven innocent. That's just not right.

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