Friday, June 22, 2007

Of Camera Dectors and Cameras at Intersections

It is no secret, here in the city of Chicago, that the whole point of putting up cameras at "high risk" intersections to catch more people running red lights and breaking the law in order to write more tickets to meet whatever budget quota has been assigned to further stuff the pockets of politicians in this Windy City.

As a Chicago Tribune article today quotes Ald. Edward Burke (14th: "Revenue from the $90 fines at camera-guarded intersections "is budgeted in our annual appropriation ordinance," the alderman said. "That is why all these cameras are being installed. ... The reality is that people blow through these intersections and they are going to be caught and they are going to be fined. It has become a big revenue source, absolutely."

So it is of little surprise that he is in arms over a new device from Cobra Electronics that warns drivers of upcoming intersections that have cameras. Such a device has the potential to put a significant dent in the $19.8 million dollars collected in fines from drivers who run red lights.

Alderman Burke's insistence on a ban of such a device makes it clear that he is more interested in meeting a quota than actually helping to save the lives of his constituents. Never mind the cost to tax payers when accidents do happen, whether a fender bender or a fatality. Never mind people's blatant disregard for red lights and the cameras. As long as he gets hi $19.8 million plus, he's happy.

God for bid any piece of technology that would benefit drivers, pedestrians and cops prevent him from getting that $19.8 million plus.

And I keep expecting the next feature added to Google Maps to include the marking of intersections that have cameras. You can already add traffic, so why not include intersections with cameras as well?

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