Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

January 28, 2005

Traffic Tickets Cause Accidents

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:11 am

Many places now have “red-light cameras” that take pictures of cars going through red lights. Tickets are then mailed to car owners. No police are involved (at the time of the incident anyway). In Virginia at least, intersections with such cameras have signs prominently posted announcing the presence of the cameras.

The idea is either (a) to prevent accidents by discouraging drivers from running red lights, or (b) to generate revenue. Or both. Apparently, they do neither. They encourage people to stop short at red lights, causing rear-end accidents — and they don’t prevent enough cross-traffic accidents to make it up. According to a study by the Virginia Department of Transportation, the net result is an increase in crashes, and an increase in injuries. Similar results have been found in Australia and North Carolina.

Furthermore, a legal loophole makes it entirely legal for drivers to ignore tickets mailed to them — because Virginia law required an “in-person summons” to compel a person to appear in court. Apparently, Arizona has the same loophole.

Details are here.

Hat tip: InstaPundit.

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