Cameras in Traffic . . . 

Many a person objects to the cameras proposed at street crossings in Palm Coast and, I understand, also in Orlando. However, perhaps one should think about such objections more carefully.

Having driven also in Europe, I know that the traffic culture is different from ours. In Europe, I stop when the light turns yellow. The signal means for the intersection to clear, not for traffic to speed up to make it through the intersection yet, before the red arrives. Red means that I will crash into someone since the other side has green at that time, not as in Florida where we get a “red” that signals a last-second speed-up option for traffic. Having been the victim of one such “it’s the kind of red one should speed up for” driver, I know that such settings are asking for trouble.

Speeding in Europe likewise is governed by cameras. Such procedures are going to put an end to any high-victim and high-speed chases by police. A bill in the mail from your local traffic court with image of driver, image of license plate, and image of clocked speed or status of the traffic light will be all that is necessary for conviction.

The objection that one cannot see a traffic light when following a huge truck is poppycock. The culprit in that case deserves two tickets: one for running the light and another for tailgating. The objection that rear-end collisions will increase with the use of cameras is as much poppycock: such a driver deserves a ticket for not controlling his/her vehicle and for tailgating also.

The camera is not functioning on an arbitrary and capricious basis; the culprit triggers the event, so no one’s privacy is unduly invaded––proper driving will make sure of non-invasion.  Europeans also hear of camera placements on the radio. The intent is to make traffic safe, not to siphon off money. The traffic fines are reasonably small because they may be relied on to happen. Compare that to our system where staggering amounts encourage gambling instead of safe driving.

In fact, Europeans signal each other when they know of a camera in use somewhere. However, Europeans also seem to agree that they will not signal the egregious speeder and all-around dangerous driver. Besides, I’m going to be very happy if unbiased cameras manage to catch some of the speeders from the various police agencies that would normally hide behind the blue/green walls of silence.

So, cameras in traffic? I’m all for them—no holds barred. As long as the culprit triggers the event him-/herself, no one’s privacy has been invaded.