14 May 2009

Jonesborough traffic cameras: The other side’s take

I posted on the recent protests over the use of Redflex cameras at the three major intersections in Jonesborough, TN. I thought that while the protest group was generally respectful and well organized, I made the point that I thought removal of the cameras would be a hard sell to the citizens of Jonesborough. Turns out, I was right.

In spite of the more than 400 petition signatures collected at Saturdays rally to ban Redflex cameras in Jonesborough, several residents say they feel much safer driving through the intersections because of the traffic camera system.

John Browning is a resident of downtown Jonesborough and travels through the three intersections with the cameras several times a day.

“It has always been a danger because you can’t predict what people are going to do,” Browning said “People are frequently running the red lights and speeding.”
He said one situation that often affects him is when he wants to make a right turn at a red light. He said he could pull up to the light, stop and see that he has plenty of room to pull out, but if the opposite traffic light turns yellow people would often speed up.

“All of a sudden they are right on me,” Johnson said. “It’s kind of like being a target in a shooting gallery.”

Ok, I know I live in Virginia, but I can speak with some authority on this because I have travelled those intersections numerous times while at East Tennessee State University. It seems to me that in this case, public safety would trump whatever issues would arise. That was my point in my previous post. It is hard to argue, even when you are right, with quantifiable data.

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