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Running red lights?

OK, I admit it. I was wrong in my last blog about people being able to buy old clunkers and turn them in for a lot of cash. You do have to prove ownership of the vehicle for at least one year. My bad. I was moving a bit too fast on a Friday afternoon.

It doesn't change my opposition to the program, however. The market still is distorted. Some people who otherwise might sell their old car for much less will be trading it in, depriving someone else of buying it. The rest of you hit on other good reasons to oppose it.

But while we're on the subject of cars, let's talk about red lights. This story says the number of drivers in Utah running red lights doubled from 2006-07.

Even if this figure was just a result of better reporting, red-light running happens all too often. I can tell you from personal experience. When the light turns green, I always look both ways before proceeding.

An editorial in this newspaper focused on the length of yellow lights. I'd rather focus on photo technology and hear what you think.

I've always been an opponent of photo-cop, the technology that allows police to set up random cameras to catch speeders. These cameras can be inaccurate. And in one case, a judge voided 300 citations because of questions about a private provider wrongly adjusting the machines (the provider got a cut from each citation).

But red-light photo machines make sense to me. If they capture an image of the car and the stop light, there shouldn't be much question as to guilt, and they would give drivers another reason (besides their own lives) to stop when the light turns yellow. (Here's a description of how it would work.) Frankly, arguments about the length of a yellow light don't faze me much because drivers should approach all intersections with caution, being ready to stop if necessary.

Utah lawmakers outlawed photo-cop a few years ago. It's time to modify that to allow red light cameras. What do you think?