I never should have read Crime and Punishment….
Then again, I was in high school and had little choice. The Dostoevsky classic wrestles with lead character Raskolnikov‘s belief that some people are above the law and have the right to commit crimes.
Hey, what god-fearing American motorist hasn’t come to terms with that concept as they race along 10 mph over the speed limit. There’s a word for it; scofflaw…a person who flouts the law, rules, conventions & accepted practices.
But here’s a downside to playing Raskolnikov…
As I was reminded when I opened a letter the other day advising I "did fail to stop for a red traffic signal" at 39th & Southwest Trafficway and owed Kansas City 100 bucks.
Hold it right there!
Ever since that infamous red light camera went in two years back, I’ve been ultra careful going thru that intersection. Who hasn’t? Even two Sundays back when a task force of smoking hot, bikini-wearing babes danced about the traffic median hustling R-rated car washes.
How could I possibly have run a light at that intersection?
So I looked at the pics that accompanied the notice. And there I was in the first photo perched in the far right lane preparing to turn right. In the next pic – like 2 seconds later – I had started my right turn.
Right turn on red, right? Was it legal there? I checked – it was.
Relieved, I called the photo enforcement folks in Phoenix to lodge my protest.
All for naught. Because when directed to an online video of my infraction, I saw that I had merely slowed – but failed to stop – before making my turn.
I didn’t know Big Brother was keeping an eye out for Right Turn Fanatics as well as Red Light Runners.
"A full stop is when you stop moving," explained the Arizona red light ranger. "The cameras also monitor right turns and they monitor speed."
Meaning, speeders as well as red light runners can be nailed to the crosses as well?
Yes, provided the city authorizes it, the Phoenician explained.
A Kansas City Police spokeswoman was unable to confirm if speeders were being monitored as well. And Kansas City Public Works spokesman Dennis Gagnon could not be reached for this column.
So here’s the bottom line for red light cam intersections for the time being:
Watch out for red light hotties and be sure and come to a full stop before turning right on red.