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Red light means danger!

February 2, 2007
There has been a lot of fuss about the use of speed cameras – personally, I think they have been used to replace traffic police and they don’t do the job they are supposed to do.

My suggestion is that they are removed, re-configured and replaced as red light cameras.

Speeding in the wrong place and in the wrong conditions is dangerous, but these circumstances vary. Going through red traffic lights, in my opinion, is ALWAYS dangerous.

The roundabout above Junction 10 of the M6 would be the first place I would put red light cameras. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know that there are traffic lights at every entrance to the roundabout. You only have to go there once or twice to see someone blatantly ignore the red lights and go sailing into danger. Of course, they only do this because the roundabout is on the border of two police areas and no police cars ever seem to go there. If there was a police presence, then people would suddenly remember what the lights are there for. (Same as seatbelts – people “forget” to put them on and suddenly have a memory recall when they see a marked car in the vicinity)

There is a difference between speed limits and traffic lights. The speed limit signs can be obscured, or people can creep over a few miles an hour without noticing and on the whole this won’t cause other road users any problems. Red lights are always red, they are stuck on a pole in plain site and even if the light isn’t red as you approach, the amber light gives you a chance to stop. Going through red lights is more of a deliberate defiance of traffic law, rather than accidental or unintentional.

Some people pay the ultimate price for their decision to ignore red lights. Here’s another case today.

The only people to blame for deaths on level crossings are the ones who ignore red lights and try to beat the 200+ ton train that is bearing down on them. Sometimes, lucky drivers get away with it and on other occasions, stupid drivers cause injury to themselves and others by shooting the lights.

Put cameras at every junction and put a stop to this nonsense!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. ExtraSpecialCopper permalink
    February 2, 2007 11:50

    Totally agree. Whenever out in an unmarked car, always see a few people doing this! Can catch them out too.

    3 points, have a nice day

  2. Greg permalink
    February 2, 2007 14:50

    What’s your opinion on going through a red light to let an emergency vehicle through?
    I have seen many circumstances where an ambulance or police car wants to get through but nobody wants to move through a red light in case they get nicked!
    Other than that I like the idea, now how do we go about getting it implemented?
    Also I’m sure the public would be happier to have a red light camera than speed cameras.

  3. BelfastPeeler permalink
    February 2, 2007 15:03

    Never get rid of them while there’s the perception they contribute to reducing accidents

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/3782827.stm

    “Deaths and serious injuries have fallen by more than a quarter on roads in Northern Ireland where safety cameras are used, according to the latest figures.

    “The cameras are only used on roads where there is a history of injury, collisions and evidence of speeding.

    “They have contributed to a 27% reduction in deaths and serious injuries in the areas they are used.” “

    Never safe going through red lights? Not sure about that – 4am in a industrial estate where you can see the junction for about 100m in every direction? During a response run?

    I have a pic to some maniac running level crossing lights though, that IS always stupid.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    February 2, 2007 23:10

    On holiday in Portugal a couple of years ago I noticed a very effective red light camera system. If you are speeding it triggers the traffic lights 200m down the road to turn red for 2-3 minutes. Very effective, all the other drivers caught behind you sit there glaring, & there is none of this messy fining people to raise more taxes crap. Makes you watch your speed & see consequences straight away

  5. Anonymous permalink
    February 3, 2007 17:22

    Excellent sensible observation. I wish our politicians would wise up to this. It’s all about money!!

  6. PC South West permalink
    February 3, 2007 18:23

    I always liked the idea of replacing the drivers airbag with a large metal spike that shoots out of the steering wheel.
    Should make people pay attention to what they are doing and prevent accidents.
    As for speed cameras, no one likes them do they?
    Lets get rid if them and put more Police on the roads.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    February 4, 2007 21:59

    I agree completely.

    It is quite easy for a good, safe driver to accidentally let speed increase on a clear, empty road in good conditions. In such a case, a “safety camera” will detect this heinous crime immediately.

    A shame that the cameras cannot detect the drunk drivers, drugged drivers, banned drivers, and just plain rotten drivers, who are far more of a hazard.

    A red light camera is far more valuable, but before we applaud them too far, think about people towing caravans. The car may pass through just as the lights change to amber, but the caravan is detected as a seperate vehicle, a second or two behind.

    Automation, however, often makes mistakes. What we need is far more experienced, mature, traffic officers. And no targets on the number of tickets they issue…. in many cases education can be better than enforcement. Let them use their discretion, and if you want performance indicators, look at road accident statistics after a few years of good road policing.

  8. cogidubnus permalink
    February 6, 2007 02:03

    I’ve been canvassing opinions at work and the overwhelming majority of my (non-police) colleagues seem to be of the view that there ought to be MORE speed cameras on the basis that if you don’t break the law and speed then you won’t get a ticket…

    However, ALL agreed that Red Light cameras were a very sound idea, but in these particular cases almost all my colleagues said they’d rather see points handed out rather than fines, it being felt this might be regarded as a better deterrent for a more serious offence.

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