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Cameras make drivers accountable for actions

Staff Report • May 21, 2012 at 8:33 AM

There’s a feeling among some drivers in this state that they should be allowed to break the state’s driving laws with impunity. They erroneously believe if there’s no cop to catch you, how can it be a crime? Red-light cameras thwart this notion.

The cameras can do something that no community can now afford to do through traditional policing — have 24/7 enforcement in place at trouble intersections.

The cameras have made a difference here in Johnson City. Recent numbers show they have helped to reduce dangerous side-angle collisions at several locations in the city. Sure, rear-end collisions have increased, but that’s because drivers continue to follow other cars too closely at these intersections.

This problem, along with other bad habits often displayed by motorists in Tennessee, can be corrected with better driver’s education programs and by making it tougher to obtain a driver’s license in this state.

Driving is not a right, it is a privilege and drivers need to learn they aren’t allowed to make up the rules of the road as they go along.

The major argument against these traffic cameras from opponents have been that they are a revenue-generating scheme on the part of local governments. There’s no doubt some cities have collected a generous amount of fees from these cameras, but that’s only because there are so many lawbreakers willing to oblige.

No one ever intends to harm others by running a red light. Unfortunately, they often do. That’s why we applaud Johnson City, Jonesborough and other towns and cities that have installed cameras to ticket motorists who callously put their lives and the lives of others in jeopardy by running red lights.

And our advice to the drivers we’ve hard from who have repeatedly been ticketed by a red-light camera: Give up your driver’s license and take a city bus. You have no business behind the wheel.

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