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Red Light Cameras Reprised

2010-03-07

Category: General

A little over a year ago, the Cedar Rapids Police Department held forums to discuss the use of Red Light and Speed Cameras here in our lovely burg. Now we have the cameras and it is interesting. Some love the things, the nut jobs are out in force against them.

The CRPD started by placing Red Light Cameras at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 10th Street East. Immediately there were offenders. Why did they choose that intersection? Well, that one sees more accidents. The likely reason for the accidents is illustrated by the fact that the police could announce that they were putting up Red Light Cameras and people still ran red lights.

A few days after those cameras went live, the police took their mobile speed camera to the streets. They say that in the first hour, they caught 130 speeders. In general, Cedar Rapids is a fairly safe place to drive, but it has been getting gradually worse in recent years. Maybe this speeding is contributing to the problem.

Interstate 380 goes through downtown Cedar Rapids in the form of an "S" curve. We get quite a few accidents there. The speed limit is 55 miles per hour, but if you go that speed, many people will fly right past you. This is one of the planned locations for the speed cameras. I'm really looking forward to this.

The funny thought associated with speed cameras on I-380 is that it takes a while for the citations to get to the vehicle's owner. Many of the drivers are commuters who pass through the area twice a day. These folks will pass by the cameras ten times in a workweek. I have no sympathy for them if they generate ten separate offenses in that time. At about 70 bucks an offense, that comes to about $700.00 in a week.

Unfortunately, these are going to get a lot of flak from morons. They are going to scream about how it violates their Constitutional rights to commit crimes out of immediate view of law enforcement. Some will complain that they don't get to confront their accuser in court because they don't get to cross examine video of the infraction. My solution for these morons involves work farms, so it's not always considered popular.

Overall, though, many Cedar Rapidians are in favor of the cameras. They see it as a chance to improve safety at the expense of the very people who would reduce safety. If we can get the Moron Meters installed and start enforcing the Chicagoan Registration Act, we will thousands of times more safe than we are now.


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