Balanced and factual reports airing recently on NBC, Fox News and CBS have National Motorist Association officials encouraged about a growing media awareness of the red-light camera con.
The NMA provided background information and analysis for two of the three broadcast reports, including the group's executive director pointing out on the Fox report that lengthening the yellow sequence by one second is usually sufficient to make a red-light camera unprofitable.
But the more encouraging fact for the group is that other major national media outlets are getting the message as well:
"The message that cameras have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with money is starting to sink in. Consider a recent piece from Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., titled The Answer is a Longer Yellow. The title alone tells you that mainstream media outlets are starting to acknowledge the inherently corrupt nature of red-light cameras," the group says in its latest newsletter.
But NMA had no direct contact with Jenkins prior to his red-light camera column appearing in the nation's number one newspaper. Even so, Jenkins gets at the heart of the issue:
"The column points out that red-light cameras only thrive when motorists are put at a disadvantage (in the form of short yellow lights and aggressive enforcement of right-turn-on-red). This reflects a deeper understanding of the issues and is something the NMA has been talking about for years.
"But here’s the irony: The NMA had no direct input on the WSJ story. And we’re OK with that. The facts about red-light cameras speak for themselves, and thoughtful observers, like Jenkins, are starting to pay attention."
UPDATE: Ohio judge calls speed-cameras "three-card Monty"
There's bad news on the speed camera front, too, as an Ohio judge has ruled that speed cameras placed in a Buckeye State town are nothing more than a scam.
Judge Robert Ruehlman delivered the verdict after officials in Elmwood Place generated $105 each for more than 6,600 speeding tickets issued by the cameras. Only 2,000 people live in Elmwood Place.
Go here for more on the Ruehlman decision.