With a stroke of his pen and smirk on his face, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a short video of himself proving why he’s one of the most beloved Governors in the nations.
Abbott opened his video by saying that he was at the Texas Capitol in Austin signing bills, and described the one sitting in front of him.
“I’m about to sign this bill that bans red light cameras in Texas,” he said before putting his signature on the paper.
Abbott then held up the now former bill for everyone to see.
“Is now law,” said Abbott with a slight smile.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 1, 2019
Red light cameras have been a lucrative way for cities to garner extra cash from traffic violations. From 2007 to 20010, Texas cities accrued $100 million from 1.2 million camera tickets. However, red light cameras have two major problems.
For one, they’re unconstitutional. Upon receiving a citation from an officer, you are given the opportunity to fight it in court. The city or county has to prove your guilt. If it can’t, the ticket is thrown out. Red light cameras don’t work that way. If you get a ticket, you’re expected to pay it, due process be damned. It puts the onus on the driver to prove he’s innocent, not the authority to prove a citizen’s guilt.
But secondly, and most importantly, the safety reasons for these cameras to supposedly exist don’t even keep drivers safe. In fact, according to the Star-Telegram, they actually make intersections more dangerous:
As for the only legitimate argument in favor of the cameras — safety — a 12-year study released in 2018 by Case Western Reserve University in Ohio concludes there is “no evidence of a reduction in total accidents or injuries” attributable to red light cameras in Texas. In fact, the study says, by training motorists to “stop even when it would be safer to continue through the intersection,” red light cameras have actually increased rear-end collisions at such intersections: up 28 percent combined in Dallas and Houston.
“Intersections with cameras are likely to be among the most dangerous intersections,” the study says.
Abbott signing this bill into law is a no-brainer, and I appreciate his attentiveness to logic. It’s rare in this day and age.
But more importantly than my appreciation for that, is Abbott’s rare ability to treat citizens in his state like adults. Red-light cameras are essentially nanny cams for adults, making sure that people are following the rules. It’s insulting, and every time I see a flash from the camera go off, I’m angered by the idea that a city thinks it needs to keep a technological eye on its citizens. It’s as infantilizing as it is Orwellian.
This is why I love Abbott. His attitude revolves around the idea that we’re grown adults, and we can make grown adult decisions about what we do.
We need more like him.