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letters to the editor


Red-light cameras

This is in response to the person who wished that ALL Farragut intersections had traffic cameras (PressTalk Mar 03 issue).

I think this is a great idea. While we are at it, let’s install traffic cameras at every stop sign, and I propose making it a law that every home is required to have a traffic camera installed in the driveway. Just the other day I was walking my dog along the side of the road, and my neighbor came recklessly roaring out of his driveway at the break-neck speed of 2 mph, and he ALMOST hit me with his car! And, he was driving in reverse as well! The menace of law-breaking drivers who employ this dangerous and potentially deadly ‘rolling-stop’ maneuver MUST be dealt with. I also would like to see the Town of Farragut mandate the installation of home safety enforcement cameras. With this system implemented, the town will be able to issue tickets to people who recklessly refuse to sort the recyclable materials in their trash, play their TV’s too loud, and let their pets run leash-less in the backyard. Finally, I would like to propose that the Town of Farragut look into the viability of mandatory dashboard mounted driving enforcement cameras for all its residents. I would love to see a camera that could via wireless transmission be tied in with the red-light system in place, and when a driver recklessly drives 26 mph in a 25 mph, a ticket can be issued.


To my fellow residents, the scenario listed above will become a reality if we continue to allow our personal freedoms to be sacrificed in the name of safety. I think that most if not all of the people against the use of red-light cameras are in favor of penalizing drivers who truly RUN red lights. However, if we are to see this system as anything other than the revenue stream it obviously is, then the degree of severity between running a light vs. the rolling stop must be addressed.

Ed Strollo

Knoxville



Charles Dickens in his novel “Oliver Twist” first coined the phrase, “the law is a [deleted]” — a idiot, now we say “an [deleted],” nevertheless, the strict electronic enforcement of right turn on red is definitely “an [deleted].” Since the technology can detect the speed of the offender, there has to be a compromise on the speed that a vehicle is actually posing a danger.

Do you know how far a car takes to stop at 7 mph? How wide is a dime? I was amused at a caller last week that complained that a driver turned red and never looked right. Well, if a driver is that stupid and negligent, then requiring him or her to stop and then turn right is still a hazard. This reinforces the thought, however remote it may be to pedestrians, that they have a duty to “look left” before stepping off the curb to cross the street. To neglect to do so can cost them their lives and not only because someone is crawling through a right turn on red.

I am old enough to remember when the U.S. Congress passed the right turn on red law, and the purpose was to save fuel from all of the lines waiting at a red light to turn when it was safe to do so. Do you know how much more fuel it takes to start a vehicle from a stop and achieve 30 mph as opposed to, say, 7 mph? Thirty percent is the answer. Multiply that by all of the stopped cars that turn right in the United States every day. Congress codified a common sense rule nation wide to save fuel. Common sense cops on patrol never ticketed anyone for not stopping to turn right as long as it was safe to do so. Forty years ago when that law was passed no one dreamed that cops would be replaced with cameras and a new source of revenue would be found by governments.

I will end this with a personal story. On May 9, 2009, I was traveling west on Parkside Drive and at its intersection with Cedar Bluff Road, I looked left and there was not a car in sight so I glided through on my way to [Parkwest Medical Center]. There I held my wife’s hand, along with her family, priest and close friends, till her spirit joined Jesus Christ. While this took place a ticket was printed out by a machine and mailed to me, my gift from the City of Knoxville on the day of my wife’s death, a summons to send the city $50 as my consequence for not stopping before turning right on a deserted street early on a Saturday morning.

Yes, George Orwell’s “1984” is here. I applaud the brave legislators, such as Ryan Haynes, who are trying to eliminate the machine-generated tickets for violations of right turn on red.

Gene Rudesill

Knoxville

 

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