Reader Interactions


  1. I have confidence that over time even Tucson drivers can learn to stop when the light turns red, and go when it turns green.
    It may just take them a little time.

  2. So, basicall the issue is that Tucson driver’s are not smart enough to adapt to the cameras flash or change their driving behavior to going the speed limit and actually stopping at a red light? Interesting take. In the 50+ years I have been driving a red light has always meant stop and violating that meant you get a ticket if caught. Since the cameras increase the chances of getting caught running those pesky lights, it’s easy to dumb down the driver’s. If you can’t modify your driving to obeying the laws of the road and are easily distracted (wounded deer syndrome) by flashing camera lights, cops or other motorists pulled to the side of the road, things flying out of trucks on the roadway, people changing lanes quickly without signaling or allowing enough safe room, as well as other every day distractions that come with driving, then park the car and take a bus.

    • Yeah! I drive a truck for a living and have spent years on the road. I’ve driven all over this country and the thing that always surprises me is how few good drivers there actually are. Most drivers should NOT be driving, they are simply not skilled enough or too easily distracted. I can’t count how many accidents I have seen just this year. I think your suggestion about parking your car and taking a bus is one of the best suggestions I’ve heard on here.
      Concerning red light cameras:
      If you’re a good driver then you’ve got nothing to worry about because you’re naturally going to stop.
      If your a bad driver then this might be your chance to become a good driver. Albeit, it may cost you in fines but you’ll eventually get the hang of it. Not to mention that you just might save someone else’s life, by not smashing your car into them.

  3. Some folks are a bit slow when it comes to adapting to new technology.  Not to worry,  their learning curve will improve eventually.  Obeying the law may take some longer than others to learn. Look at how slowly our Mexican neighbors are adapting to U.S. Immigration Law.

  4. Since when was it acceptable to start referring to law enforcement as a “traffic nightmare?” For me, a “traffic nightmare” would be a road closure for a fatal accident caused by someone trying to beat a red light. Regardless, the cameras free up our police officers. I remember when you used to see officers camped out a big intersections waiting for someone to run a red light – let’s be honest, our officers have better things to do.

  5. Safety on the road is the most important. And while driving there are some helpful tools you can use to be more aware of things like red light cameras, road hazards, live police, etc. For example Trapster, a free mobile phone application that alerts drivers to red light cameras, speed cameras, live police, road hazards, etc. It’s helpful not only preventing tickets but also getting drivers to slow down and hopefully make them more aware of upcoming ticketing cameras.

  6. It has been shown time and time again that red light cameras CAUSE accidents. Accidents more than doubled in Peoria. Avondale removed their red light cameras because they didn’t see any improvement. Other cities have removed their cameras for the same reasons. Why does Tucson insist on making the roads more dangerous just to raise more cash? And where are the traffic engineering studies which show the primary cause of accidents at these locations, what solutions were evaluated, and what solutions were recommended by traffic engineers?

    • I think you may want to cite your source because I have a friend that is an ER nurse in another area that has had enforcement cams and she has seen quite the opposite. According to her, the hospital she works at has seen a decline in intersection accidents after the city decided to put up red light cams. The decline can be explained by the fact that severe accidents are reduced by the use of these lights. You will always have accidents but the severity goes down with red light cams because people are more likely to run the lights when there is more signage and an increased risk in being caught. Basically people are more aware and have more incentive to stop.

      • Edit:
        “You will always have accidents but the severity goes down with red light cams because people are more likely to run the lights when there is more signage and an increased risk in being caught.”
        Should be:
        “You will always have accidents but the severity goes down with red light cams because people are less likely to run the lights when there is more signage and an increased risk in being caught.”

    • How do the cameras cause accidents? Do they jump out from the side of the road prompting people to swerve and crash into one another? No. They make people aware of the fact that they must follow the law and will be held to the consequences if they don’t. If someone stops instead of blowing through a light and gets rear ended A) it is the fault of the person behind them who hit them, and B) that person must have been breaking the law too, seeing as they were probably speeding or tailgating, rendering them unable to stop in time.

  7. The real traffic nightmare is people who are already cruising 15 miles over the limit. Slamming on brakes is a product of bad driving in the first place… you don’t get rid of a solution like a red-light camera that helps correct a bad behavior just because of another poor driving habit. Both need to be fixed. That said, while it’s annoying when someone sits at a green, it’s not a ticketable offense. There’s such a thing as penalizing to the letter of the law, and penalizing where it helps increase safety. Sitting at a green isn’t hazardous, running through a red light is.

  8. @Jerry I couldn’t agree more with you. I hate seeing accidents that could have been entirely avoided if a person would have just waited one more second. Sometimes the difference between being at the wrong place at the wrong time and not is merely a second’s wait away. When the light turns green don’t gun it, wait a moment then go. We need to be our own police and throttle our behavior. Some of us have that ability but unfortunately the vast majority of people are in too much of a hurry and not thinking about others to do so. Which is why I feel that these intersection cameras are a good way of getting us to drive in a more self policing and thoughtful way.

  9. Of course drivers are not going to like getting a ticket no matter how it is issued.
    But, we all know these systems work. They reduce property damage and personal injuries.  They have become a fact of life and a valuable tool in traffic enforcement.

    • I think that one of the best things about these hi tech red light cameras is that an officer does not have to be parked at the dangerous intersection all day to issue the ticket. Instead that officer can be out responding to more severe issues. I for one like the idea that this would reduce the response time for an officer to get to my house in the event of a home invasion or worse.

  10. wow – i am impressed by all the input on the issue – thanks for comments thus far –
    gave me a lot to think about…and i DO hope those who theorize that drivers will get used to hi-tech devices are correct. and i absolutely adore ray’s solution (above) that those who cannot drive properly should park and take the bus (hahahahhah).
    also surprised by poll results so far, with help and hinder running neck and neck!

  11. I wonder if the author would say the samething about an officer sitting on the side of the road monitoring traffic. An officer has the same effect as a camera, but I don’t see articles written complaining about enforcement by them. I do agree that the scope of enforcement should include those who impede traffic.

    • hi mark reed…since you asked…
      if the officer’s presence made a notable number of motorists slam on the brakes and drive approximately 12 mph under the limit – which, as you noted, also happens to be the case – i would then say:
      officers, too, should DEFINITELY ticket people in the same way proposed, by giving them tickets for going lower than the minimum speed limit and impeding the traffic flow.
      perhaps officers don’t get the same attention as speed cameras with regard to such complaints because the officers are mobile. even if they are ‘usually’ in a given location, there is no guarantee they will ‘always’ be at the same location.
      speed cameras are permanently perched, much like vultures above a carcass…

  12. The pure and simple fact is that the drivers in Tucson are terrible anyways.  The cameras do not cause any more accidents than would normally happen and in fact reduce them.  yes, people may slow down and may cause some stress from other drivers, but on the roads like Speedway where there is constant congestion and the speed limit is already low, the cameras will at least make people think twice about trying to make that light and possibly causing more congestion with an accident.

  13. Here in the P.R.S, we have cameras in Tukwila, the shopping mall that is also a city.  I would rather see cops out, like here in Kent.  Nothing brings on momentary compliance like someone pulled off the side of the road.  I think that 5% of the drivers are 95% of  the trouble.  Therefore, I think that it would be easier to put a transmitter on them and remove them from the highway than to mess with the rest of us. 

  14. I think the main point of this article is that Tucson drivers are just plain bad. Slow drivers and bad roads lead to bad driving all the way around. The only good thing about Tucson roads is that there are red light cameras! It is the tiny bit of solace I get for having to drive here.

  15. People need to learn how to drive better.  Part of it is not slowing to a crawl, but I feel more at risk when people are barreling around at 60 in a 40 zone than when a person is going 28.  One pisses me off, the other puts my life and everyone on the roads at risk.

  16. The reason people speed in Tucson is because most of the speed limits are too slow. Bump up the limits except in residential and school zones and start ticketing slow drivers. Red light cameras are fine, but not speed ones until speed limits are reasonable.

  17. What a bunch of baloney, somehow drivers being overly cautious about going through an intersection is more dangerous than some reckless driver blowing through a red light into traffic? I think not. Enforcing our traffic laws deters reckless driving and the more coverage the more deterrence. No number of street cops can match the 24/7 coverage red light cameras provide so let’s use them, the life they save might be your own!

  18. Love them or hate them red light cameras work and the more they are debated the more people are aware of them. They should be at every intersection.

  19. Ok So now they have spent millions of dollars on this so this means the cops are freed up now to protect us right??? Maybe they can show up quickly when I have a prowler in my back yard instead of showing up two hours later. Jeez I can’t believe this is happening actually. Police state folks they are watching us everywhere they are charging us ridiculous fees for these entrappments and still they aren’t not really serving the public anymore as law enforcement was originally designed to do.

Leave a Reply