Friday, February 9, 2007


It seems one of our state legislators feels the city of Albuquerque has installed "money-making traps" at some of our traffic signals. He lives here in Albuquerque. And he introduced state legislation to force the city to put up "flashing yellow beacons" wherever there are cameras designed to take pictures of red light runners. You know, the people who cause many, many accidents in our city. He said that if the beacons were flashing, it would alert motorists that the traffic light would turn red before they got through the intersection. And all this time I had thought that was what the middle light (you know, the amber one) on the signal was for. So much for Driver's ed in high school. Like all cities, we have certain intersections that have extremely high accident rates. The cameras were put up in order to give us all more safety. So the city makes a few bucks and plows that money back into traffic safety. So what? Our police chief cites the reduced accidents at these intersections as proof that the cameras are doing their job. Our Mayor (good ole Marty) says the dough made is funneled back into the program. Imagine me agreeing with them! He also pointed out that speeders are paying for the cameras, not the taxpayers. My belief is that this state senator has gotten caught and found out that his license plate has not prevented him from getting a ticket or two. He has also failed to grasp that a flashing light will probably also have speeders goosing the accelerator more to get through the light. Bang, smash. More accidents, more injured and dead citizens. Further, a flashing yellow beacon will not improve the driver's already divided attention with his/her cell phone. In fact, it will likely just be one more distraction in our already distracted time behind the wheel.

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