Unfortunately for many, laws or moral responsibility do not motivate them as much as a hit on their wallet. What is a human life or that of a family worth? How about a manslaughter charge or a stretch in prison — what’s that worth? In view of the alternatives, if these things can be prevented, a $158 fine sounds like a pretty good deal.
If some of our local pundits are to be believed, red-light cameras have been shown to be effective in reducing intersection crashes by almost 60 percent. That’s no small feat.
Arguments against cameras are weak. For example, “The owner may be fined, although he may not be driving the car.” Well, whoever is driving the car is responsible for obeying the law, and isn’t the owner ultimately responsible for who he lends his car to?
Another complaint is that the fine is unfairly increased if challenged and the party is still found guilty. What’s unfair? The guilty driver has added time and expense to the process. Shouldn’t he or she pay for it?
Finally, some would like to infer that these fines are a source of additional revenue for the community and that somehow this is wrong. Shouldn’t those who create the need for these cameras pay for them and for any related expense?
The solution is simple: If you don’t want to pay the fine, don’t do the crime.
Cameras are a win-win situation for the community. When red-light violations diminish and insufficient fines are collected, cameras will no longer be needed. For now, they’re a plus that could save your life.