02 March 2007

Tee Vee News Saves the Day

No, really:
On Thursday, the Lubbock, Texas city council voted to delay installation of red light cameras after a local television station exposed the city's short timing of yellow lights at eight of the twelve intersections where the devices were to be installed. "Many folks believe this is a money grab and then we found out through KCBD Television there's a discrepancy in timing,"

Earlier this month, (KCBD) cited the rule-of-thumb that Lubbock City Engineer Jere Hart asserted as the basis for timing lights at city intersections. At most of the proposed camera intersections, Hart did not follow his own rule.

At 82nd and University, the 50 MPH speed limit suggests the need for a 5 second yellow, but it currently set at just 4.3 seconds. At 82nd and Frankford, the speed of traffic requires 4.5 seconds of yellow, but the public is only given 4.0.

Short yellows assure a steady flow of red light camera ticket revenue. A Texas Transportation Institute study found that an extra second of yellow time added to the current ITE formula yields a a 53 percent reduction in the number of tickets issued along with a 40 percent reduction in accidents.
So no one has bothered to look into preventing more crashes by adding a bit of time to the yellow cycle. They went right to the plan to issue after-the-fact tickets from a glorified vending machine only because it raises revenue. On top of that, the yellow cycle is/was to be shortened to issue even more tickets for even more revenue.

More and more, we elect and appoint people who know and care nothing about freedom, liberty, the role of government or pragmatic civic management. These people are only motivated by the glory they think will be due them as they ram bullshit through. Bullshit, chosen by them, that represents the way they think things should be, regardless of legality or common sense.

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