Answer to red-light-camera woes: Stop
What an amazing few weeks it has been for liars and cheats in the news. Deflated footballs, fabricated combat tales and directionally challenged Little League officials. Even the Grammy's "Song of the Year" had riffs lifted from another song.
Now a battle looms in Springfield over red light cameras. It is true that maybe they are sometimes placed at intersections where they do little to prevent accidents and even cause more than their share. Maybe they are nothing more than a "revenue grab by local governments" as state Rep. McSweeney suggests. And maybe there has been some political wrongdoing (shocking in Illinois, I know) in the rewarding of contracts for the camera companies. But at a time when so many mistrust and disdain our elected representatives, do we really want this issue debated in Springfield?
I propose the answer is simpler and in our very control today. Stop. That's right, stop. Just stop. As you approach an intersection in the right hand lane and the light is red, just stop. Not roll through. Not slow down. Stop. And here's an even more radical idea: if the light is yellow, slow down and be ready to stop. There is a line painted across the lane just for that purpose. If we all engaged in these behaviors, the cameras would magically go away.
With no money to be made, no buyers of their services, red light cameras would quickly become a historical footnote. When we decide to stop trying to cheat the law, stop whining when we get caught, and just plain stop, the problem of red light cameras will go away forever. Maybe celebs and even the rest of the world won't stop so easily. But we can.