Red light camera in Beaverton, Oregon, from Wikipedia
New York City has a reputation for danger and lawlessness that's utterly undeserved these days, being one of the safer large cities in the country.
In fact, it's hard to find illicit substances, misbehavior, and sexual perversity for sale even if you go looking for it--which is hardly the Big Apple of old.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in his third and last term, continues to work toward better behavior on the part of citizens and visitors alike.
He told reporters at a press conference yesterday that if he had his way, there would be a red-light camera "on every corner" to stem the dangerous habits of drivers who try to beat the light--despite hordes of eager pedestrians who may already be halfway through intersections as the light turns yellow.
Red light cameras found to cause more accidentsEnlarge Photo
The mayor wants to increase the current 150 red-light cameras to 225, but under byzantine New York State law, the city can install them but must get state legislature approval to collect fines from any violations.
Approval to collect fines is presently being held up by the State Assembly.
Drivers may wonder whether there will a similar crackdown on jaywalkers, who they may argue put themselves in harm's way.
There's a simple answer to that: NO.
Bloomberg's predecessor, the not-without-controversy Rudy Giuliani, proposed an initiative to tame jaywalking by arresting and prosecuting jaywalkers.
In one of his relatively few law-and-order defeats, he was roundly derided and laughed at, and the enforcement measure died quickly and quietly.
Besides, there are simply more pedestrians than vehicles in the city of 8 million. And in NYC, usually big numbers win.