I guess the Amarillo Globe-News has taken a 180-degree turn on the issue of red-light cameras.
The newspaper’s editorial page published an editorial today that all but sings the praises of efforts to unplug red-light cameras in cities all across Texas. The state House has approved a bill that takes away cities’ authority to deploy the devices.
The Globe-News used to favor the cameras. I know because I was editor of the opinion page at the time and we spoke quite fervently in support of the devices that Amarillo City Hall deployed to assist police officers in their efforts to deter motorists from disobeying traffic signals’ command to stop at red lights.
Well, the corporate ownership has changed. A new publisher runs the Globe-News. They have a new “director of commentary,” too. So today the paper has signaled the pending demise of red-light cameras.
The paper takes seriously the “Big Brother” concerns from opponents who contend that the cameras deny accused lawbreakers the chance to “face their accuser.” That, in my view, is pure baloney. Those caught running red lights can appeal the penalty; thus, they can “face their accuser.”
The paper doesn’t actually declare that it has changed its mind. It nearly does so, though.
Which I guess brings me to my point: If the newspaper is going to walk back its once-firm view on the use of certain mechanical devices to crack down on motorists who disobey traffic laws, doesn’t it owe its readers an explanation into why it has all but reversed course?
Check out the editorial here.
It saddens me.