red light redux

During the relatively mild (in retrospect) winter of 2009 we posted a small item expressing our displeasure with Kansas City’s new red light program.

In the post we noted several ways we believed one might avoid being ticketed by the robo-system, this in spite of the fact that we are not ourselves lawyers. 1

And that was it.

We felt that America’s strong don’t fuck with me streak sense of fair play and common sense would soon relegate the system to the scrap heap of history along with the Rubik’s Cube, Tammy Baker and Sarah Jessica Parker’s knees.

At first, this looked to be the case. Several blogs dedicated to the red light program removal popped up. Local news stations reported on the program’s inefficiency. Local wannabe pols made the program a hobby-horse. 2 The whole notion just felt temporary.

Yet, earlier this year state Senator Lembke (R-STL) took a principled stand on the issue, for exactly the reasons we outlined nearly 3 years ago. And the rest of his brethren have, finally, similar ideas, going so far as to halting the introduction of the program into any more Missouri cities.

Despite the pols squawking,  just this month American Traffic Solutions sent out a news release explaining how wonderful their program was and bragging about how many communities they had pillaged served.

It seemed that the Matrix would gain a firm foothold in our time…

But then…from Cali…came a sensible idea: 3 get rid of the fuckers. Seems the LAPD, one of the nation’s more notoriously corrupt police forces 4, wants the devices gone. This is backed up by an audit by LA City Controller Wendy Greuel; last year she found that the cameras cost the city more than it receives in revenue. Additionally, the program has not “conclusively shown to have increased public safety.”

Sound familiar? The same contentions have been made here in KC, though our City Council keeps ignoring them. Perhaps it’s time for Gary White to run an audit similar to Wendy Greuel’s?_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Show 4 footnotes

  1. Though, please,  feel free to address us as Esquire.
  2. Check out the jackets on everyone; can you even remember the last time that was necessary?
  3. I know: Cali and sensible in the same sentence feels wrong, like Michele Bachmann and her gay husband “laying down” together.
  4. Right after NY and Chicago

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