ARGUMENT ESSAY

Submitted By FONIAPOO76
Words: 1008
Pages: 5

Chaffonia Bouyer
Professor Rosa
ENC 1102
6 Mar. 2014
Traffic Control Through the Lens of a Camera There is much controversy whether the use of red-light cameras can prevent bodily injury accidents from happening on major highways. According to U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, "Ninety-five percent of the photographs taken by the system were of non-violating vehicles and the high rate of photographs was attributed to the improper placement of the loops, which caused left-turning vehicles to be photographed" ("Red-Light Camera Technology"). Unfortunately, red-light cameras cause drivers to panic slamming on breaks to prevent running through red lights causing more rear-end collisions. After much debate among citizens of Florida, driving vehicles over the white stop bar at traffic lights during a red light results in a fine sent in the mail. It is my view that, despite the interest of the city to prevent accidents, red-light cameras should be outlawed providing that they increase accidents instead of preventing them. Most people would agree cameras at traffic lights pose a bigger problem than its purpose. For instance, vehicles entering the intersection during a yellow light and it changes to red will not show on camera. Although, the red-light camera system is designed to catch red light violators who may or may not cause crashes at intersections, the system fails in other areas. However, operators of the red-light cameras seem to focus on fining owners of vehicles and not drivers who actually violate traffic laws. First, the camera turns on when the traffic light turns red. Second, it takes a picture of the vehicle's tag from the rear showing the red light. Then, it takes a second picture of the vehicle passing the stop bar. Third, a police officer reviews the footage, mailing out a citation to the vehicle's owner. Although the owner of the vehicle may not have been driving, a citation to the owner illustrates the cameras inability to capture a clear image of the drivers. Therefore, a 2005 study of 132 treatment sites in seven jurisdictions by the Federal Highway Administration found an increase of 15 percent in rear end collisions and a decrease in right-angle crashes ("Safety Evaluation of Red-Light Cameras"). It is believed that red-light cameras represented good ideas to stop red-light violators; however, the cameras indicate an increase of accidents and injuries. Driver's should take some blame for traffic violations. Accidents happen for the lack of respect drivers have on the road. Although they know a yellow light indicates slowing down, drivers believe they can pass through the intersection before the light turns red. Clearly, this is an act of impatient driving. In addition, certain accidents happen due to judgment errors made on the behalf of the driver. In fact, distractions such as talking or texting on your cell phone, eating or drinking, and looking or reaching in the back seat of your vehicle while in motion can cause a potential crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Council, reckless driving in 2012 alone killed 3,328 people. Similarly, drivers who run red lights probably often drive over the speed limit in school zones ("Distracted Driving"). Obviously, some form of action should be placed upon driver's that disobey traffic laws. The question city officials face is this: What is the safest way to decrease accidents at intersections? For one, the removal of red-light cameras will make a big difference. Drivers slamming on brakes when approaching intersections with red-light cameras increase the chances of rear-end collisions. Although one intersection may display red-light cameras, another may not, allowing drivers to speed through risking another possible crash. At the same time, timings of yellow lights seems to be short leading to red-light running. However, Florida maintains the highest elderly populating state over the age of 65, accounting for…