The city is moving forward with implementing red light cameras, but people are still wailing at the supposed injustice of it all. Given all the media coverage of this one little issue, one might think that our very livelihood hung in the balance.
For months, the counter-arguments flew. At first, it was all about the fear of “Big Brother.” When council didn’t buy that, pointing out that we pretty much live in the age of video cameras, the argument shifted to the increased potential for rear-end collisions. Council responded by promising to maintain control over yellow light duration. Then they claimed that it was all about money – “It’s a waste of taxpayer money! It’s a gold-digging effort!” At an implementation cost of nil and with RedFlex getting most of the $50-a-ticket revenue, council didn’t buy that either. Personally, I hope the city does make some money off the deal. Then maybe they can use it to meet the many other safety concerns that need to be addressed.
“It’s a knee-jerk reaction,” they said. Baloney. Council has been entertaining this idea since November of last year. “The problem of red light runners and speeders is non existent.” Again, total crap. The city may not have provided significant data to prove this, but they really didn’t have to. I see the problem on a daily basis. Those who’ve screamed that argument must not ever drive in Oak Ridge; that, or they are blind and probably shouldn’t be driving in the first place. And then there’s my favorite – RLC’s will deter people from shopping here and our city will just continue to deteriorate. What a crock. People go where they need to go to get what they need to get. Period.
So many people rallied against this measure. Early on, an organized group of probably dozens of folks began the battle cry. While some of their concerns had some merit, their repeated statements that “most Oak Ridgers don’t want this” and “it’s time to oust our elected officials” are absolutely ludicrous. You don’t speak for me and you can’t convince me that 14,000 citizens made their voices heard on this matter – not in this town.
Tell me this: Where were all of these people last year? Why weren’t they demanding increased safety measures when it became clear that our children were in danger? How many of them signed up to work as crossing guards? Was it that much more important to fight for the protection of law-breakers rather than for the protection of our kids?
Red light cameras are coming. Slow down, drive safely and get over it!