20 December 2012

Traffic Cameras

The Polk County Board of Supervisors has recently authorized traffic cameras for rural areas of Polk County on a party vote of democrats for and republicans against. This is enough to cause a person to cross party lines and support the forces of reaction and imbecility. According to newspaper reports this decision has nothing whatsoever to do with revenue, but with safety. If this statement is true, it is another example of elected officials assuming that the pubic is a complete dunce. It is so patently false to be ludicrous. Of course it has to do with revenue, or as we say, revenue enhancement. In the name of safety we will now be tracking the public on rural roads to ensure they don't kill themselves with excessive speed. What I'm looking forward to is the placement of traffic cameras monitoring the stop signs on gravel roads around the countryside. Anyone who would stop for a stop sign on a gravel road where there is no traffic and no intersection meeting of vehicles in living memory, should not be allowed to drive. Traffic signs have two functions: to direct the flow of traffic and to establish liability in the event of an accident. A stop sign is not placed at an intersection for the purpose of requiring a vehicle to stop its forward motion, it is placed at the intersection for the purpose of assisting motorists traversing the intersection if two vehicles should approach it at the same time. A large number of drivers of motor vehicles on our highways pay no attention to anything outside of their vehicle and need help when encountering another vehicle when surprised by seeing one in their vicinity. There are many too many things inside a car to be bothered by what is outside of it. We have people to talk to or text on the cell phone, the radio to adjust, the cd player to manipulate, the cruise control, sandwiches to eat, make up to apply, on ad infinitum. Ergo we need an occasional stop sign or a yield sign to decide who gets to go first. In addition, the psychology of a vehicle operator is different from the psychology of the person when not driving. When not driving, the normal citizen of our great country is compliant, without noticeable aggression, but when behind the wheel changes into an aggressive, compulsive, and rather stupid human. It is remarkably good fortune that even those of the lowest ability to learn are able to drive. Driving a car is superable easy; probably one of easiest things one can do. Cars practically drive themselves. But back to the point, traffic cameras in rural areas are simply another version of tax with the additional governmental function of controlling its citizen's behavior. All I ask is that we see it for what it is. Safety has nothing to do with this so let's just admit it and not be stupid about it. In any event a traffic accident now and then is not such a bad thing. It gives work to wrecker crews, law enforcement, ambulance crews, hospitals, lawyers, and insurance adjusters. By reducing accidents, the supervisors are reducing employment and income. The people earning their income from personal tragedy should put themselves on the next board meeting agenda and voice their concerns.