Focus on Public Safety [PHIL-OSOPHY]
A bill that would allow red-light cameras is headed to the Massachusetts Senate.
Proponents of this idea say the heavy volume of traffic makes it difficult for local police to enforce the traffic laws, and they believe red light cameras can help them.
I'm not at all keen on this proposal, first and foremost because the cameras don't improve safety or reduce accidents. I'll rethink this if the politicians can show independent verification that these devices actually improve highway safety or improve the flow of traffic.
According to analysis from Case Western Reserve University, these cameras don't cut down on the number of traffic accidents or injuries at intersections where they're installed. So since these cameras don't improve public safety, I believe they're an inconvenience to motorists and a money grab. From my perspective, tax dollars should be used on improving intersections, not on purchasing and maintaining ticket cameras.
If the Senate wants to choose to make intersections safer, they should start with sound traffic engineering, but unfortunately, they will likely pick money over safety. It sounds like a cliché, but Beacon Hill shouldn't give the green light to this brainstorm.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.