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TRAFFIC CAMERAS ARE ALL THE RAGE

For a very good/bad? reason traffic cameras have become all the rage for East Tennessee municipalities.   And pardon the pun but they've made for some rage for the population as well.  I think the first city I heard of getting traffic cameras for enforcement purposes was Knoxville.  It didn't take long until Chattanooga and Nashville followed suit. 

Then about a year ago my home town joined in.  My city has focused on stop-lights at major intersections.  And it's apparently paid off big time in traffic enforcement, not to speak of revenue.  Since then I've talked with several individuals who have received the dreaded letter in the mail.  They all thought the same thing--the city was just looking for more revenue.

This week a small town not far from us took it up a notch.  They're putting cameras on a state highway that runs through their small town.  However, it's important to note that the highway doesn't have any stoplights.  Nope, they're looking for speeders.  That little town has a reputation for years of being a speed trap.  They've nailed me a couple of times over the years because I wasn't paying close enough attention to my speed.  I paid both tickets because to be honest with you I sort of understood since they don't have any source of income except real-estate taxes.  Of course that little town is saying all the right stuff just like the other towns--the cameras are going to prevent accidents, etc. but it's very obvious to me and everyone else what they're after.  In fact they're going to get more efficient since now they won't have to have cops out running the roads.

Now this information has been revealed.  That sure isn't going to help the rage situation any.  Note that two of Tennessee's fair cities have been busted for shortening the yellow time.  I believe my city has done the same.  Just two weeks ago they made a new camera-enforced intersection on the route I drive to work and honest-to-god I thought the yellow was shorter afterward.  That was before this report came out so now I'm really suspicious.

By the way if you're a fan of camera enforcement and think that technology is accurate you might want to rethink that.  A couple of years ago my son got one of those letters and a ticket for running a stop light.  It was from a town in West Tennessee and it was for a Nissan truck just like he drove.  The plate number was similar but the color of the truck was different in the attached photo.   Just one problem--he's never been west of Nashville in his truck.  It took he and my wife a half-dozen calls to get that ticket squashed.  Apparently innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply to these situations.

April 14, 2008 in AUTOMOBILES | Permalink

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