I’ve never had a big problem with automated traffic law enforcement as long as it was used only for enforcement of moving violations and not for general surveillance.
Now you can add another objection to my list of objections. From Dallas:
Citywide statistics obtained by NBC affiliate KXAS-TV found that red light cameras do reduce accidents. That is a good thing.
But they do it by reducing red light violations, by as much as 29 percent from month to month at particularly busy Dallas intersections. On the face of it, that, too, is a good thing — but not, necessarily, if you rely on traffic fines to make up a healthy chunk of your budget.
Dallas lawmakers originally estimated gross revenue of $15 million from their 62 cameras this fiscal year, which ends June 30. But City Manager Mary Suhm estimated last week that the city would fall short by more than $4 million.
So Friday, the city turned off about a quarter of the least profitable cameras, saying it couldn’t justify the cost of running them.
Yeah, I’m naive, I take things at face value. I actually believed traffic law enforcement was to reduce personal injury and property damage, not just a source of revenue. I don’t recall ever believing in Santa Claus and having the myth shattered, but this must be what it feels like.