I was greeted by one of those dreaded red-light violation notices from the village of East Dundee today. Guilty as charged. The black-and-white nature of these violations, not taking into consideration real situational safety concerns, is one of the reasons I'm not going to patronize nor step foot within the city limits of East Dundee as long as they continue to maintain these red-light cameras. So, Bravo, East Dundee! It's a shame that Benedicts, Dairy Queen and Wal-Mart will not see a dime from me in the foreseeable future.
So why am I so angry about this? After all, I'm guilty! The generation of my ticket, while technically correct, did not take into consideration the safety of myself and those around me, nor is there an effective and reasonable mechanism to contest the ticket. Municipalities say it's all for the safety and well-being of its citizens. Baloney. It's a means to generate revenue under an assumption of guilt.
Let me set the stage. I'm approaching the traffic light at the intersection of Route 68, and 72, where there is a traffic arrow that illuminates green, then yellow, and then the light stays at red. I was reaching the intersection at one of those moments (and you know we've all had them,) where you are traveling at a speed too fast to slow down, but not fast enough to get through before the light turns red. That was me, and I got busted. So if I understand, based on this violation, should I have reduced speed (effectively slamming on my brakes) in order to avoid having gone through the intersection? Conversely, should I have accelerated like a madman and made it past there in time? It's neither safe or a good economically sound for me to do business in East Dundee.