Letter: Red Light Racket


The very regressive nature of red light cameras is a well-known fact. So is the fact that the cameras depend upon deliberately mis-engineered traffic lights with yellow intervals left or set slightly too short for the actual conditions—typically short by about one second. If you understand that about 80 percent of violations happen in the first second of red, the for-profit racket nature of red light cameras becomes obvious. It is why Texas just banned the red light camera rackets by law, joining about seven other states that ban them and about 20 more that never authorized the money grab rackets to prey upon their residents and visitors. Red light cameras should be banned in every state, they are always money grab rackets.

Red light and speed cameras are illegal to use in Michigan. When bills were introduced in 2013 to allow them, the combined opposition and testimony in hearings from the Police Officers Association of Michigan, the ACLU, Campaign for Liberty, ABATE, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy think tank, the judges association, the National Motorists Association, skeptical editorials in both major Detroit newspapers and others caused the bills to be withdrawn. Ticket cameras remain illegal to use in Michigan and should be illegal in every location. Ticket cameras are about profits, not safety. Safety comes from proper roadway engineering, not enforcement.

—James C. Walker,
National Motorists Association

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