Local media helps city officials with red light camera issue (updated)

MayorWhiteChiefHurtt must have sent out a press release to local media outlets, because following up on yesterday's KHOU-11 story about the "epidemic" of red light running, the Chronicle helpfully writes up its own story. One paragraph, though, tells us why there's a new local media focus:

City officials may find these numbers, and more recent statistics that do not specify an accident cause, useful in making their case to the Legislature for the need to use cameras to identify red-light runners.

Isn't it nice that local media can help city officials make their case for red light cameras? If the media were really doing their job, they would provide both sides of the issue and point out that lengthening yellow light times is proven to reduce the problem. And it's something the city could do right now, at the worst intersections.

But, as we all know, that won't bring in any revenue.

UPDATE: A new KHOU-11 story says that Mayor White blames criminal defense attorneys for the problems he's having getting his revenue-generating red light cameras up and generating revenue. Did I mention these cameras are revenue generators?

Interestingly an attorney who opposes the cameras advocates...lengthening yellow light times!

[Attorney Paul] Kubosh says if safety were the city's real motivator, it could do better by re-timing lights and extending the yellow cycle. He's fighting the cameras for one simple reason. "The intersections can be set up to trap motorists. It is just a money grab," he says.

"If people stop running red lights, there won't be revenue. And I'd be the happiest person around," says Mayor White.

Except that some cities have been caught shortening yellow light times to increase revenue, and Washington D.C.'s mayor got himself into some hot water by inadvertently admitting that the cameras' main purpose is to make money for the District.

Posted by Anne Linehan @ 05/03/05 10:57 AM | Print |

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