Tactics of Red Light Camera Supporters (Part 1): Emotion

August 18, 2007

Here is a heart wrenching story on amarillo.com about a woman who died due to someone running a stop sign, and how it causes the family to come out in favor not only of red light camera systems, but of harsher penalties on them. News Papers will typically open up their pro red light camera article with an emotion tugging story like this. After all, who wouldn’t identify with the loss of a loved one due to someone blowing through an intersection. Here’s another example from the Delaware News Journal.

Emotion is a common trick used by many people to win arguments when they cannot win on the facts. And the facts in this case are quite clear, it would not have mattered whether or not the intersection had a camera system in place. The only result would be that the family might have a few digital photographs of the vehicle plowing into their car, but it wouldn’t have saved them or prevented the accident.

The only effective means of reducing accidents at intersections, that has been scientifically proven again and again, is extending the length of the yellow light. However, as more and more cities choose revenue under the guise of safety instead of actual safety, you can expect accidents like this to continue to occur.

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