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Comment from Retired Police Chief

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Mr. Armstrong,

Many cops do not think beyond a violation of a law to see the bigger picture of what is really going on, they buy into whatever reason is given for a new program, or they like the government bodies they serve see a cash stream that they think they can use as well; directly or indirectly. Programs like this are often billed to “save our children”, or some other platitude, and you obviously don’t care about people’s safety if you don’t support red light cameras. I found myself very lonely on this issue among Police Chiefs since most seemed to support it, but successfully fought it off at least until I retired. For what it’s worth, I think you are 100% correct and I am so tired of political correctness, pretense, and stating something is that isn’t. Here is a good article that talks about most of what the revenue is mostly from on these cameras. I think the Texas legislature is about to get rid of these though this session.

There are other ways to protect motorist at intersections other than cameras but unfortunately they don’t generate revenue, but, if safety were the true motive at a truly unsafe intersection it would be done. Delayed timing cycles (red in all directions briefly extended) would prevent a lot of accidents that are caused by someone truly blowing through the intersection but when I have suggested such, I was promptly told it would significantly delay traffic flow so it wouldn’t happen. So I guess lifesaving safety isn’t worth our attention if it slows us down any. You could also put a traffic cop at the worst locations but most don’t want to do that either because it cost the city probably as much or more money than the fine revenue would generate.

Trust me I get it as do you. The minute they put a profit motive for a private company regarding the enforcement or non-enforcement of laws, the system became corrupt; similar to what is occurring with privatized prisons/jails in this country. Corporations/business have no place in the criminal justice system where they profit from some type of charges being filed, doing so only corrupts it further.




REPLY: As soon as you provide a monetary incentive to those in government, the game is corrupted. I have an English drivers license that I obtained in 1985 when I lived in London. I paid about $10 and it expires about 2020. Now government has figured out to renew licenses every few years. Why? All you do is send money. There is no check to see if you are qualified other than if you can pay. It is all about money – that’s the name of the game.