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River Cities' Reader, Issue #768 - December 23, 2010

River Cities' Reader, Issue #768 - December 23, 2010

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Published by: River Cities Reader on Dec 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Photo: Joshua Ford • JoshuaFordPhotography.com
     R     i    v    e    r     C     i     t     i    e    s     ’     R    e    a     d    e    r
   •     V    o     l .     1     8     N    o .     7     6     8   •     D    e    c    e    m     b    e    r     2     3 ,     2     0     1     0  -     J    a    n    u    a    r    y     5 ,     2     0     1     1     B    u    s     i    n    e    s    s   •     P    o     l     i    t     i    c    s   •     A    r    t    s   •     C    u     l    t    u    r    e   •     N    o    w      Y    o    u     K    n    o    w    •     R     i    v    e    r     C     i    t     i    e    s     R    e    a     d    e    r .    c    o    m
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Free phone offer
while supplies last. Limited to current store inventory. No rain checks. Postpaid plan required.
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requiresnew two-year agreement and Smartphone purchase. $100 credit will be applied to your account in $50 increments over two billing periods. Credits will start within 60 days after activation. Account must remain active in order to receive credit. No cash value.
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subject to change. U.S. Cellular VisaDebit Card issued by MetaBank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Allow 10–12 weeks for processing. Card does not have cash access and can be used at any merchant location that accepts Visa debit cards. Card valid for 120 days after issued. Applicable feature phone Data Plans start at $14.95 permonth. Smartphone Data Plans start at $30 per month or are included with certain Belief Plans. Application and data network usage charges may apply when accessing applications.
Kansas Customers:
In areas in which U.S. Cellular receives support from the Federal Universal Service Fund, all reasonable requestsfor service must be met. Unresolved questions concerning services availability can be directed to the Kansas Corporation Commission Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at 1-800-662-0027. See store or uscellular.com for details. Limited-time offer. Android and the Android Robot are trademarks ofGoogle, Inc. Trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners. ©2010 U.S. Cellular.
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After $80 mail-in rebate that comesas a Visa debit card. ApplicableSmartphone Data Plan required. New2-yr. agmt. and $30 act. fee may apply.
Samsung Messager
After $50 mail-in rebate that comes as a Visa
debit card. Applicable Data Plan required for90 days. New 2-yr. agmt. and $30 act. feemay apply.
HTC Desire
After $80 mail-in rebate that comesas a Visa debit card. ApplicableSmartphone Data Plan required. New2-yr. agmt. and $30 act. fee may apply.
LG Optimus U
After $80 mail-in rebate that comesas a Visa debit card. ApplicableSmartphone Data Plan required. New2-yr. agmt. and $30 act. fee may apply.
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After $80 mail-in rebate that comesas a Visa debit card. ApplicableSmartphone Data Plan required. New2-yr. agmt. and $30 act. fee may apply.
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 B   u  s  i     e  s   s  • P   o l    i     t   i     c   s  • A  r   t    s  •  C   u l     t    u r   e • N   o w Y   o  u K   o w • R  i     e r   C  i     t   i     e  s  R   e  a  d   e r   . c   o m
R  i     e  r   C   i     t   i     e   s  ’    R   e   a  d    e  r  
• V   o l     .1   8  N   o  .7   6   8  •  D   e  c   e m b   e r  2   3   ,2   0  1   0   J    a  u  a r    y  5   ,2   0  1  1  
Rd Light Camras: Safty Dvicsor On Mor Stp Toward a Survillanc Stat?
by John W. Whitehead johnw@rutherord.org
eore Janet Napolitano, secretary o theDepartment o Homeland Security,unleashed ull-body-imaging scannersand “enhanced” pat-downs on Americanairline passengers, she subjected Arizonadrivers to red-light cameras. In August 2008,Napolitano, then the governor o Arizona,instituted a statewide system o 200 xed andmobile speed and red-light cameras, whichwere projected to bring in more than $120million in annual revenue or the state. Shewas aided in this endeavor by the Australiancorporation Redex rac Systems.wo years later, aer widespreadcomplaints that the cameras intrude onprivacy and are primarily a money-makingenterprise or the state (income actually ell short o the projections because peoplereused to pay their nes), Arizona put thebrakes on the program. And while other states– including Maine, Mississippi, Montana,Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia,and Wisconsin – have since ollowed suit,many more municipalities, suering rombudget crises, have succumbed to the promiseo easy revenue and installed the cameras.(Davenport began using red-light camerasin 2004.) As the
Washington Post 
notes: “Ahandul o cities used them a decade ago. Nowthey’re in more than 400, spread across twodozen states.In most cases, state and local governments(including Davenport’s) arrange to lease thecameras rom a vendor, with that company taking its cut o ticket revenue rst, and theexcess going to the states and municipalities.Te cameras, which are triggered by sensors buried in the road, work by takingphotos o drivers who enter intersectionsaer a trac light turns red. What ew realize,however, is that you don’t actually have torun a red light to get “caught.” Many drivershave triggered the cameras simply by makinga right turn on red or crossing the sensor butnot advancing into the intersection.Each municipality has its own protocol orwhat happens next, but generally, the photosare reviewed by the private vendor, whichthen issues tickets to the drivers. And thisis where your right to a air and ull hearinglargely goes out the window. Indeed, whilethere is a system or challenging a ticket, itis oen convoluted and onerous, with theburden o proo resting upon the driver.Even the courts have a tendency to view thecameras as inallible.Supporters contend that the ends justiy themeans because the cameras increase tracsaety. Yet research suggests otherwise. Inact, multiple studies indicate that red-lightcameras actually increase the number o crashes. For example, in Greensboro, NorthCarolina, the Urban ransit Institute at theNorth Carolina Agricultural & echnicalState University analyzed 57 months o dataand concluded that the red-light cameraswere associated with a 40-percent increasein crashes. In Ontario, Canada, Synecticsransportation Consultants ound a 16-percent increase in accidents at intersectionswith cameras, as opposed to an 8-percentincrease at comparison intersections with nopolice enorcement or cameras. It also ounda 2-percent increase in injury/atal crashesat camera intersections as opposed to a 10-percent decrease with police enorcement.Studies conducted in Virginia also showthat the cameras result in an increasednumber o rear-end collisions. Te VirginiaDepartment o ransportation and theFederal Highway Administration undeda study o seven years o crash data by theVirginia ransportation Research Council.Te study associated red-light cameras witha 27-percent increase in
crashes anda 42-percent decrease in red-light-runningcrashes across six Virginia jurisdictions.Overall, however, crashes increased becausethere are generally more rear-end crashesthan red-light-running crashes. Tus, thestudy concluded that the results “cannot beused to justiy the widespread installationo cameras because they are not universally eective.”Tere are, in act, ar superior alternativesto red-light cameras. For instance, accordingto the National Highway rac Saety Administration, intersection saety would beincreased by simply lengthening the yellow-light time or adding an all-red light interval.A study by the exas ransportation Instituteound that increasing the length o yellowlights by one second decreased the chance o accidents by 40 percent. Similarly, anothercase study revealed that a 30-percent increasein yellow-light time produced substantialsaety benets. And when the VirginiaDepartment o ransportation increased theyellow-light duration rom 4.0 seconds to 5.5seconds at an Arlington intersection in 2000,the problem o red-light running practically disappeared.Regrettably, a close examination o thehistory o trac-monitoring devices reveals
Continued On Page 16

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