There are few things more American than planting your foot to the floorboard, feeling the car come alive, and speeding through a red light with nothing in front or behind you but opportunity and time.
State Senator Nathan Dahm wants to make sure things stay that way. The Oklahoma Senate recently passed his bill that will ban pesky red-light cameras at intersections.
Via The Oklahoman:
A bill prohibiting the use of red-light cameras in the state was approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma Senate.
Senate Bill 260, authored by state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, would forbid the use of the devices, which are automated to take photos of vehicles that pass through intersections during a red traffic light.
There are no red-light cameras in Oklahoma, Dahm said. If one were installed, a law enforcement officer would have to witness the crime in person or review video before a citation could be issued. Citations issued without an officer involved are subject to a penalty, he said.
“My intent with this was to make sure we put the prohibition in there so that, in the future, if that penalty were to be changed, it still wouldn’t open it up for those red-light cameras,” Dahm said.
Look, I get it. We’ve all had the urge to go through a red light when there’s no-one around. Hell, most of us speed through yellow lights like we’re part of the Fast and Furious franchise. But there has to be some sense of accountability when it comes to people driving like crazy people through the streets. I can speak to this as someone who has been described as “one of the worst drivers since my grandmother.”
But let’s give the lawmaker the benefit of the doubt. I’d like to live in a world where legislative decisions are made through common sense.
In Texas, where the cameras are currently used, legislators also are trying to ban the devices. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said last year that the cameras are expensive, may increase accidents and pose constitutional issues.
Dahm said other states have had problems with the cameras “false-identifying” vehicles and drivers.
So let me get this straight – cameras at intersections may increase accidents? I’ve never once been driving through Oklahoma City, seen a camera, and lost all motor-function. Not once have I been around surveillance and thought, “I guess now would be the time to charge an intersection and hit the slow pedestrian.”
Yes, terrible drivers are everywhere and accidents happen every day. So why take away one of the few countermeasures that show what actually happened? The bill says that if the cameras were put in place, police would have to review the tape before the citation or catch the driver in the act. That’s sort of the whole point, isn’t it?