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View Diary: Traffic Cameras: Don't watch me, bro! (97 comments)

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  •  I lived in Plano, TX back in the 1990's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nancat357, kurt

    and when I moved there I was struck by the reckless driving. The number of accidents in shopping mall parking lots was so high that it became a running joke. Lots of cars got damaged but almost no one died or received serious bodily harm. People seemed to disregard the most basic rules of the road. I drove to work by going down a couple of quiet city streets until I reached Plano Parkway. It was a roaring speedway. There was a traffic light just before the entrance to the southbound lanes of the Dallas North Tollway. Lots of people passed through that intersection on the way to work in downtown Dallas. And lots of people died. It was no longer funny. In fact, that intersection became known as one of the two or three most dangerous intersections in the country. I went to work early, I liked to get there at 6:00 am, so I missed the worst of it.

    Finally the city council installed traffic cameras there and all hell broke loose. Plano is a rich town with rich people who are mostly conservative Republicans and/or libertarians. They were enraged at this invasion of the privacy and curtailing of their freedom and liberty. Then the videos began to appear on local tv stations. It was amazing. It was crazy. You couldn't believe the way people drove through that intersection. They seemed to believe that they were invincible, and they seemed to believe that other drivers must yield the road to them. But changes happened. The intersection became much safer and dropped out of the top ten worst list in less than a year.

    Also, in the Dallas area in general there is an interstate hwy loop around the town, approximately on the county line. Road rage became a problem, and it had an amazing characteristic. It seemed that when a driver was exiting the hwy and heading to the frontage lanes, he assumed that no only did he have the right of way for his vehicle he assumed he had it for his look-ahead line of sight. I'm not kidding. People would become enraged if a car crossed their line of sight. Cameras helped identify this phenomenon. In fact some drivers would speed up as they left the hwy in order to force drivers on the frontage road to yield to them. It was bizarre.

    I don't live in Plano anymore. I retired in 1995 and now live in a little cabin on the edge of a forest. Squirrels can come from trees in my front yard, across my roof, through trees in my backyard until they reach the forest, and from there they can literally go for miles without ever touching the ground. It is quiet and I know of no accidents that have taken place between my house and the local shopping center. We don't need traffic cameras, and so we don't have them. But I know of places in Fort Worth and even in Durant Ok where I visit a lot where cameras would improve safety.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 01:29:54 AM PST

    •  Driving in Dallas was almost traumatizing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      It was terrifying.  Three years later I move to Los Angeles, home of sig alerts and a squillion cars on the road.  It was calmer, saner and safer by far than driving in Dallas.

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