Responding to the writer on Sept. 18 voicing his opposition to traffic cameras at Rome High School, I would like for him to reflect back to when red light cameras were installed in Rome to catch red light runners. The cameras would snap a picture of the violating vehicle. The registered owner of that vehicle would then receive a $70 ticket in the mail regardless of who was driving. The registered owner could then take up the matter with whoever was the operator.
The purpose of these cameras, as sold to the public, were as a safety factor (and not a revenue provider) to avoid “T-bone” accidents. The city received a portion of the fines and the camera company was guaranteed a monthly fee for “X” number of months. Ultimately, the cameras were removed due to “public outcry.” Coincidentally, as the public got wise to the cameras, the fine revenue went down and the city found themselves going into the red to pay the camera company. Strange coincidence, safety seemed to take second fiddle to revenue. Bottom line, people started paying attention to the red lights for a time.
The same holds true for the school cameras. It doesn’t matter that the school zone is 45 mph only in the morning or afternoon. Drivers don’t pay attention or just ignore the zone. I live in the Armuchee community which has two school zones, both at 45 mph, along busy U.S. 27 with a speed limit of 55 mph, the same as in front of Rome High School. The difference is that Rome High School also has a red light to slow drivers down, U.S. 27 does not. Drivers along U.S. 27 approaching the school zones will reduce their speed to 50 or 55, while others continue on with no reduction in their speed, some exceeding 60 mph.
The writer goes on to state that it’s not the vehicle breaking the law — it’s the driver. Another cliche often used is: it’s not the gun, it’s the shooter. In both instances it’s the perpetrator who will pay, along with the victim. Without enough police to patrol all of our school zones, I personally would like to see cameras in all school zones. Call it big brother interference if you will, but what is more important, personal inconvenience or peoples lives?