Here's a bit of free advice for those who complain
about red-light cameras, decrying them as yet another cash grab
and an invasion of privacy. Our advice is this: Try
not driving through any red lights; you don't run any
red lights, you don't cross horns with any red-light cameras.
What could be more simple?
Of course the cameras are an invasion of privacy. They
invade the privacy of anyone who breaks the law and
endangers lives by refusing to stop when he/she should. We're
big believers in privacy rights, but just can't lose any
sleep about those who negligently threaten our right to move
from place to place in relative safety.
And yes, red-light cameras certainly seem to make money, though
not enough to cover the cost of the pilot project
now operating in Hamilton. But even if it does cost
more than expected, the project is worthwhile, because eventually --
if the pilot becomes permanent public policy, as it should
-- red-light cameras will cause negligent and reckless drivers to
stop or decrease their behaviour. In other words, the end
justifies the means.
And what if the revenue generated some day exceeds the
cost? That wouldn't be a bad thing, either. We can
think of worse prospects than using money from reckless drivers
to invest in community projects, such as infrastructure and recreation.