John Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Speed bump list grows; how about along Highway 6?

People who live on Patton Lane, Hickory, Noble, Martinez, Cole Road, West, Lomax, Gay and Leland Streets will soon see speed bumps placed across their streets. Batesville aldermen have authorized their purchase and placement at the request of residents who want traffic slowed.

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Should be interesting.

Meanwhile, at the traffic signals along the Highway 6/278, “green” still does not mean go. Only the unwary pull away from the stoplight when the signal light turns green. Those who would live to drive another day look left and right and then left and right quickly again when the light turns green. Then they go.

Traffic monitoring cameras will soon be installed at those traffic signals, I’ve learned, but only for watching traffic. You’ll be able to go to the Mississippi Department of Transportation web site and watch the traffic on Highway 6. The entertainment value is certain to rise on Friday afternoons.

Cameras that make photos of motorists running red (or yellow) lights and then send the scofflaw a copy of the photo along with a traffic ticket have been outlawed by the state legislature. Their objection was the amount of the fine that went to the company that installs and maintains the cameras.

The cameras are legal in Louisiana, probably because the company that installs and maintains them has figured a way to return a portion of the proceeds to the politicians’ pockets.  There are always arguments of due process and the right of the accused to be faced by his or her accuser, but they still collect big bucks from the signal light scofflaws.

So we’re left with traffic cameras that provide no revenue, only viewing pleasure when there’s nothing else to watch.

And speed bumps. Speed bumps are legal. What about placing more speed bumps, this time along …?

Nawww. We’d never get away with it.