Bristol Herald Courier Comments on Bluff City Speed Cameras
The editorial board of the Bristol Herald Courier has commented that drivers may simply avoid Bluff City due to their speed cameras. They also point out that the speed limit is artifically low there. This is a 4 lane highway with a 45 mph speed zone that is now enforced by cameras that sit at bottom of a trough between two hills.
Last week, City Manager Fredrick Weaver stressed the safety benefits. “If enforcing our speed camera program saves one life or keeps one person from being paralyzed in an accident, it’s more than worth us doing it,” he said. “The No. 1 thing for us is saving lives.”
Yeah, right. This is the same town that has another 45 mph speed zone on the Elizabethton Highway on a 4 lane that has very few businesses or interesections to speak of and is nothing but a speed trap. Realistically, one could safely travel 60-65 mph in that area and most people probably do. That is probably where they will put the next round of speed cameras.
I can tell you happens when I go through the area where the speed camera is located. Whenever I drive down the road, I try to be conscious of vehicles on side roads. I watch to make sure they stop and watch to see if they are going to drive onto the highway, watch to see if I could change lanes if necessary, etc. In the speed camera area, this is no longer the case. I fear that I no longer notice cars that pull up to the highway from the car wash or Poplar Ridge Road. I focus on my speedometer and the cars in front of me who are slamming on their brakes at the speed cameras. I suspect other drivers do the same thing and the end result will likely be that someone will pull out from the car wash or Poplar Ridge Road and the oncoming traffic will not even slow down or swerve to avoid a collision because they are not watching for pullouts from those areas as they are too busy watching their speed and watching for brakers in front of them. Then, someone will get killed or paralized while Bluff City cashes its checks.