Red-light cameras are back in the news.
A study has come out that seems to give ammo to those who oppose the cams because they haven’t made our streets safer. Injury accidents at intersections are up a bit in the two years since Amarillo City Hall deployed the cameras as a deterrent against those who run red lights.
But am I ready to call for a wholesale retreat from this initiative? Not even close.
The data don’t prove anything conclusively. If anything, they suggest that the city needs to do a better job of bringing the cameras to the driving public’s attention.
For example, I drive routinely along Coulter Street, which has red-light cams at its intersection with Elmhurst. Do I notice the sign warning me of the cameras every time I drive by? No. State law requires the city to place the signs 300 feet in front of the intersection. But after awhile, they kind of become part of the scenery — not unlike Stanley Marsh 3’s ubiquitous lawn signs.
The cops said we have a problem with red-light runners. The mayor heard the police concerns and, along with the City Commission, acted in a way designed to make our streets safer.
I’m willing to give the experiment more time.
In the meantime, can’t there be a way to elevate the streetside warnings’ visibility to motorists?