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Monday, November 19, 2007

Shuttering Ohio's Red-Light Cameras: There's Now A Way To Beat Them

CLEVELAND (TDB) -- Cities from Cleveland to Columbus and Toledo have been sticking cameras on stop-lights to catch motorists who run red lights. The snap shots that catch license tags, but not drivers, are controversial and seen by many Ohioans as nothing but a way to fatten municipal budgets over enforcing traffic laws. Now a company that makes highway radar and laser detectors said it has put a GPS locator in the package to display the location of red light cameras.

Cobra said the move is to boost safety on the roads. Others might see it as a way to beat the system. Cobra says its research shows 88% of Americans have run a red light. And half reported in a recent poll sponsored by the radar-detector manufacturer that a traffic light changed too quickly to stop at the stoplight. Cobra's poll found that some drivers admit they run five red lights a year. It said 76% of drivers age 18-34 admitted they went through a red light in the past year.

Cobra says its $449.95 XRS R9G displays the locations of the cameras. The Chicago company says the gizmo isn't intended to help drivers skip the intersections, but instead is to remind them to slow down and stop on red.

"A national survey commissioned by Cobra reports the vast majority of Americans admit to having run red lights, and consistently driving through yellow ones. To curb the red-light running epidemic, cities across the United States are encouraging safe driving by installing speed and red light cameras at dangerous intersections.

"While a few well-place cameras may slow some lead-footed drivers, four in five Americans agree that knowing the location of photo-enforcement cameras in advance would make them put the brakes on. According to Cobra's national survey of 1,000 Americans, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of respondents admit they would fell safer if they had an extra security -- a device in the car -- to supplement their cities' efforts to increases safety of these dangerous intersections."

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