LETTER- Red-light cams aren't so great

I've had three weeks to ponder the possibility that I might have misled the Hook's readership with my response to the question that was posed to me by your roving reporter: "Are red-light cameras a good idea?" [March 1: "Question of the Week"]

So let me begin by saying that running red lights is a serious offense with often devastating consequences to innocent drivers, pedestrians, and bystanders.

Having said that, I do not believe that cameras are the answer to reducing its incidence rate. In addition to the reasons I gave in my brief statement– that there might be extenuating circumstances a camera couldn't capture– there's a compelling reason why cameras are not effective measures.

The punishment meted out is against the owner of the vehicle and not its driver. Since the owner and the driver are often not the same party, it seems that the wrong person might be singled out.

I would support any effort to make our streets and neighborhoods safer– in Charlottesville and other places– but it's naive to think that cameras are the solution.

Fines for running red-lights will end up having the same impact as fines for parking at expired meters. In other words, tickets for running red-lights will not be a deterrent for wayward drivers but merely a revenue source!

Hillel Maximon
Mill River, MA