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Red Light Camera Tickets – Pay Only If You Feel Like It

In my house growing up we had rules that were set and adjudicated by  the law of the land, my parents. A failure to follow these rules always resulted in what we used to call consequences. I think most people follow the rules and abide by them even if they don’t agree with them. I was under the impression that our electronic traffic watchdogs, the Redflex red light cameras and speeding vans carried the same clout as a real live police man. It seems that these violations are “pay if you want to”, and not as binding as a real ticket.

 Claire Taylor of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser wrote a very interesting piece in the August 20th edition of the paper. In it she cites several examples of companies blatantly flaunting the enforcement of red light camera tickets in the face of city parish government and in my opinion, the faces of every law abiding citizen in this town.

Do the owners of Dixie Cab Company and Sea Horse Systems feel they are above the law? Judging by the way they have racked up violations and not paid restitution one could be inclined to think they might. Dixie Cab has over 400 violations, according to Claire Taylor’s article while Sea Horse systems has accrued more than $1200 in fines. One of the officers of Sea Horse Systems says the company has no intention of paying the fines until somebody makes them. Thank you for setting such a fine example.

My opinion on red light cameras was a rock solid NO from the beginning. I have changed my opinion after reading the data  regarding the effect these cameras have had on safety in our town.

Many people believe the cameras are simply a way for the parish to generate revenue, I am sure there is  money that does come from violators who choose to pay. After all from September 2009 to September 2010 speeding citations at red light camera intersections recorded 58,252 violations , that is up from just 4,000 violations at the same intersections the previous year before the cameras were installed. To me the bigger advantage is the fact that in most cases crashes at camera intersections are down.

In another article by Claire Taylor from November of 2010, she cited that crashes were reduced by 41%. That is a significant number in my book. Do I like big brother and government watching me every where I go? No I don’t, but like my Dad used to say,” Your character is who you are even when nobody is looking”. I guess for some of us right will always be right because that is how we were raised and for others right is only right when you are forced to behave.

I would love to know your thoughts on the red light cameras, are they good? Are they bad? Do you think these companies and indviduals should be made to pay their fines? Or is that simply another way to make the attorneys rich?

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