Colorado State Senator Scott Renfroe is introducing a bill to ban photo traffic enforcement, including both speed and red light cameras, statewide. Sen. Renfroe frames it properly: "People need to be held accountable for their actions, but government should be about safety not revenue."
Many people are sympathetic to red-light cameras, assuming they cause fewer people to run red lights, a behavior especially dangerous to others. But that assumption also assumes that fewer red light scofflaws equates to fewer accidents at intersections. Perhaps surprisingly, a raft of studies appear to show that red light cameras may actually be increasing the number of traffic accidents: People afraid of the cameras often stop short, including when the light is yellow, causing the driver behind them also to brake suddenly, occasionally unable to do so in time and rear-ending the camera-fearing driver in front (and causing the same problem for the third car in this line of traffic.) To be sure, those in favor of cameras have a couple of studies they quote supporting increased safety due to cameras.
I've never been sympathetic to speed cameras for a simple reason: Both here in Boulder and around where I used to live in Australia, speed cameras are put in places where there is little safety justification but where people are likely to be exceeding the speed limit, though not enough to have any implications for safety.
Please read the entirety of my article for the American Spectator here:
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