Calgary police’s fancy new toys

By Tristan Taylor

It seems as if our provincial government has hatched another plan to catch all the speeders in Alberta. Since the start of 2009, all red-light cameras have been upgraded to snap photos of all cars who pass through lights regardless of the colour. Is it just another cash grab? It fucking feels like it. Just like the ticket quota enforced on our police officers and the use of photo radar to blindly ticket all offenders, green-light cameras are another way for the city to pocket money.

This new protection for drivers supposedly solves two problems, claims Paul Oss, a spokesman for the provincial government: it will catch speeders and those who run red lights. Seriously though, if someone was to run a red light, they usually wouldn’t be going the speed limit. That reasoning is ludicrous. If you want to protect drivers, educate them, don’t punish them through excessive laws and cash grabs.

What are the potential problems with this? What happens when people slam on the breaks to go through green lights? Eighty-kilometre-per-hour fender benders, especially in the winter, when Calgary’s roads become treacherous.

This supposed protection doesn’t actually solve any problems other than filling out the big boys’ salary. In fact, it seems like it will create a more hazardous environment. One of the most dangerous aspects of driving is the interaction with other drivers. This occurs most frequently at intersections and by adding another complication or threat to drivers, they will be forced to choose between a safe decision and a cheaper decision in the case of an emergency.

Another aspect of this new law enforcement technique is that it will double charge a single driver for one act. If someone is caught speeding through a red light, they will get double fined. It is like getting yelled at for not knowing the right answer in class, then also getting docked participation marks for being a dumbass. It doesn’t really make sense nor is it fair.

Citizens are in the midst of a four-month grace period, which ends April Fool’s Day. Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke. Possibly the most irritating part of this whole thing is that no one seems to mind. This action taken by the provincial government, and approved by our municipality, directly affects all drivers. This will have negative consequences, especially in times of poor road conditions.

Green-light cameras suck. This is a call for our government to stop sucking. Enough with the cash-grabbing techniques. This potentially dangerous decision to punish those that speed through green lights will negatively affect all drivers, both safe and dangerous. The only solution to this problem is to take transit, but that sucks too. So ride a bike.

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