« ‘Green flash’ is real | Main | Ramseyer served JoCo voters »

March 09, 2009

Red-light cameras aren’t about safety

If you buy into the propaganda that the recently activated red-light cameras are for your safety, then I have some oceanfront property in Arizona that you might be interested in, too.

According to the Missouri Driver’s Guide, motorists are supposed to stop at yellow lights, but only if it’s safe to do so. However, people are now speeding more excessively than ever through intersections or slamming their brakes to avoid tickets. This type of driving can be more dangerous than running the red light.

It’s no coincidence that the red-light cameras were activated in Kansas City shortly before the announcement of huge budget cuts.

It’s not about your safety; it’s about money.

Eli Noland
Blue Springs



Sorry, but I don't buy the revenue argument for a second. I live near SW Trafficway. The number of people coming through the intersection at 31st St. going 60 mph (where the speed limit drops to 35) or more is unreal, and they are quite often running a red light at the time. There needs to be a camera. And even if people are speeding up some to get through intersections with cameras, you tell me what's more dangerous: doing that before the light turns, or doing it AFTER the light turns? I've driven in quite a few major cities and nowhere were there more idiot drivers than in Kansas City. These people deserve fines. And if the cameras are causing rear-end accidents, I'm betting in 95% of the cases someone was following too closely for the speed they were going. I'd be perfectly happy if there were a lot more cameras. People are definitely more cautious around the 39th St. intersection than they used to be.

Bob Kennedy

I can't add anything. This speaks for itself:



Forgot to add, what about the fact that it was done before massive budget cuts? Suppose that is also unsupported opinion or just a big huge convienent coincidence!


Eli is right on target. My dad is an insurance agent and he's testified time and again that rear-end collisions are the most common accident.
A red light ticket is a lot of money people will do irrational things such as speeding up to avoid them, just tune into "Cops" to see some irrational things people do to get out of things. Furthermore, it has already been proven that cities have been caught tampering with the timing on yellow lights to increase revenue. This proves it is about money, if it wasn't these cities wouldn't have done that. So no, I don't believe Eli was stating an unsupported opinion George.


"However, people are now speeding more excessively than ever through intersections or slamming their brakes to avoid tickets. This type of driving can be more dangerous than running the red light."

Side impact collisions are deadly, rear-enders not so much. Running red lights is, in fact, much more dangerous than stopping short to avoid running a light.

Speeding through intersections to somehow avoid a red light is impossible, unless you are traveling faster than the speed of light ... which is supposed to be impossible outside of science fiction TV.


This is about revenue, not safety. Common knowledge tells us there are many more accidents involving rear end collisions (the most common type) than instances of people running lights. To retrain people to stop on a yellow is a dangerous proposition in that regard. With red light cameras you now have to determine if the person in front of you is going to stop short on a yellow, thereby throwing out the rules of safe driving and making mind reading a part of our daily commute.


Revenue, period. Numerous municipalities and states that utilize red light cameras have been caught shortening yellow light times by a couple of tenths in order to increase violations. It will be interesting to see if KCMO succumbs to the temptation to play with the timing, since many organizations including The Star have recorded current yellow times and have planned to periodically review these at monitored intersections.

Here's what really gets me. In order for RLC's to be profitable, the burden of proof has to be shifted from the accuser (the city) to the accused (the driver) if he wants to get out of the ticket. Since criminal law absolutely rejects this notion, cities call the tickets "civil offenses" instead of criminal ones and sidestep the requirements.


Hey Ed, This looks like a lame freaking excuse for running red lights.


"... people are now speeding more excessively than ever through intersections or slamming their brakes to avoid tickets."

You have any proof of this interesting statement Eli, or are you just voicing your unsupported opinion?

Can it be that red light cameras are about safety AND making money? I call that a win-win for KCMO.

About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright