By Frank Hinds, Executive Director
Last week I wrote about red light camera opponents and some of their wild assertions. It seems any individual or organization who supports the use of photo enforcement, is nothing more than a “shill” for the camera companies. So says the folks at Camera Fraud. They somehow suggest that Red Means Stop exists solely to endorse the traffic camera industry.
For the record, the Red Means Stop Coalition was founded in 1999 for the sole purpose of promoting traffic safety, primarily in the area of red light running. Victims and their families joined together in an attempt to educate the public about the serious injuries and deaths resulting from red light running crashes.
At the same time, members of the organization met with government leaders, law enforcement and traffic engineers, attempting to learn more about efforts to improve intersection safety. Many practical ideas were discussed and cities around Arizona began to implement methods that would reduce crashes and save lives. Intersection design, signal timing, lagging left turns, speed limit adjustments, new signage – and yes, red light cameras.
The people who say red light cameras violate their constitutional rights are cowards who think it’s okay to break the law and risk the lives of others. Obviously, none of them have experienced the devastation associated with the loss of a loved one in a red light running crash. They’ve never had to bury a child or a spouse killed by a red light runner or tell a daughter that her father won’t be coming home again – ever.
Traffic safety should be everone’s business and all ideas and methods to reduce crashes and save lives should be fair game. Penalties for violators should be swift and tough so they think twice about ever doing it again.
As long as red light cameras prove to be an effective safety tool for law enforcement, Red Means Stop will support their use !