Opinion: East Baton Rouge, Louisiana government bungles ‘Big Brotherish’ red-light camera program

There’s plenty of evidence red-light cameras are nothing more than a full-proof way to grow government coffers, and that they have little to do with public safety. Several media outlets including The Washington Post, Winnipeg Sun, Philadelphia Weekly, KCAL-TV in Los Angeles and KATU-TV in Portland investigated red-light cameras and found they do not make intersections safer. In fact, in most cases they make intersections more dangerous since drivers, fearing heavy fines, are more likely to slam on their brakes if they see the light change causing them to get hit from behind.

Keep in mind there’s already a deterrent in place to speeding through an intersection when the light is red. It’s called getting killed. You would think that would serve as a bigger deterrent than the threat of paying a fine.

But the temptation of easy money is apparently too much to resist for city-parish officials. Gissel says Baton Rouge is looking to expand traffic cameras to include catching speeders. But if it’s more money they want, shouldn’t they just go after those who are refusing to pay their fines? It’s not fair to those who do pay.