Lincolnites love a good local debate. Could Mayor Beutler's proposal to legalize automated traffic cameras be the next fiery topic?
Nationwide, traffic cameras are loved and reviled. Municipalities love 'em. Traffic cameras increase revenue for relatively little cost. Revenue increases even more when municipalities shorten yellow light times to increase red light violations. A few communities have been caught doing that. Motorists hate them. Nobody likes being caught in the act of doing something you've always gotten away with in the past. Plus, all those new brake lights lead to substantial increases in rear-end collisions in communities that install traffic cameras. Moreover, plenty of folks think it's a little creepy to be watched by cameras wherever they go.
Before Lincoln installs traffic enforcement cameras, Mayor Beutler and other local officials are going to have to prove two things: first, that there is a problem; and second, that traffic cameras are the best solution. Maybe both are true, maybe they aren't. Presumably we will learn more if the topic makes it onto the Unicameral's agenda, and again if the City Council takes up the issue.
What is your gut reaction to the idea of using traffic enforcement cameras in Lincoln, whether for speeding, red light running, or other offenses?