People object to red light photos

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Cameras being installed in city

By Jim Clark

We got some violent phone calls in the past couple of days from people who were objecting to the red light cameras. Work was evidently going on at the intersections, and signs were posted at the entrance to the city.

There are some legitimate concerns about the cameras, which are used by many communities. Can the camera show who is driving a car? It might be registered to someone who never drives it. Will a citation be sent to someone who doesn’t even drive that car? How will that work?

Right turns on red lights are legal after you come to a complete stop. Will the cameras be able to differentiate between someone who is turning legally as opposed to someone who is illegally running the light?

How often are these cameras tested to make sure they are accurate? Once a month? Once a year? Ever? Or do we just assume that every picture they take is someone running a light?

In a city with only four traffic lights, it ought to be easy to get around town and not be in that much of a hurry that you can’t wait for the green, which is never far away.

Red light cameras are nothing new. In Florida, they are mainly concentrated up and down the coast lines, and there are some in the Orlando area. There aren’t many in rural small inland towns such as Williston.

Of course, the simple thing that most people would say is that you won’t get in trouble if you don’t run red lights.

In some places, it’s even illegal to deliberately run a yellow light. So if you see a yellow light and stop, you should be all right.

We’ll wait and see.

INCOMPLETE WORK: Maybe it was just a misunderstanding on our part, but we thought that the work on Northwest First Avenue in front of our office was just the beginning. But we haven’t seen any activity in quite a while.

All that was accomplished was the placement of a sidewalk and the painting of some faint lines for parallel parking. You can still vaguely see the angle parking lines, so sometimes we have a couple of vehicles parked at an angle and a couple more parked parallel.

The spaces that are marked in front of our office include one painted in blue, presumably to be a handicapped space. But it’s so poorly marked and terribly painted that we doubt it would stand up in court.

Originally we thought all the angle parking was to be eliminated. But in front of the post office it still exists.

We thought the street around the side of the post office was going to be improved with better parking when Walgreens was finished. We’re still waiting for that.

The park in front of City Hall looks real nice, unless you want to park there and cross Main Street to the stores on the east side of the street, and you find you take your life in your hands trying to do so.

So maybe the crews could start doing some of this work instead of putting up those red light cameras.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.