Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Things that Bug: Intersection Cameras

So, I got my first "red light running violation" (yeah, I said first - I'm nothing if not realistic) . . . . I have been on record since day one that those intersection cameras are evil. Fully agreed that wrecks at intersections should be avoided, but - being fully aware that numbnuts exist - I factor the probability that someone will run a red light into my intersection-crossing behavior and proceed into intersections reasonably cautiously and with full awareness of my surroundings. At least, that was before intersection cameras. Post-cameras, I see that the light is about to change and SLAM on those brakes . . . drastically INCREASING the chances that I will get into an intersection accident, because one of these days a numbnut is going to run up my tailpipe. So, intersection cameras: protection for the imprudent, burden to the prudent. (But isn't that true of a lot of things? Ah, but that's for another, much longer post.)

How did I get my ticket, you ask? I made a right turn. A LEGAL RIGHT TURN. So, fully acknowledged that I was in the intersection when the light turned red, and I remember the day that it happened - that ridiculously bright and LOUD strobe thingy went off in my face, and I recall thinking, "You'd better not give me a ticket for making a damned legal right turn." So when my husband called me (gloating, because he's the traffic offender in our household) and asked, "Did you happen to be driving the car on such-a-such a date at so-and-so a time?" I responded, loudly, "THEY BETTER NOT HAVE GIVEN ME A TICKET FOR MAKING A DAMNED LEGAL RIGHT TURN!"

But they did. And I considered fighting it. But then I watched the video and took note of the rolling stop that proceeded my entrance into the intersection. (In my defense, there was a big honkin' truck to my left, pulled up way too far, and in order to see what traffic, if any, was coming from my left I had to pull up beyond the white line. Technically, I should have stopped before the line, then pulled up and stopped again, but really, who does that?) I still considered fighting it, because the citation clearly says, "red light running violation," and, again, there was nothing wrong with me being in the intersection when the light turned red. Technically, it was what I did BEFORE proceeding into the intersection that was objectionable. Had the citation said "rolling stop violation," well, then, sure . . . . Yeah, too much brain damage. I paid the ticket.

But now I am boycotting the intersection of the I-30 access road and Ashland. Since my little experience with Big Brother Cam, I have been paying more attention, and I have been asking around, and it seems like a lot of folks have gotten bogus tickets (far more bogus than mine). Others report driving down that stretch of freeway and almost running off of the road when the flash goes off in their peripheral vision, because the light is that freakin' bright. Not worth the hassle. Exiting at Montgomery from now on. Hey, maybe that was the plan all along: how best to eliminate wrecks at an intersection? DISCOURAGE EVERYONE FROM EVER DRIVING THROUGH THAT INTERSECTION. Brilliant. All objections withdrawn. Or, you know, not.

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