Viewpoint: Traffic Cams

The Mississippi House has voted 117-3 to ban red light and speed cameras in the state.  The bill will now go to the State Senate for deliberation.  Currently Jackson, Columbus, McComb, Natchez, Southaven, and Tupelo have seen their city councils approve of red light camera ordinances.  While it has been talked about in this area—it has not bee voted on by local officials.
 
Frankly, I don’t think we need or want these cameras at our intersections.  It is not the police or any other law enforcement agency that regulates them…but a private out of state firm who gets half the money if you are caught on camera on the wrong side of the line.   You get your $75 or so ticket in the mail with little recourse but to pay it.  It seems more like a revenue raising scheme than a law enforcement or safety issue to me.  Don’t we already have “Big Brother” snooping around enough in our lives and reaching into our pockets?  Some studies argue that the presence of cameras at intersection can actually cause more accident by distracting or causing drivers to panic and slam on brakes to keep from crossing the line.
 
I’ve heard more than one person complain that they will avoid certain parts of Jackson just because they know there is an over-abundance of traffic light cameras in that area.  This hurts the businesses in that area.  For what it’s worth, we hope the State Senate agrees with the House and that the Governor signs this bill into law.  While I am all for safe driving and obeying our traffic laws…there are better ways to enforce them in my opinion.
 
I’m Jim Cameron…write and let us know what you think.
Email Jim Cameron at jcameron@wdam.com