The traffic management center in Lebanon recently installed some red light cameras around Beirut in order to enforce traffic laws by automatically photographing people who run red lights or those who stop their cars on red AFTER the white stop bar. In their first tests, they unsurprisingly were able to record a violation every 8 seconds!
However, while the installation of these cameras is just logical in order to ensure the new traffic law is fully applied, you cant but feel that it is an ill-timed step… I mean let’s be honest, the majority of those who apply for a driving license show up on their test day to sign some papers and end up getting their license no matter how poor their knowledge about traffic laws is, and I really doubt most drivers are aware that you’re not supposed to stop the cars after the white bar on a red light. In fact, if you abide by this rule don’t be surprised to see people cutting you off and stopping in front of you…
The ultimate purpose for applying traffic rules is to reduce road accidents and avoid traffic jams. So it it were up to me, I would have allocated this project money to educate the masses and recruit additional police officers to ensure that the basic laws are applied. Till now, wherever you go in Beirut you see taxi cars and minibuses picking up passengers wherever they please on the road. Moreover, double parking is like norm everywhere… solving these two problems alone should guarantee making the traffic smoother all over the city. Let alone other problems caused by asshole motorbikers and pedestrians who insist on crossing the road no matter what color is the traffic light.
But then again, someone now thinks it is time to erect these cameras regardless of any other priorities, so brace yourselves, tickets are coming!