Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Red Light Cameras and Big Brother

My local metropolis is Columbia, Missouri. Last week, Columbia’s city council voted to pursue using cameras at traffic intersections to ticket cars running through red lights. Columbia became Missouri’s fourth city to do so, following the lead of the St. Louis suburbs of Arnold and Florissiant and the big city of Springfield. Nationally, 110 cities in 20 states have red light camera programs. The plan is designed that once a traffic signal changes to red, any cars entering the intersection will be photographed. The license plate will then be traced and the owner ticketed.

I love this progressive intrusion of government into the lives of private citizens. This move will increase government’s power and its ability to control our lives. Cameras have been installed all over Columbia and most other towns throughout the United States. Presumably, these cameras were to help with traffic flow, not traffic control. They were supposed to alert municipalities of any irregularities, high peak traffic, etc, et al, baloney. The Columbia city council approved cameras at only 5 intersections. Can I make a prophecy? About 6 months after the launch of the “pilot” program, red light cameras will be at every intersection with cameras.

National data isn’t overwhelming. Statistics seem to indicate that right angle crashes do decrease with the program, but that rear end crashes increase. I would assume there are fewer serious injuries from rear end collisions than with t-bone crashes. Traffic statistics from the Columbia Police Department reveal some 10,000 traffic accidents reported since January 2004. Of those, only 404 were a result of traffic signal or sign violations. No one knows how many of those were violations caused by running a red light. So again, without conclusive evidence of the need, government bureaucracy has still voted to extend itself and increase its powers to monitor the lives of its citizens.
The Bible reveals that anti-Christ, the end-time world leader, will have enormous power. With the increase of technology, it isn’t hard to understand how he will accomplish his sway over mankind.

The Federal Highway Administration has had a “Stop on Red Week” for over ten years to raise awareness of the dangers of running red lights.

A 58 question telephone survey done in the summer of 1999 of over 5,000 respondents revealed that the typical red light runner is younger, is driving alone, has no children, and is in a rush to work or school in the morning hours on weekdays. If a parent, they most likely have children less than 20-years-old. They are employed in jobs requiring less education (i.e., blue collar, lower technology), or are unemployed; are more than two miles from home and are more likely to have been ticketed for red light running (although, the rate of receiving tickets is low); and are NOT necessarily frustrated.

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