Technology Exists; Political Leadership Is Absent

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Surveillance cameras at major intersections dramatically reduce the number of drivers who barrel through red lights, two new research reports say.” In “Research: Red-light cameras work“, Larry Copeland (USA TODAY) attributes a senior transportation safety engineer as saying that “There’s a dramatic change in driver behavior when red light cameras are used.”

In her latest column (“Another useful tool to stop those speeding drivers“; The Londoner), Sheryl Rooth describes a walk to the grocery store: “…The light at this particular corner gives you 27 seconds to cross Oxford – that’s if you cross at the very moment the light turns green. The second you put your foot on the alternate curb the light has changed and cars are screaming through the intersection. While crossing to the store I had to wait for five cars on either side of the road to run the red light, including one turning left because it had waited too long in the intersection. An hour later walking back, no less than seven cars ran the red light, mostly because they were driving too quickly but some likely because they couldn’t be bothered to wait 27 seconds. It’s an epidemic plain and simple…” It’s a great article. Click on the link and read the whole thing.

In another great read (“The Benefits of Photo Radar“; London Free Press Letters; 2007/09/08), Gary Betts argues that: “photo radar does make money, but don’t hold that against it. Photo radar is the most effective speed-control device in the world.”

Although I’m in favour of photo radar, and would like to see it’s return, I can’t quite agree with Gary’s last statement. And because our local daily so seldom publishes anything I send it, I’ll post a copy of my latest submission to them here:

[submitted using LFP website form]

With respect to Gary Betts’ fine letter (“The Benefits of Photo Radar”; London Free Press; 2007/09/08).

We have the technology to regulate speed using microchips. Last month the Toronto Star reported that the Ontario government has decided to require a “speed limiter” on all large commercial vehicles to keep their speed at or below 105 km/h. Why stop there? Why not require ALL vehicles to have speed-limiting chips installed? And regulate speeds within cities in addition to on the highways? Solutions exist, it’s the political will that’s absent.

Any thoughts?

Links:
2007/07/03 – specthread: Will photo radar make roads safer?

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