WSJ column highlights what many Americans have perhaps long been suspicious of- are red light cameras seeking to keep the public safe, or harbor a profit for government coffers?
A recent Chicago Tribune poll shows a wide array of motorists are suspicious of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's motives: "Senior citizens and women voters were evenly split on whether they favored or opposed cameras, but they showed broad consensus that they believed Emanuel sought cameras to raise revenue, not save lives."
In some areas of the country, speed limits have also remained unjustifiably slow after millions of dollars are spent reconstructing roads to accommodate higher speeds- and somehow speed limits remain below their optimum- perhaps to foster ticket writing, the article cites.
The article also goes on to list cases of corruption of red light ticket vendors: Last week three executives of Redflex Traffic Systems, an Australia-owned company that operates Chicago's cameras, were fired over an alleged $2 million graft campaign aimed at the local official who oversaw the city's camera contract, including gifts of Super Bowl tickets and trips to White Sox spring training.
In some cities, its not even all about the Benjamins, but perhaps fewer cars, and to penalize those with vehicles, governments are driving the prices of ownership up. The columnist says "Chicagoans have nothing on the rest of the country, of course. In New York, traffic-enforcement cameras aren't just about money but about the anti-car agenda of Mayor Mike Bloomberg. But a bigger picture is also becoming clearer: Ticket-racketeering has been, let's just say, a contending motivation with safety since the automobile age was born."
Read the rest of what Mr. Jenkins says by following